State a natural for Salvadoran Esperenza Massana Crane

Development director from business family

Esperanza Massana Crane, director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, sits on a panel discussion on resources for small business owners at the Venture Center earlier this month. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford)

Esperenza Massana Crane was drawn to Arkansas from her native El Salvador in 1998 by a newspaper ad pitching a scholarship to Arkansas colleges. Harding University in Searcy was the destination -- and it forever changed her career trajectory.