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Overview:

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal/state partnership designed to stimulate economic development in the Delta Region, as well as increase the area’s self-sufficiency, and to help improve the lives of the nearly 10 million residents of the 252 counties and parishes in the parts of the eight states that make up this economically distressed region. These states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

more
History:

Early American settlers profited by utilizing the rich resources of the Delta’s forests and rivers, and as a result, by 1860 it was one of the wealthiest regions in the United States. But a string of hardships, beginning with infrastructure damage sustained during the Civil War, and continuing today with the lingering devastation from Hurricane Katrina, has left the Delta Region one of the most impoverished areas in the United States.

 

To address these difficulties, Congress created the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), with passage of the Delta Regional Authority Act on December 21, 2000. Among the responsibilities with which it charged the DRA:

 

  • Appraise the needs and assets of the region, based on available research and investigations
  • Formulate plans and programs to establish priorities and approve grants for the economic development of the region
  • Originate and recommend to the governors and legislatures of states that participate in the Authority forms of interstate cooperation
  • Work with state and local agencies in developing appropriate model legislation
  • Encourage private investment in commercial, industrial, and other economic development projects in the region
  • Cooperate with, and assist governments of participating states with their own economic development programs

 

In 2002, the Delta Regional Authority was reauthorized in the Farm bill; in 2004, the Omnibus Appropriations bill further extended it; and language in the House and Senate version of the 2007 Farm Bill currently extends the DRA authorization to 2012.

more
What it Does:

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is composed of a federal co-chairman, appointed by the President, and the governors of the eight participating states, one of whom is elected state co-chairperson by the state members. It provides state and non-profit organizations with workforce and business development grants to help low-income communities access job training and entrepreneurship services, with the job training and employment-related programs emphasizing the use of existing public educational institutions in each region, and the business development services focusing on generating entrepreneurship and small business start-ups. Grants are also awarded to provide assistance to severely distressed and underdeveloped areas that lack financial resources for improving basic public services, and to state and local governments for further development on transportation infrastructure.

 

Under federal law, at least 75 percent of Delta Region funding must be for investing in distressed counties and parishes, and pockets of poverty, with 50% of the funds required to be earmarked for transportation and other basic infrastructure improvements. The DRA funds can also be used to leverage additional federal, state, and private programs that are focused on basic infrastructure development and transportation improvements, business development, and job training services.

 

Since the inception of the DRA Federal Grants Program, through the end of 2010, $86.2 million had been invested in 610 projects, with the following results: more than 6,500 jobs created, more than 6,000 jobs retained, more than 4,400 people trained for jobs, and more than 17,000 families receiving improved water and sewer services. DRA projections for 2012 are the creation of 19,522 job, 16,896 jobs retained, 6,548 people trained for job, and 57,823 families receiving new water and sewer services.

 

The DRA has worked with other agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Geological Survey, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and the Economic Development, Administration.

 

Among specific Delta Regional Authority activities:

 

Delta Doctors Program – An arrangement that allows foreign physicians who are trained in this country to work in medically underserved areas for three years, Delta Doctors Program increases the number of doctors serving Delta residents, with most then choosing to stay longer, once they develop a patient base, in areas where U.S.-born physicians are unlikely to settle.

 

The Delta Leadership Institute – Each of the eight governors and the federal Co-Chairman nominate four people annually to attend a yearlong leadership development program, in Partnership with the University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies. The program focuses on three areas: Understanding the Delta Region and its Challenges; Issues Engagement; and Leadership.

 

Delta Regional Authority Highway Transportation Plan –The Delta Development Highway System (DDHS), cost around $18.5 billion for improvement projects on 3,843 miles of roads in the region.

 

Healthy Delta Initiative – Partially funded by the Foundation of Wal-mart Stores Inc., the program educates Delta residents on the symptoms and dangers of diabetes, and holds free public health screenings. The web site www.healthydelta.com has been set up to assist Delta residents in researching health matters.

