Aaron Utley, a 2021 graduate of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, recently joined Arkansas PBS as the broadcast network’s Corporate Relations Officer.
Utley manages relationships between Arkansas PBS, the only statewide public media network in Arkansas, and its corporate donors, communities, and local organizations. His position includes oversight of messaging for underwriting sponsorships, as well as creating and managing corporate events and sponsorships for those events.
Additionally, Utley helps Arkansas PBS strategically invest its time and resources in communities across the state in an effort to uncover programming opportunities. One of his priorities is to expand the network’s digital assets to create additional mediums for exposure and keep people from all demographics across Arkansas engaged with the network’s content.
Utley, who spent more than a decade working for Verizon Wireless, wanted to find a position that allowed him to combine his private sector experience with his new education in public service.
“This goes back to my interest in utilizing my experience in private enterprise in marketing and operations, where I prided myself on relationship-building for not only finding but implementing innovative solutions,” Utley said. “It was wonderful learning how I could integrate that world into the realm of public service. This perfect opportunity at Arkansas PBS, allowing me to do exactly that with the largest public media group in Arkansas, essentially came at just the right time after I had graduated from the Clinton School.”
As a Clinton School student, Utley used his Capstone project in a similar capacity – combining his Verizon Wireless experience with research on broadband internet accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic in rural areas of Arkansas. He used county-level data from 2020 to look at COVID-19 positivity rates, broadband internet access, median household income, and demographic data to determine underlying correlation.
“I love building relationships and investing in our communities and local businesses and organizations," Utley said. "Now I get to help provide them a platform to highlight the great work our communities do to serve our citizens!”
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.