Patricia Brown, the director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Division, is retiring.
According to an AEDC spokesperson, Brown will be retiring on Friday, Dec. 4.
She has served in her current role since 2007. According to a biography on the University of Central Arkansas website, she was the first female to head the AEDC’s minority division.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson expanded the Minority Business Enterprise Program in 2017 to include Arkansas women-owned businesses and other diversity targets.
Brown joined the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission as its receptionist in 1975. Over the course of 45 years, she has served in a range of roles for the state’s economic development agency, including secretary to the industrial consultants, editor of the Arkansas Manufacturing Directory, research assistant, prospect development manager, marketing coordinator and trade show marketing manager.
“Pat’s impact to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and to the Arkansans who have benefitted from her work is significant,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston, said in a statement.
Brown obtained a bachelor’s degree from Philander Smith College and graduated from the Basic Economic Development Institute at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga. and the Economic Development Institute University of Oklahoma at Norman, Okla.