FERNDALE — An Arkansas native with nearly a decade of experience in the hospitality industry has been hired as the marketing specialist for the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center – an opportunity his heart couldn’t pass up, according to a news release.

Marshall Robertson grew up in Pocahontas and graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in journalism and minor in marketing.

Before taking his new position, he worked for Delaware North, a hospitality company that manages dining, retail and lodging at large venues. While there, Robertson worked for the Nashville Predators and Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis.

“I was seeking an opportunity to use my marketing skills in a position that provided some real fulfillment on a day-to-day basis,” Robertson said. “Working at this beautiful facility with such nice people and being affiliated with 4-H has given me that wonderful opportunity.”

Job one for Robertson is to bring to the center to the forefront of people’s minds when looking for an event space to accommodate their organization. The center is located about 18 miles west of downtown Little Rock, surrounded by the eastern Ouachita Mountains. The center was built to house 4-H programs, but also serves as a conference center for a wide variety of groups.

“I would like to really generate some buzz about the Arkansas 4-H Center — to make it truly become ‘top of mind’ for groups, organizations and corporations across the state, so that it may be recognized and appreciated for the amazing facility it is,” Robertson said.

Robertson also said he wants the world to know that the center is not only a great destination for 4-Her’s and youth to gather, but also a prime location for adults to meet.

“My goal is to help adult groups understand that we provide exciting, engaging experiences that are like no other in the state — while being affordable, convenient and hospitable,” Robertson said.

Having a marketing specialist on board was necessary for the center’s sustainability, said Ewell Welch, executive director of the Arkansas 4-H Foundation, which owns the center.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with the background and qualifications of Marshall working to promote the C.A. Vine Arkansas 4 H Center and helping us to further the mission of the Foundation,” Welch said.

The Arkansas 4-H Foundation supports the programs of the youth development program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.

— Emily Thompson is with the U of A System Division of Agriculture.