Press Conference



Cyrus Sigari
Co-Founder, UP.Partners

Appointed Council Members

Dean Banks
Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Tyson Foods

Tom Ward
Executive Vice President / Chief eCommerce Officer, Walmart

Craig Harper
Executive Vice President / Chief Sustainability Officer, J.B. Hunt

Alan Mantooth
Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, University of Arkansas

Tony Aquila
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of Canoo

Chad Causey
Executive Director, Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance

John Bethel
Director of Public Affairs, Entergy Arkansas

Daryl Brown
Executive Director, External Affairs South Region, MISO

Becky Keogh
Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment

Lorie Tudor
Director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation

Jami Cook
Former Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Public Safety

Mike Preston
Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Commerce

Ted Thomas
Former Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission

Jason Morrison
Ed. D., Chancellor, Southern Arkansas University Tech

Shannon Newton
President, Arkansas Trucking Association

Hunter Bale
Past Chairman and Member of the Arkansas Auto Dealers Association

Drew Tessier
Senior Director of Public Affairs, Union Pacific

Contributing Advisory Members

Canem Arkan
Managing Director of Endeavor Arkansas

Andrew Giancini
Regulatory Lead, Skyports

Lauren Waldrip
Arkansas Advanced Energy Alliance

Buddy Hasten
President and CEO, Arkansas Electric Cooperative

Jen Hoss
Assistant General Counsel, Arkansas Electric Cooperative

Randy Orr
Deputy Director, Arkansas Department of Transportation

Ann Gilbert
Director, Arkansas Transit Association

Jerry Holder
Director of Transportation, Garver

Heather Nachtmann
Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research, University of Arkansas College of Engineering

Grant Brewer
Collegiate Training Liaison, DroneUp

Amy Wiegand
Senior Director of Community Affairs, DroneUp

Jason Shaffer
Vice President of Last Mile Strategy, Walmart

Vikranth Gopalakrishnan
Vice President of Supply Chain Engineering, Walmart

Lester Hankins
Chief of Staff, Arkansas Department of Public Safety

Bethany Duncan
Business Development Coordinator, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Chris Ladner
Founding Partner, Entegrity

Craig Wahlmeier
Vice President of Technology Research and Development, ArcBest

Daniel Plaisance
Associate, Advanced Aerial Mobility, Tulsa Innovation Labs

Major Forrest Marks
Arkansas State Police

Kellyn Blossom
Vice President, Public Policy, Zipline

Nick Devereux
Director of Policy and Government Affairs, Wing

Richard Steiner
Head of Policy, Gatik

Jordan Bearden
Corporate and Community Affairs, Runway Group

JT Geren
Deputy Director of Communications, Runway Group

Chris Fletcher
Former Director of Policy, Office of Governor Hutchinson

Tina Moore
Director of STEM/Computer Science Continuum, Arkansas Department of Education

Alex Lautzenheiser
Associate, UP.Partners

Matt Wolfman
Associate, UP.Partners

Fareena Contractor
Vice President, Strategy & Commercialization at DEKA

Michael Pedler
President, Mumford, Hart & Ashley


Two-year colleges provide the flexibility needed to implement technical training programs to support the production of advanced mobility vehicles and technology. [We] have the experience and expertise working with industries to identify workforce skill requirements to create… tailored training programs quickly and efficiently. … We are the bridge between economic development and workforce expansion.

Jason Morrison
Ed. D., Chancellor, Southern Arkansas University Tech

Arkansas’s vast natural resources provide a growing and diverse energy portfolio vital to the success of future mobility for our region and beyond. Through essential partnerships, we can increase the access and affordability of transformative infrastructure technologies in both electrification and hydrogen power.

Becky W Keogh
Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary

For Arkansas to be a leader in advanced mobility and continue to attract industry leaders to the state, it is imperative that we remain on the forefront of technology while eliminating possible barriers to innovation and implementation. I am confident that the recommendations made by the Council will help us attract and retain the companies we need to move Arkansas forward. By investing in the needed infrastructure, we can bring more high-paying jobs and investment to the state that will benefit our communities for years to come. I want to recognize Governor Asa Hutchinson for his visionary leadership as well as my fellow council members for their insight and dedication to improving economic conditions throughout the state.

Mike Preston
Secretary of Commerce

Governor Hutchinson's leadership in forming the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility is a validation for our state’s long history of innovation in logistics and transportation. It is no coincidence that three Fortune 100 companies make their homes here. The Council’s work is setting the standards for the next phase of investment and economic growth through public and private partnerships.

Runway Group

We’re proud to be among the many people and organizations who envision a future where Arkansas leads the way in testing and implementing next-generation transportation technology. Collaboration between the public and private sectors will be critical to understanding how electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies are implemented. Beyond that, it displays a collective desire and commitment to finding long-term solutions that will impact the transportation industry and ultimately the motoring public.

Craig Harper
Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Vice President, J.B. Hunt Transport