Delta Regional Authority
January 14, 2019  
follow us

Delta News Round-up

In this Issue: Delta Leadership Network Conference in Little Rock | Delta I-Fund Seeking Entrepreneurs | Governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois and Tennessee to be Inaugurated

Delta Leadership Network Conference in Little Rock

Registration is open for the the Delta Leadership Network (DLN) Annual Conference. The conference will be held Feb. 5-7 at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Little Rock.

DLN is comprised of more than 500 alumni of DRA’s Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) representing the eight states within the Delta Regional Authority’s footprint: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Alumni use the experiences gained from DLI to drive change and lead economic advancement of their local communities, states or regions.

This year’s conference focuses on creating and fostering local and regional partnership opportunities in the Delta region. The 2019 conference is an opportunity for participants to hear from more than 20 local and national subject-matter experts on opportunities and best practices that strengthen economic and community development in the Delta. Featured speakers include native Arkansan Walt Coleman, 30-year veteran referee of the National Football League and Controller of Hiland Dairy; and Charles Marohn, author, licensed Professional Enginner, certified planner, and Founder and President of Strong Towns.

Session topics include:

  • Public Private partnerships for the Economic Advancement of Delta communities;
  • Redevelopment in the Delta: How Communities are (Re)Shaping their Futures;
  • From Applying to Complying: Grants 101-401;
  • Engaging Utility Providers in the Development Process; and
  • Innovative Community Development Finance.

Conference presenters include representatives from the National Council for Public Private Partnerships, attorneys and finance executives from Stephens Inc., Butler Snow, Arkansas Capital, Bradley, and Champion Community Investments; leading researchers from the University of Louisiana Monroe; non-profit and government leaders from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Office of U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO.), and Winrock International; planning and development professionals from BLDG Memphis and McClure Engineering; and utility executives from TVA, Entergy, and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

For more information and to register for the conference, please visit

Click here for more information.

Delta I-Fund Seeking Entrepreneurs to Build Start-ups

The Delta I-Fund is seeking entrepreneurs to participate in a 12-week virtual course that will help launch start-up companies in our region. The I-Fund will match entrepreneurs with a mentor, and the organization will provide funding for your team’s proof of concept.

The cohort begins March 9 and you can sign up now to participate in the program, which is modeled after the National Science Foundation’s successful I-Corp program

The I-Fund program will teach participating entrepreneurs about Lean Start-up methodology, including how to document a business model and how to improve your business by seeking customer input.

DRA supports the I-Fund mission of improving low-to-moderate income communities throughout our eight-state region. The program seeks to provide a platform for the creation and launch of high-growth companies, spurring economic development and job creation in the region.

Click here for more information.

DRA Welcomes New Governors in Illinois, Tennessee

Congratulations to the four governors in our region who are being inaugurated this week: Gov. Kay Ivey in Alabama, Gov. Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas and our newly elected governors in Illinois and Tennessee, J.B. Pritzker and Bill Lee. Illinois Governor-elect Pritzker will be inaugurated Jan. 14 and Tennessee Governor-elect Lee will be inaugurated Jan. 19.

Gov. Ivey is being sworn in Jan. 14 after a successful re-election campaign. And Gov. Hutchinson is being sworn in Jan. 15 to his second term in Arkansas.

Gov.-elect Pritzker is a private-business owner based in Chicago and a managing partner and co-founder of the Pritzker Group. His family owns the Hyatt hotel chain. Pritzker supports numerous charitable efforts, including the Pritzker Family Foundation, which funds research and programs focused on children in poverty. He graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Gov.-elect Lee is a graduate of Auburn University. He supports numerous community organizations, including serving as a representative to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as a member of the Board of Trustees at Belmont University in Nashville.

Please join us in welcoming them to the DRA Board of Governors.

Upcoming Events:

Click Here To Submit An Event

DRA Newsroom:

Delta Regional Authority

236 Sharkey Avenue - Suite 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662) 624-8600 | DRA.GOV

View online | Unsubscribe