Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced the 20 members of his Opportunity Zone Task Force on Friday. The volunteer members will identify potential projects for Little Rock’s four opportunity zones and present recommendations to the city on a “strategy” to attract investments in the zones.
Many of the task force members were present at the Opportunity Zone “roundtable” hosted by the city on Monday, during which White House officials and city leaders discussed the status of opportunity zones nationally and the future of Little Rock’s opportunity zones and the communities in which they’re located.
Will Rockefeller will chair the task force, and Martie North Hamilton, director of community development at Simmons Bank, is the co-chair. The other members are Regina Favors, former interim president of Arkansas Baptist College; Lisa Ferrell, CEO of Rockwater Village, a community development in North Little Rock; Merritt Dake, CEO of Rock Dental Brands; Virgil Miller of Arvest Bank; Angel Burt; Kevin Hutchingson; Shawn Govind, real estate director for Pinnacle Health Group; Leslie Lane, senior vice president of the Arkansas Capital Corporation; Ivan Hudson, an insurance agent with Farmers Insurance; Tristan Wilkerson, Little Rock native and managing principal of Think Rubix, LLC in Washington, D.C.; Lee Hastings IV, an agent with Flake & Kelley Commercial; Chris Moses, president and CEO of Newmark Moses Tucker Partners; Jill Floyd, director of community outreach for CDI Contractors; Richard Mays, an attorney with Mays, Byrd & Associates; Nathan Rutledge, senior managing director at Crews & Associates; Ted Dickey, a fund manager for CDFP Capital Management; Patrick Schueck, vice president at Lexicon, Inc.; and Pam Courtney, owner and developer of the Covenant Cove Community subdivision in West Little Rock.
Little Rock’s opportunity zones are in East Little Rock — east of I-30 and north of I-440, including East Village and the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport — South Little Rock, which includes the Pettaway neighborhood, and the 12th Street corridor. The opportunity zones provide tax incentives for private investment in low-income areas and were selected by Governor Hutchinson last year as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.