PACE Event 2023


  • 9:00 a.m. Introduction – Congressman Rick Crawford
  • 9:10 a.m. Tim Johnston, Arkansas Department of Education, Associate Director of Career and Technical Education
  • 9:35 a.m. Two-Year Colleges; Training Today’s Workforce
    • Dr. Cathie Cline, President, East Arkansas Community College
    • Dr. Christopher Heigle, President, Arkansas Northeastern College
    • Dr. Martin Eggensperger, President, Black River Technical College
    • Dr. Johnny Moore, Chancellor, Arkansas State University Newport
  • 10:25 a.m. Break
  • 10:35 a.m. Recruiting and Training Tomorrow’s Workforce
    • Randy Henderson, Arkansas Workforce Development, Board Member
    • Christy Valentine, Manager of Academic Programs, Hytrol
    • Graycen Bigger, Executive Director, NEA Intermodal Authority
    • Kevin Young, General Manager, Axis; Chairman, Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • 11:25 a.m. Lunch
  • 12:00 p.m.
    • Elizabeth Anderson, Lonoke Agriculture Business Academy
    • Lindsay Rich, STRIVE UALR (Arkansas Teachers Collaborating to Build a Diverse Workforce)
    • Big River Steel High School Recruitment Program
  • 12:45 p.m. Break for industry roundtable sessions
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Industry roundtable sessions
    • Roundtable discussions will feature seven manufacturers that will highlight their company’s job opportunities and the skills needed for their employees.



  • Hytrol
    • Christy Valentine, Manager of Academic Programs
  • Anchor Packaging
    • Bryan Thompson, EHS Director
    • Tonja Gibson, HR Director
  • Riceland Foods
    • Jake Guntharp, Recruiter
  • Nucor
    • Randy Henderson, Safety Coordinator
    • Brian Hrabik, Maintenance & Engineering Manager
    • Curt Medlin, Interim Environmental Manager
  • Axis
    • Kevin Young, General Manager
    • Rhonda Quenzer, HR Manager
  • Trinity Industries
    • Bobby Ferrell, Plant Manager
    • Tracey Crafton, HR Manager
  • Big River Steel
    • Lenore Trammell, Chief Administrator Officer
    • Tonya Stallings, HR Manager


Please confirm at registration you want to receive the six professional development hours for the PACE event. Your certificate will be emailed to you.

A special thank you to A-State Office of Education Renewal Zone for providing the meeting rooms in the Cooper Alumni Center, the College of Education & Behavioral Science for providing breakfast, and the College of Engineering & Computer Science for our lunch.