 

iDelta: Information Technology in the Delta – DRA in 2007 created an information technology plan, in response to the fact that many of the counties and parishes covered by the Delta Authority, especially those where poverty and unemployment rates are substantially higher than the national average, lack adequate access to a telecommunications infrastructure.

 

Refinery Study – In April 2007, the Delta Regional Authority released a study that identified sites in the region where oil refining facilities can be placed, in light of the facts that, according to the American Petroleum Institute, 32 refineries and more than 4,000 oil platforms and related facilities were damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The DRA study located seven counties and parishes in three states as possible locations meeting the general evaluation criteria. The two most favorable sites are East Carroll Parish in Louisiana, and Washington County in Mississippi. The remaining five, in order of priority, are, Bolivar County in Mississippi, Leflore County in Mississippi, Richland Parish in Louisiana, Chicot County in Arkansas, and Panola County in Mississippi.

 

Innovative Readiness Training – IRT is a joint project of the DRA and the Department of Defense designed to military medical personnel with training in rural areas where citizens are in need of medical care. Launched in July 2009, IRT ran for two weeks in two communities pre-selected by the Pentagon—Clarksdale, Mississippi, and Hayneville, Alabama.

 

From the Web Site of the DRA:

Calendar of Events

Contact Information

Delta Doctors

DRA Video

Economic Development

Eight Involved State Maps

Grant Program

Initiatives

News

Press ReleasesSuccess Stories

more
Former Directors:

Patrick Hayes (Pete) Johnson

Pete Johnson’s grandfather served as a Mississippi Congressman and Governor, and his uncle was Mississippi Lieutenant Governor and Governor. Johnson, himself, received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi at Oxford in 1971, and a law degree from the Jackson School of Law in 1974. He joined the Bank of Clarksdale as a Senior Vice President, and also served as President of the Young Bankers Section of the Mississippi Bankers Association. He then moved into the financial planning field and formed his own firm. In 1984, the Governor of Mississippi appointed him Chair of the Mississippi Marketing Council. He was also President of the Clarksdale-Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce and Director of the Delta Council’s Community and Industrial Development Board. In 1988 Johnson was elected to a four-year term as Mississippi State Auditor, after which President George H. W. Bush appointed him Mississippi Director of the Farmers Home Administration. Johnson practiced law in Clarksdale for the firm, Johnson Bobo. On October 23, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Johnson to become the first Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

 

Johnson is a long-time contributor to the Republican Party and Republican candidates. In 2008, he contributed to the presidential campaigns of Mike Huckabee and John McCain. 

 

Rex Nelson

Rex Nelson received a BA in Mass Communications from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1982. He went on to spend four years as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Arkansas Democrat newspaper. He was also the editor of Arkansas Business; the Political Editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, from July 1992 to July 1996; the host of a daily political talk radio show; and campaign manager and Director of Policy and Communications for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. In 2007 Nelson contributed to the Huckabee for President campaign. In August 2005, President Bush appointed Nelson co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

 

In 1993 Nelson co-wrote, with Phillip Martin, a positive biography of Hillary Clinton entitled, The Hillary Factor: The Story of America’s First Lady.

 

Official Bio (Ouachita Baptist University)

Former Huckabee aide now leads efforts to improve Delta (by Wesley Brown, Arkansas News)


Mike Huckabee

more

Comments

Doug C 2 months ago
I'd like to see who is paid what since I'm "contributing" - where does the 22.5 mil go
N Kyle 8 years ago
Why is this Agency needed? The whole country is depressed--not just Appalachia and the Delta. Was this Agency watching drilling activities? Hopefully we will not have another duplicative agency to address BP issues. AND, what is this group doing now?

Leave a comment

Founded: 2000
Annual Budget: $11.3 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 5 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.dra.gov/
Delta Regional Authority
Masingill, Chris
Federal Co-Chair

After being nominated by President Barack Obama on April 22, 2010, Chris Masingill was confirmed by the Senate to be federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) on June 24, 2010. DRA is an independent Federal/State partnership designed to stimulate economic development in the Mississippi River Delta Region, increase the area’s self-sufficiency, and help improve the lives of its nearly 9.5 million residents of the 252 counties and parishes in the parts of the eight states that make up this economically distressed region.  These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.  

