Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson has announced Larry Walther as the new Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, Jami Cook as the new Director of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, and State Senator Bruce Holland as the new Director of Livestock and Poultry.
In addition, Hutchinson said he will keep Joe Fox as State Forester at the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Larry Walther was most recently a member of the board of directors for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Prior to that, Walther served as Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and he was the director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development (now AEDC) under former Gov. Mike Huckabee.
“I am pleased to announce Larry Walther as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. The breadth of experience Larry has gathered over the course of his career, along with his institutional knowledge of state government have prepared him for this new role, and I have no doubt he will represent our state and this department well,” Hutchinson said.
Jami Cook has been the Arkansas State Police Program Director for the past 10 years. She started her law enforcement career as a Newport Police officer in 1994 and has over 20 years of law enforcement experience. She holds a Senior Law Enforcement Certificate from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. In 2009, Cook was appointed as a Commissioner to the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.
Senator Bruce Holland, R-Greenwood, has made his living as a full-time cattleman since 2005. He was born and raised in south Sebastian County where his family has made their living raising cattle for six generations dating back to the early 1800s.
Holland has served on several boards and committees serving agriculture on county, state, and national levels, including: past President Sebastian County Farm Bureau, Sebastian County Fair Association, Farm Service Agency Farmer Elected Committee (Chairman for Crawford, Scott, and Sebastian Counties), past Vice President of Sebastian County Cattlemen’s Association, Director of Farmers Cooperative in Van Buren, and Ag Governance Council for the Land O’Lake’s Corporation (one of four producers on a nine member board representing 14 states).
Holland was elected to the State Senate in 2010 and has served as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee.
“Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, and a critical staple of our economy. Bruce’s background in animal agriculture and experience in the legislature have prepared him for this new opportunity as the new Director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. I am confident in Bruce’s work, and I know he will represent our state and the industry well,” Hutchinson said.
Joe Fox has held the title of State Forester since May of 2012. Prior to that, Fox was the Director of Conservation Forestry for the Nature Conservancy in Arkansas from 2000 to 2012. Fox was the Chairman of the Forestry Commission from 1995-96 and President of the Forestry Association from 1990-91.