Simmons Bank will present “The Arkansas Delta, Why It Still Matters” Friday, May 19, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be the luncheon speaker. Onsite registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the conference will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A fried catfish lunch will be served.


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


There’s no cost to attend, however participants are asked to register as soon as possible and list the number of people planning to attend. Details: www.simmonsbank.com/delta


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; Fitzgerald 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 the Arkansas Highway Commission; Ruth Hawkins of the Heritage Sites program at Arkansas State University; and Scott Simon of the Nature Conservancy.