 
Born in Texas ca. 1973, Chris Masingill’s family has roots in Morrilton, Arkansas, although he earned his Bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he volunteered to work on several area municipal campaigns, and served as student body president for the 1996-1997 academic year.  
 
After graduating in 1997, Masingill went to work for Blanche Lincoln’s successful 1998 U.S. Senate campaign as deputy finance manager. After Lincoln was elected, Masingill served as assistant to her chief of staff. In 2000, he was Special Projects Assistant during Congress’s establishment of the Delta Regional Authority. Working for Senator Lincoln, he focused on appropriations and special projects concerning community and economic development.  Dispatched by Lincoln to work on Mike Ross’s congressional campaign, Masingill helped Ross to victory and then served as his District Director from 2001 to 2005.  Beginning in February 2005, he was interim executive director of Arkansas’ Democratic Party for a 90-day transition period. At that time, he was already vice chairman of the Garland County Democratic Central Committee.
 
In 2006, he was Governor Mike Beebe’s gubernatorial campaign manager.  After Beebe’s election win, the Governor rewarded his manager by appointing him as Arkansas’s Recovery Implementation Director for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, which acts as the official liaison between the Governor’s office and the federal delegation, federal agencies and the National Governors Association.  He was also the Governor’s chief policy advisor to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas’s official Designee and Alternate on the U.S. Delta Regional Authority’s board of directors. 
 
Masingill has also been active in professional and community organizations, including serving as an executive officer on the Arkansas Economic Developers Association Board of Directors and is currently a member of the Friends of Small Business Advisory Board for the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.  He also serves as a reserve deputy sheriff for Garland County, Arkansas.
 
Masingill lives in Little Rock with his wife, Melissa Masingill, who is Director of Communications & Government Relations at Delta Dental of Arkansas
 
A Democrat, Masingill attended the 2008 Democratic convention as a Hilary Clinton delegate. In 2010, he donated $250 to Democrat Chad Causey, the party’s nominee to represent Arkansas’s First Congressional district. A year earlier, in 2009, Melissa Masingill donated $250 to the Democratic National Committee. 
 
 
 
more
Johnson, Patrick "Pete"
Previous Federal Co-Chairman

Pete Johnson’s grandfather served as a Mississippi Congressman and Governor, and his uncle was Mississippi Lieutenant Governor and Governor. Johnson himself received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi at Oxford in 1971 and a law degree from the Jackson School of Law in 1974. He joined the Bank of Clarksdale as a Senior Vice President, and also served as President of the Young Bankers Section of the Mississippi Bankers Association. He then moved into the financial planning field and formed his own firm. In 1984, the Governor of Mississippi appointed him Chair of the Mississippi Marketing Council. He was also President of the Clarksdale-Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce and Director of the Delta Council’s Community and Industrial Development Board. In 1988 Johnson was elected to a four-year term as Mississippi State Auditor, after which President George H. W. Bush appointed him Mississippi Director of the Farmers Home Administration. Johnson practiced law in Clarksdale for the firm, Johnson Bobo. On October 23, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Johnson to become the first Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

 
Johnson is a long-time contributor to the Republican Party and Republican candidates. In 2008, he contributed to the presidential campaigns of Mike Huckabee and John McCain. 
 
Current Alternate Federal Co-Chairman: Rex Nelson
Rex Nelson received a BA in Mass Communications from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1982. He went on to spend four years as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Arkansas Democrat newspaper. He was also the editor of Arkansas Business; the Political Editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, from July 1992 to July 1996; the host of a daily political talk radio show; and campaign manager and Director of Policy and Communications for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. In 2007 Nelson contributed to the Huckabee for President campaign. In August 2005, President Bush appointed Nelson co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.
 
