Regional thinkers, leaders to meet this week in Little Rock
Navy's Oppel to give keynote address Friday

NOV. 9, 2010 -- More than two dozen Southern leaders and thinkers will meet this weekend in Little Rock for policy discussions that will include listening to a Friday keynote address by the federal coordinator of the Obama Administration's plan to restore the Gulf of Mexico.

"We're excited to meet over the weekend in Little Rock to talk about pragmatic tax reform, environmental and energy issues following the Gulf disaster and strategies to reduce violence across the South," said Andy Brack, president of the Center for a Better South. "We're extra excited to kick off our annual conference with Tom Oppel addressing more than 70 leaders and thinkers from across Arkansas and the South on Friday night at the Clinton Presidential Library."

The event is co-hosted by the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

"We're privileged to partner with the Center for a Better South in bringing Tom Oppel to Arkansas," said Skip Rutherford, Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. "Some of our students will also be participating in the conference where they will be discussing their public service field work at the Clinton School."

Thomas P. Oppel, special assistant to U.S. Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus, served as chief of staff to the federal effort for developing the Gulf restoration plan following the April oil disaster. Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, was put in charge of developing the plan by President Obama in June. Oppel's remarks will focus on the plan and its impact on the South. His remarks will come during a dinner in the Great Hall of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

MEDIA NOTE: The media is welcome to attend and cover Oppel's remarks Friday night, but are encouraged to reserve a space for the 7:30 p.m. dinner at: brack@bettersouth.org. The Saturday invitation-only conference is not open to the media, although a media availability can be scheduled if desired.

On Saturday during panels at the ThinkSouth 2010 conference, conferees will spend the day talking about tax reform, environmental and energy ideas, and ways to reduce violence across the South.

The Center for a Better South is a pragmatic, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to developing progressive ideas, policies and information for thinking leaders who want to make a difference in the American South.

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Center for a Better South
P.O. Box 22261
Charleston, S.C. 29413