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Startup Grind ft. Mike Preston

Join the Conductor for Startup Grind with Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. 

Startup Grind is a monthly fireside chat presented in partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs. Conway is one of 200 cities in the world with a Startup Grind chapter. Each month, the Conductor hosts a fireside chat with a local influencer/entrepreneur. To date, the Conductor has hosted Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry; Amy Fecher, Executive VP of Operations at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission; Earnest Sweat, California-based venture capitalist; Jeff Amerine, Principal of Startup Junkie Consulting; Jeff Standridge, Chief Catalyst of the Conductor; and Alison Williams, Chief-of-Staff for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, among others.

Don't miss a chance to hear about Mike Preston's life and business advice, and network over food!

This is free and open to the public.


5:00 p.m. - Doors Open + Networking

6:00 p.m. - Fireside Chat with Mike Preston

7:00 p.m. - Networking

About Mike Preston:
Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Michael “Mike” Preston executive director of the Arkansas Economic
Development Commission (AEDC) in March 2015. Preston is highly regarded as a leading advocate in
economic development. Since that time, Preston has made successful business recruitment trips to Japan, China, France, Germany, Israel, Cuba, Mexico, Italy, United Kingdom, New York City and Silicon Valley. The trips continue to play an important role in the state’s economic development efforts and have led to more than 300 companies signing agreements with AEDC to locate or expand in Arkansas. These companies are investing $8.06 billion and creating more than 16,000 new jobs.

Before joining AEDC, he served six and a half years as the Vice President of Government
Relations for Enterprise Florida, the state’s primary economic development organization.
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

In 2018, Preston was selected to join The Wall Street Journal’s prestigious CEO Council. It is an
invitation-only group that connects some of the world’s most ambitious and influential leaders
to discuss the issues shaping the future. The members lead companies that collectively employ
more than eight million people, generate $2.9 trillion in annual revenue and represent 20
countries in a wide cross-section of industries.

A 2005 graduate of the University of Florida, Mike and his wife Anne are proud to call Arkansas
home. They both volunteer in the community in a variety of ways, including the Children’s
Advocacy Centers of Arkansas, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Earlier Event: April 23
Adult Maker Class: Wire Sculpting