In 1993 Nelson co-wrote, with Phillip Martin, a positive biography of Hillary Clinton entitled, The Hillary Factor: The Story of America’s First Lady.
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal/state partnership designed to stimulate economic development in the Delta Region, as well as increase the area’s self-sufficiency, and to help improve the lives of the nearly 10 million residents of the 252 counties and parishes in the parts of the eight states that make up this economically distressed region. These states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

more
History:

Early American settlers profited by utilizing the rich resources of the Delta’s forests and rivers, and as a result, by 1860 it was one of the wealthiest regions in the United States. But a string of hardships, beginning with infrastructure damage sustained during the Civil War, and continuing today with the lingering devastation from Hurricane Katrina, has left the Delta Region one of the most impoverished areas in the United States.

 

To address these difficulties, Congress created the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), with passage of the Delta Regional Authority Act on December 21, 2000. Among the responsibilities with which it charged the DRA:

 

  • Appraise the needs and assets of the region, based on available research and investigations
  • Formulate plans and programs to establish priorities and approve grants for the economic development of the region
  • Originate and recommend to the governors and legislatures of states that participate in the Authority forms of interstate cooperation
  • Work with state and local agencies in developing appropriate model legislation
  • Encourage private investment in commercial, industrial, and other economic development projects in the region
  • Cooperate with, and assist governments of participating states with their own economic development programs

 

In 2002, the Delta Regional Authority was reauthorized in the Farm bill; in 2004, the Omnibus Appropriations bill further extended it; and language in the House and Senate version of the 2007 Farm Bill currently extends the DRA authorization to 2012.

more
What it Does:

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is composed of a federal co-chairman, appointed by the President, and the governors of the eight participating states, one of whom is elected state co-chairperson by the state members. It provides state and non-profit organizations with workforce and business development grants to help low-income communities access job training and entrepreneurship services, with the job training and employment-related programs emphasizing the use of existing public educational institutions in each region, and the business development services focusing on generating entrepreneurship and small business start-ups. Grants are also awarded to provide assistance to severely distressed and underdeveloped areas that lack financial resources for improving basic public services, and to state and local governments for further development on transportation infrastructure.

 

Under federal law, at least 75 percent of Delta Region funding must be for investing in distressed counties and parishes, and pockets of poverty, with 50% of the funds required to be earmarked for transportation and other basic infrastructure improvements. The DRA funds can also be used to leverage additional federal, state, and private programs that are focused on basic infrastructure development and transportation improvements, business development, and job training services.

 

Since the inception of the DRA Federal Grants Program, through the end of 2010, $86.2 million had been invested in 610 projects, with the following results: more than 6,500 jobs created, more than 6,000 jobs retained, more than 4,400 people trained for jobs, and more than 17,000 families receiving improved water and sewer services. DRA projections for 2012 are the creation of 19,522 job, 16,896 jobs retained, 6,548 people trained for job, and 57,823 families receiving new water and sewer services.

 

The DRA has worked with other agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Geological Survey, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and the Economic Development, Administration.

 

Among specific Delta Regional Authority activities:

 

Delta Doctors Program – An arrangement that allows foreign physicians who are trained in this country to work in medically underserved areas for three years, Delta Doctors Program increases the number of doctors serving Delta residents, with most then choosing to stay longer, once they develop a patient base, in areas where U.S.-born physicians are unlikely to settle.

 

The Delta Leadership Institute – Each of the eight governors and the federal Co-Chairman nominate four people annually to attend a yearlong leadership development program, in Partnership with the University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies. The program focuses on three areas: Understanding the Delta Region and its Challenges; Issues Engagement; and Leadership.

 

Delta Regional Authority Highway Transportation Plan –The Delta Development Highway System (DDHS), cost around $18.5 billion for improvement projects on 3,843 miles of roads in the region.

 

Healthy Delta Initiative – Partially funded by the Foundation of Wal-mart Stores Inc., the program educates Delta residents on the symptoms and dangers of diabetes, and holds free public health screenings. The web site www.healthydelta.com has been set up to assist Delta residents in researching health matters.

