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Economy & Business

Jonesboro Unlimited Hires VP of Economic Development, Director of Communications

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Jonesboro Unlimited

This press release comes from Jonesboro Unlimited:

Jonesboro Unlimited has named the former Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development as its new Vice President of Economic Development.  Mike Downing has over 35 years of experience in economic development.  Under Downing’s leadership, Missouri was named the #1 economic development organization in the United States in 2014 by Pollina Real Estate.  Downing was also crucial in working with international auto executives at Ford and GM to help revitalize the auto industry in Missouri.  His efforts helped double auto plant employment between 2010 and 2016.

“Jonesboro and Craighead County are primed and ready to continue to develop economically.  Jonesboro has the infrastructure and educated workforce to continue to be a driving economic force in Northeast Arkansas and regionally as well.” – Jonesboro Unlimited V.P. of Economic Development Mike Downing

Downing has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor’s Degree from Arkansas State University.  During his time at A-State, Downing was a placekicker for the Indians, including the 1975 Indians squad, the last A-State football team to go undefeated.

Craig Rickert has been hired as Director of Communications for Jonesboro Unlimited.  Rickert was the lead anchor at KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, AR for 15 years.  In his 25-year career in television, Rickert won two Emmy awards and was honored several times for his anchoring and reporting in both news and sports by the Associated Press. Rickert has lived in Jonesboro for 15 years and serves as the Chairman of Crimestoppers of Jonesboro.

“Mike and Craig are a great fit for Jonesboro Unlimited.  Mike’s experience in economic development will help us continue to grow through attracting new businesses and expanding established companies.  Craig’s skills as a communicator are well known throughout this part of the state.  With his talents on board at Jonesboro Unlimited, we look forward to telling our story that Jonesboro has the workforce and infrastructure to bring in new, high-paying jobs.”

--Mark Young, President, Jonesboro Unlimited

About Jonesboro Unlimited:  Jonesboro Unlimited, created in 1986, is a private partnership organization dedicated to the advancement of economic prosperity in Jonesboro and the region.