AEDCE Member Spotlight
Senior Program Officer
Vicki Malpass is a Senior Program Officer at Winrock International which has the mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Vicki is responsible for compliance oversight and budget management of economic development projects in the U.S. Programs unit. She has overseen more than $27 million in federal and state funding through projects including Innovate Arkansas, Arkansas Women’s Business Center, and the Delta Innovation Fund.
- Where were you born? Where do you live today? I was born in Little Rock but was raised in Benton where I currently reside.
- What do you love most about Arkansas? Arkansas’ natural beauty will always hold a special place in my heart. The cheese dip options are unparalleled.
- Very few people know that I… am painfully shy. I’m an introvert acting like an extrovert.
- What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Speak up! No one is going to fight harder for your place in the world than you. Now, get on with it.
- The greatest risk I ever took was…? Marrying my husband, Blake. He didn’t mean to propose, and I didn’t mean to accept. 28 years later, it seems to be working out.
- Best place in Arkansas to spend the weekend? Eureka Springs
- Who would you most like to swap places with for the day and why? I’ve honestly never thought about this question. I guess that says something.
- How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession, and what do you like most about your job? I’ve been in the economic development profession for almost 11 years. I love the opportunity to help Arkansas reach its potential.
- Best career advice I would give someone in the Economic Development or Chamber profession? I’ll pass along the best advice I ever received: always read an RFP or your grant/cooperative agreement very carefully. Ensure you understand every part of the document including the corresponding regulations.
New Business Development Project Manager
Chris is a new business development project manager for Entergy Arkansas’ business and economic development team. He is focused on recruiting new business to the Entergy Arkansas service territory and managing the projects electric service plan. Chris works closely with AEDC and local chamber/ economic development teams to improve community development, site development, and other marketing strategies that will maximize opportunity for growth, investment, and job creation.
- Where were you born? Where do you live today? Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Live now in Little Rock.
- What do you love most about Arkansas? The landscapes, the people, and the cheese dip.
- Very few people know that … am an animal lover. Our family has 2 dogs, 2 cats, and an Alexandrine parrot.
- Favorite vacation spot outside of Arkansas? There are far too many to list. However, I love spending time cycling around Two Rivers Park with my girls.
- What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Laugh more, listen intently, and invest everything you have in a company called Amazon.
- The greatest risk I ever took was…? returning to Arkansas after graduating from college. Also, being a parent because failure is not an option, and changing careers from operational management to economic development.
- What issues facing Arkansas, or your local community keeps you up at night? Unfortunately, there are many social, political, and economic challenges that concern me. My fear is that we are not doing enough as a nation, a state, or a community to ensure our children and their children have the successes in life that they want and deserve.
- Who would you most like to swap places with for the day and why? The leader in me wants to swap with Bill Gates. The sportsman in me wants to swap with Matt Kuchar, and the dreamer in me wants to swap with Paul David Hewson, better known as Bono from U2—philanthropist/ humanitarian by day and rock star by night.
- How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession, and what do you like most about your job? Almost 5 years. I am truly blessed to work with outstanding communities and ED professionals throughout the state. We all share a common goal of supporting existing business and recruiting and securing new business for job growth, investments, and revenues.
- Best career advice I would give someone in the Economic Development or Chamber profession. “Have a plan and build and strengthen your network to help execute that plan. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Nurture relationships with peers, business partners, and local/ state agencies to create combined success. Maintain a healthy balance of give and take.”