Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Mike Preston executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission in March 2015. Preston is widely regarded as a leading advocate for economic development.
Before joining AEDC, Preston served six and a half years as the Vice President of Government Relations for Enterprise Florida. While in Florida, he secured hundreds of millions of dollars for the organization, the state’s economic development toolkit, international trade initiatives and capital programs. During his tenure at Enterprise Florida he was part of the team that helped create more than 147,000 jobs paying an average wage of $56,437 and generating $10.07 billion in capital investment.
In his first year with AEDC, Preston and Governor Asa Hutchinson made business recruitment trips to Cuba, Japan, China, France, Germany, New York City, and Silicon Valley. The trips played an important role in helping more than 100 companies locate or expand operations in Arkansas, investing $2 billion and creating 6,000 new jobs. Among these companies were J.B. Hunt in Lowell (more than 1,000 jobs), Bad Boy Mowers in Batesville (160 jobs) and leading mobile app developer Metova (three locations totaling 190 new jobs).
He is a 2005 graduate of the University of Florida.
He and his wife Anne are happy to call Arkansas home.