 

iDelta: Information Technology in the Delta – DRA in 2007 created an information technology plan, in response to the fact that many of the counties and parishes covered by the Delta Authority, especially those where poverty and unemployment rates are substantially higher than the national average, lack adequate access to a telecommunications infrastructure.

 

Refinery Study – In April 2007, the Delta Regional Authority released a study that identified sites in the region where oil refining facilities can be placed, in light of the facts that, according to the American Petroleum Institute, 32 refineries and more than 4,000 oil platforms and related facilities were damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The DRA study located seven counties and parishes in three states as possible locations meeting the general evaluation criteria. The two most favorable sites are East Carroll Parish in Louisiana, and Washington County in Mississippi. The remaining five, in order of priority, are, Bolivar County in Mississippi, Leflore County in Mississippi, Richland Parish in Louisiana, Chicot County in Arkansas, and Panola County in Mississippi.

 

Innovative Readiness Training – IRT is a joint project of the DRA and the Department of Defense designed to military medical personnel with training in rural areas where citizens are in need of medical care. Launched in July 2009, IRT ran for two weeks in two communities pre-selected by the Pentagon—Clarksdale, Mississippi, and Hayneville, Alabama.

 

From the Web Site of the DRA:

Calendar of Events

Contact Information

Delta Doctors

DRA Video

Economic Development

Eight Involved State Maps

Grant Program

Initiatives

News

Press ReleasesSuccess Stories

more
Former Directors:

Patrick Hayes (Pete) Johnson

Pete Johnson’s grandfather served as a Mississippi Congressman and Governor, and his uncle was Mississippi Lieutenant Governor and Governor. Johnson, himself, received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi at Oxford in 1971, and a law degree from the Jackson School of Law in 1974. He joined the Bank of Clarksdale as a Senior Vice President, and also served as President of the Young Bankers Section of the Mississippi Bankers Association. He then moved into the financial planning field and formed his own firm. In 1984, the Governor of Mississippi appointed him Chair of the Mississippi Marketing Council. He was also President of the Clarksdale-Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce and Director of the Delta Council’s Community and Industrial Development Board. In 1988 Johnson was elected to a four-year term as Mississippi State Auditor, after which President George H. W. Bush appointed him Mississippi Director of the Farmers Home Administration. Johnson practiced law in Clarksdale for the firm, Johnson Bobo. On October 23, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Johnson to become the first Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

 

Johnson is a long-time contributor to the Republican Party and Republican candidates. In 2008, he contributed to the presidential campaigns of Mike Huckabee and John McCain. 

 

Rex Nelson

Rex Nelson received a BA in Mass Communications from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1982. He went on to spend four years as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Arkansas Democrat newspaper. He was also the editor of Arkansas Business; the Political Editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, from July 1992 to July 1996; the host of a daily political talk radio show; and campaign manager and Director of Policy and Communications for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. In 2007 Nelson contributed to the Huckabee for President campaign. In August 2005, President Bush appointed Nelson co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

 

In 1993 Nelson co-wrote, with Phillip Martin, a positive biography of Hillary Clinton entitled, The Hillary Factor: The Story of America’s First Lady.

 

Official Bio (Ouachita Baptist University)

Former Huckabee aide now leads efforts to improve Delta (by Wesley Brown, Arkansas News)


Mike Huckabee

more

Comments

Doug C 2 months ago
I'd like to see who is paid what since I'm "contributing" - where does the 22.5 mil go
N Kyle 8 years ago
Why is this Agency needed? The whole country is depressed--not just Appalachia and the Delta. Was this Agency watching drilling activities? Hopefully we will not have another duplicative agency to address BP issues. AND, what is this group doing now?

Leave a comment

Founded: 2000
Annual Budget: $11.3 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 5 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.dra.gov/
Delta Regional Authority
Masingill, Chris
Federal Co-Chair

After being nominated by President Barack Obama on April 22, 2010, Chris Masingill was confirmed by the Senate to be federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) on June 24, 2010. DRA is an independent Federal/State partnership designed to stimulate economic development in the Mississippi River Delta Region, increase the area’s self-sufficiency, and help improve the lives of its nearly 9.5 million residents of the 252 counties and parishes in the parts of the eight states that make up this economically distressed region.  These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.  

