Head of AEDC describes what he is looking for during trip to Reg - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Head of AEDC describes what he is looking for during trip to Region 8

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) -

The executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission looked for identity and character Friday in parts of Region 8.

Mike Preston first stopped in Randolph County but made his way to Walnut Ridge where he stopped for a quick lunch at The Studio.

He said his goal for the trip was to learn all he could about the communities he visited and he said this knowledge will help him when attracting businesses to Arkansas.

While in Walnut Ridge, he said the atmosphere the city created over the years stood out the most.

He believed in order to grow, smaller communities needed something to hang their hat on.

“It's important for them to figure out what their identity is and who they want to be and then really market themselves,” Preston said. “How can they partner better with the state to tell the story of their own community? A big part of it too is working regionally.”

He enjoyed how Walnut Ridge took the landing of The Beatles and made it into a festival and a way to draw in money.

He said identities like this will help him help the community.

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