AEDCE Member Spotlight
Mark Young, CEcD
President & CEO
Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce
Mark Young is President & CEO of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and Jonesboro Unlimited. The mission of the Chamber is to enhance the quality of life in the community through leadership service and economic development. Mark also leads Jonesboro Unlimited. The organization recently embarked on a bold five-year strategic plan to increase prosperity in Jonesboro.
- Where were you born? Where do you live today? I was born in Blytheville and now live in Jonesboro.
- What do you love most about Arkansas? I love the character and genuine nature of people in Arkansas.
- Very few people know that I… Went to college on a music scholarship…but don’t ask me to sing, I was in the band.
- How would you describe Arkansas to someone that has never been here? Beautiful landscape…from the Delta to the Ozarks and genuine people.
- What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Enjoy every day and don’t worry so much.
- The greatest risk I ever took was…? Leaving the State in hopes that someday I could return. Thankfully I got that opportunity!
- What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community keeps you up at night? What will my children be doing in the future?
- Who would you most like to swap places with for the day and why? Since today is the NFL Draft…Kyler Murray. Don’t you think it would be great to be listed as the best NFL prospect?
- How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? 32 years. I love that I don’t do the same thing every day and I get to interact and meet some amazing people.
- Best career advice I would give someone in the Economic Development or Chamber profession? Be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Assistant Director, Community & Economic Development
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Stacey McCullough is Assistant Director for Community and Economic Development at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. In this capacity, she provides leadership for Cooperative Extension Service programs across the state focusing on the areas of local government, strategic planning, community and regional capacity building, leadership, workforce, and economic development. She also oversees the Public Policy Center, which provides Arkansans with credible and unbiased information about public issues, including state and local ballot issues.
- Where were you born? Where do you live today? I was born in California but moved to Arkansas when I was three to be closer to my dad’s family in Clarendon and central Arkansas. I spent 12 years in Wisconsin after undergrad but moved back to Arkansas in 2004. I live in Little Rock and love it.
- What do you love most about Arkansas? Being able to be outdoors pretty much year-round.
- Very few people know that … I am extremely shy.
- How would you describe Arkansas to someone that has never been here? It truly has something for everyone – culturally, topographically, socially and industrially.
- What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Don’t let the fear of looking foolish stop you from taking chances.
- The greatest risk I ever took was…? Physically – solo skydiving. Emotionally – starting a new career at the age of 34.
- What issues facing Arkansas, or your local community keeps you up at night? I fear that we will continue to struggle economically and socially until we address disparities in the quality and accessibility of education (all levels) for all Arkansans.
- Who would you most like to swap places with for the day and why? Someone who has faced severe prejudice or hardship in their life. Too often, I think we fail to try to truly understand the perspectives of those who have grown up in an environment of fear and hopelessness and how hard it is to overcome those challenges.
- How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession, and what do you like most about your job? 15 years. I love that every day is different and that I get to see amazing people doing amazing things in communities big and small across the state and country.
- Best career advice I would give someone in the Economic Development or Chamber profession. Ask lots of questions, whether it’s to better understand the crux of a problem or delve into the nuances of why a particular strategy is working or not working.