Regional Economic and Community Development Officers

The regional economic and community development officers (RDO), which are based throughout the Delta region, will support communities by helping to identify and fill capacity needs in support of local and regional project development efforts. The RDOs will serve as a key resource for project development, coordination of outreach and information sharing, funding acquisition, and implementation of local and regional projects that emphasize place-based strategies. 

The officers will be based out of local development districts and partner organizations in strategic locations throughout the Delta region in order to best serve the communities in their respective region as boots-on-the-ground support. 

Meet your RDO

Region 1

ILLINOIS: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union, White, Williamson

KENTUCKY: Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Henderson, Hickman, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Muhlenberg, Todd, Trigg, Union, Webster

MISSOURI: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Reynolds,, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Wright

Christina Wade of Caruthersville, Missouri, will work with communities in the 66 counties of southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and southeast Missouri. Christina has worked in community development and low income housing for 14 years. Most recently, she was a housing contract specialist for the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation (DAEOC), a strong local support organization for regional community development. While at DAEOC, Christina administered state and federal grant contracts and oversaw the corporation’s low income housing portfolio, housing staff, and fiscal staff. Christina is also a graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute’s Executive Academy.

Email Christina

Region 2

ARKANSAS: Arkansas, Baxter, Clay, Cleveland, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Dallas, Fulton, Grant, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Searcy, Sharp, St. Francis, Stone, Van Buren, White, Woodruff

MISSISSIPPI: Benton, Coahoma, Desoto, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Tate, Tippah, Tunica, Union

TENNESSEE: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Shelby, Tipton, Weakley

Position currently vacant.

Region 3

ARKANSAS: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Desha, Drew, Ouachita, Union

LOUISIANA: Bienville, Claiborne, East Carroll, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union, Webster, West Carroll

MISSISSIPPI: Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Claiborne, Copiah, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jasper, Leflore, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Warren, Washington, Yalobusha, Yazoo

Position currently vacant.

Region 4

LOUISIANA: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, DeSoto, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, La Salle, Lafourche, Livingston, Natchitoches, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Vermillion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, Winn

MISSISSIPPI: Adams, Amite, Covington, Franklin, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pike, Walthall, Wilkinson

Position currently vacant.

Region 5

ALABAMA: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Pickens, Russell, Sumter, Washington, Wilcox

Michael Mills of Birmingham, Alabama, will work with the communities in the 20 counties of the Black Belt of Alabama. Michael is a native of Alabama with a range of community and economic development and planning experience at the local and regional level. Michael was selected as a City Management Fellow by the City of Phoenix, Arizona in 2013, before returning to Alabama as a Community & Regional Planner with the North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG), a predominantly rural region, in Decatur, Alabama. Michael worked to provide technical assistance to 26 member governments in the areas of strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, community outreach, project development, and grant-writing. Michael also administered NARCOG’s Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund providing businesses with access to capital to support start-up and expansion costs to create and retain local jobs.  Before joining DRA, Michael most recently held the position of Senior Long-Range Planner with the City of Birmingham. Michael is a graduate of the Intensive Economic Development Training Course at Auburn University and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Michael received his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2013.

Email Michael