Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be the luncheon speaker during a conference sponsored by Simmons Bank.

Titled, “The Arkansas Delta: Why It Still Matters,” the conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 19, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

“The future of the Delta region is important to all of Arkansas,” a spokesman said in a news release. “Our speakers will discuss economic development, education and health care as we plot a new course for the region.”

Morning speakers will include:

• Randy Zook of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce;

• Mike Preston of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission;

• Rodney Slater, former U.S. Transportation Secretary;

• Chancellor Laurence Alexander of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff;

• Shane Speights of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University at Jonesboro;

• Fitz Hill of the Scott Ford Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development;

Afternoon speakers will include:

• Chris Masingill of the Delta Regional Authority;

• Robert Moore Jr. of Arkansas City of the Arkansas Highway Commission;

• Ruth Hawkins of the Heritage Sites program at Arkansas State University;

• Scott Simon of the Nature Conservancy.

A catfish lunch will be served. There’s no registration fee, but those planning to attend are asked to register at