FAVORITE METRO LOCALS: Diego Morales Ibarra, Hillcrest
Program Coordinator at Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center
Originally from: Guanajuato, Mexico | Neighborhood: Hillcrest
A native of Mexico, Diego moved to Little Rock and started his career as an intern at the Mexican Consulate. Now, he works as a program coordinator at ASBTDC and serves on the board for Create Little Rock, an initiative that aims to provide opportunities for networking and professional growth to local young professionals. At work and through the Create Little Rock organization, Diego gets to help others fulfill their dream of starting their own business, connect with his peers and give back to his community.
What do you think of your new hometown?
“Little Rock is very welcoming. The first day I arrived, I instantly felt at home. The people are extremely friendly and willing to help one another succeed.”
What makes the Metro a great place to work and start a business?
“Little Rock provides numerous accessible resources to ensure the success of new businesses—and now those resources are available in Spanish too. Diminishing the language barrier for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs is a tremendous step forward to assist minority-run businesses in Little Rock.”
Why is Create Little Rock a great outlet for newcomers?
“It is a great resource for local professionals to make valuable connections. All of my [Create Little Rock] colleagues are young professionals who are committed to helping other young professionals. [The organization] can undoubtedly help you in your professional and personal life. I have been able to develop great friendships.”
How do you spend your free time in the Metro?
“I enjoy hanging out with my friends and getting dinner at my favorite local restaurants. I also enjoy exercising after work. I recently adopted Leo, a 1-year-old pup with a lot of energy. So, right now, I am dedicating a lot of time to training and taking care of him.”
What are your favorite events and festivities in Little Rock?
“I love Hillcrest Harvestfest and the new Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) event downtown. Dia de Muertos is a beautiful way to remember your loved ones who have passed away and is a tradition that I have celebrated my entire life.”
Morning coffee ritual: Iced coffee at Fidel & Co. (East Village)
Best business lunch: 42 Bar & Table (downtown)
Happy hour hang: Brood & Barley (Argenta)
After hours must: Sunsets at Two Rivers Park (West Little Rock)