 
Born in Texas ca. 1973, Chris Masingill’s family has roots in Morrilton, Arkansas, although he earned his Bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he volunteered to work on several area municipal campaigns, and served as student body president for the 1996-1997 academic year.  
 
After graduating in 1997, Masingill went to work for Blanche Lincoln’s successful 1998 U.S. Senate campaign as deputy finance manager. After Lincoln was elected, Masingill served as assistant to her chief of staff. In 2000, he was Special Projects Assistant during Congress’s establishment of the Delta Regional Authority. Working for Senator Lincoln, he focused on appropriations and special projects concerning community and economic development.  Dispatched by Lincoln to work on Mike Ross’s congressional campaign, Masingill helped Ross to victory and then served as his District Director from 2001 to 2005.  Beginning in February 2005, he was interim executive director of Arkansas’ Democratic Party for a 90-day transition period. At that time, he was already vice chairman of the Garland County Democratic Central Committee.
 
In 2006, he was Governor Mike Beebe’s gubernatorial campaign manager.  After Beebe’s election win, the Governor rewarded his manager by appointing him as Arkansas’s Recovery Implementation Director for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, which acts as the official liaison between the Governor’s office and the federal delegation, federal agencies and the National Governors Association.  He was also the Governor’s chief policy advisor to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas’s official Designee and Alternate on the U.S. Delta Regional Authority’s board of directors. 
 
Masingill has also been active in professional and community organizations, including serving as an executive officer on the Arkansas Economic Developers Association Board of Directors and is currently a member of the Friends of Small Business Advisory Board for the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.  He also serves as a reserve deputy sheriff for Garland County, Arkansas.
 
Masingill lives in Little Rock with his wife, Melissa Masingill, who is Director of Communications & Government Relations at Delta Dental of Arkansas
 
A Democrat, Masingill attended the 2008 Democratic convention as a Hilary Clinton delegate. In 2010, he donated $250 to Democrat Chad Causey, the party’s nominee to represent Arkansas’s First Congressional district. A year earlier, in 2009, Melissa Masingill donated $250 to the Democratic National Committee. 
 
 
 
more
Johnson, Patrick "Pete"
Previous Federal Co-Chairman

Pete Johnson’s grandfather served as a Mississippi Congressman and Governor, and his uncle was Mississippi Lieutenant Governor and Governor. Johnson himself received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi at Oxford in 1971 and a law degree from the Jackson School of Law in 1974. He joined the Bank of Clarksdale as a Senior Vice President, and also served as President of the Young Bankers Section of the Mississippi Bankers Association. He then moved into the financial planning field and formed his own firm. In 1984, the Governor of Mississippi appointed him Chair of the Mississippi Marketing Council. He was also President of the Clarksdale-Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce and Director of the Delta Council’s Community and Industrial Development Board. In 1988 Johnson was elected to a four-year term as Mississippi State Auditor, after which President George H. W. Bush appointed him Mississippi Director of the Farmers Home Administration. Johnson practiced law in Clarksdale for the firm, Johnson Bobo. On October 23, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Johnson to become the first Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

 
Johnson is a long-time contributor to the Republican Party and Republican candidates. In 2008, he contributed to the presidential campaigns of Mike Huckabee and John McCain. 
 
Current Alternate Federal Co-Chairman: Rex Nelson
Rex Nelson received a BA in Mass Communications from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1982. He went on to spend four years as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Arkansas Democrat newspaper. He was also the editor of Arkansas Business; the Political Editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, from July 1992 to July 1996; the host of a daily political talk radio show; and campaign manager and Director of Policy and Communications for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. In 2007 Nelson contributed to the Huckabee for President campaign. In August 2005, President Bush appointed Nelson co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.
 
In 1993 Nelson co-wrote, with Phillip Martin, a positive biography of Hillary Clinton entitled, The Hillary Factor: The Story of America’s First Lady.
 
more