In 2022, Arkansas continues to punch above its weight class in many areas of industry including technology. From startup ecosystems centered around Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas to the native innovation that led to the founding of such industry giants as Acxiom and Systematics (now a part of FIS), the state’s commitment to technology is stronger than ever.
And, as Lee Watson of Forge Institute points out here, Arkansas is becoming a leader in the all-important field of cybersecurity. Many Arkansans are working to make a difference in tech-related fields, and AMP is proud to recognize a few of them — 30 “titans of tech” whose work is helping advance the state forward whether simply through contributions to their local economies or game-changing innovation.
Serial Tech Pioneer
Many of us know Jerry Adams from his extensive history of public service that includes education, entrepreneurship, innovation, health care and philanthropy. His vision has served organizations like Accelerate Arkansas, Funds for Arkansas’ Future, the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and VIC Technology Venture. His influence is as limitless as his energy.
I met Jerry through the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA), from which he has recently retired as founding president and CEO. He established ARA in 2007 as a public-private partnership, 501c(3) economic-development organization dedicated to elevating the belief that “research matters.” Through Jerry’s leadership, ARA has come to recognize 32 members of the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows, fielded more than 30 scientific projects through the ARA Impact Grant program, helped conceive of the ARA Core Facilities Exchange and was instrumental in Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Computing and Data Analytics, which gave rise to the $24 million state-NSF DART program and oversaw a decades-long partnership with NCTR.
Jerry’s stamp on the state’s technology and research community leaves an impact that endures so long as we treasure innovation and discovery as much as he.
– Bryan Barnhouse, President & CEO, Arkansas Research Alliance
Uday Akkaraju is the CEO of BOND.AI, an award-winning, human-centered artificial intelligence platform for banks. Akkaraju has a background in interaction design and cognitive science and focuses on making machine intelligence empathetic. He created the world’s first Empathy EngineTM for finance and was recognized as an “International Innovator” by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Prior to BOND.AI, he founded and successfully ran an artificial-intelligence research lab that helped early-stage companies design the product and take it to market. He regularly speaks at international AI and fintech conferences such as the Mobile World Congress, Paris Fintech Forum, Money 2020, IBM Tech Talks, Signal, Finovate, Voice and more. Akkaraju also advises AI startups and entrepreneurs to help create fair and equitable machine-learning systems.
Akkaraju moved the firm’s headquarters from New York to Little Rock in 2017 after participating in The Venture Center’s VC FinTech Accelerator. BOND.AI also has offices in Pune, India, and Geneva, Switzerland.
Chairman & CEO
Tony Aquila is an American businessman, investor, serial entrepreneur and inventor associated with 100-plus patents in the automotive, aeronautics and cybersecurity sectors. He is the executive chairman and CEO of Canoo, an electric vehicle manufacturer that recently announced plans to move its headquarters to Bentonville and build R&D and other facilities in Northwest Arkansas.
Growing up on the fringes of Silicon Valley with a mathematical and entrepreneurial mind, Aquila founded in his garage, grew and sold several technology startups during the dot-com years, ultimately founding Solera in 2005. Solera is an automotive technology company that he founded with GTCR as his capital partner. Under his leadership, the company went public through a $1 billion initial public offering in 2007 and private again in 2016 at a valuation of $6.5 billion.
In 2019, based on his proven track record of more than 70 transactions with $15 billion in aggregate value and an industry leading return profile, Aquila founded AFV Partners LLC, a long-term sustainable capital vehicle that invests globally in assets that contribute to a net positive impact on the environment. Canoo is currently one of AFV’s significant investments.
The Computer Hut, LLC
Led by CEO Chris Bates, the Computer Hut has solved tech issues for Arkansans since its founding in 1992. Throughout its growth, the company has proven that its core value is service excellence. Bates and his team handle cyber and data security challenges with a special emphasis on the needs of health care organizations in maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Headquartered in Little Rock, The Computer Hut has more than 40 IT professionals with five offices across the state. In 2002, the company got its first big break when Metropolitan National Bank outsourced its IT to the small tech company. Metropolitan National Bank was The Computer Hut’s largest client until the bank was acquired by Simmons. The firm has been working at full steam ever since, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of technology services and working from home. Bates is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a BBA in computer information systems.
Chris Beaty is the CEO of Rogers-based TeleComp, a full service IT company that supports leading organizations in government, health care, education and business throughout the United States. As CEO, Beaty oversees the strategic direction of the company and its employees. In the past three years, Beaty steered TeleComp into a period of growth that included the expansion to several locations throughout the southeastern United States including Little Rock, Tulsa and Houston. Throughout this high-growth period, Beaty continues to drive and advance TeleComp’s vision of providing high-quality solutions to the communities it serves.
Beaty has nearly 15 years of experience in telecom operations, business operations and management. Prior to TeleComp, he worked at IPC Communications for 12 years as a partner and director of operations where he led the 2016 merger of IPC with TeleComp.
A native of Fort Smith, Beaty holds a bachelor’s degree in real estate finance from the University of Arkansas.
Rajesh Chokhani is the former COO of Welspun Tubular, which operates a factory at the Port of Little Rock, and current president at BOND.AI and its spinoff, FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Chokhani moved to Little Rock in 2007 to run Welspun’s first facility outside of India. Under his leadership, Welspun’s local presence grew to cover more than 800 acres and 1,000 employees.
Late in his career, Chokhani learned of the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) concept. Partnering with BOND.AI, he made it his mission to deliver financial and retirement education to as many people as he could through the Empathy Engine product, which empowers consumers to take control of their financial lives while rewarding them for taking the proper steps towards retirement. Since moving to Arkansas, Chokhani’s board service and philanthropic endeavors have included Arvest Bank, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, UA-Pulaski Technical College, Harmony Health Clinic, Hindu Temple of Central Arkansas and IndiaFest.
Kevin Clark, CEO of NOW Diagnostics in Springdale, is a proven leader with extensive experience scaling diagnostics companies from inception to lucrative exit on a global scale. He has successfully ushered 126 products through the FDA approval process. His career includes the development of a diagnostics company, serving as COO and CEO. He sourced investors and sold that company to one of the largest life sciences companies in the world. As CEO of ERBA Diagnostics, Clark brought the company to profitability following losses in nine consecutive quarters.
Prior to that, he served six years as COO of IVAX Diagnostics, the parent company of ImmunoVision Inc., which he founded in 1987 and sold to IVAX Corporation in 1995. During his 18 years at ImmunoVision/IVAX Diagnostics, he was directly responsible for the successful development and clinical trials of 18 diagnostic test kits. He was EVP and founding member of the Arkansas Biotechnology Association and has served on the board for the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation and Arkansas BioVentures.
Clement has more than 29 years of experience in medical devices including surgical robotics. He left corporate America to join the startup world in 2008 and started with Fayetteville’s Lineus Medical in 2015 as COO. He became CEO in 2018. His passion is to create and build companies that invent revolutionary products that provide a better quality of life.
Lineus is the maker of SafeBreak Vascular, a breakaway connector that separates when a damaging force is placed on a peripheral IV line. By removing the damaging force, the IV line can be saved preventing the loss of medication, the use of unnecessary medical supplies and the need for another needlestick for the patient. Clement serves as a mentor to other startups as well as to biomedical and industrial engineering students at the University of Arkansas. He earned a BS in industrial engineering from the UA and an MBA from Christian Brothers University in Memphis.
Founder and CEO
Kundan Das is the founder and CEO of Labscoop, a team-centric e-commerce engine for laboratories based in Little Rock. Labscoop enables lab members, managers and administrators to streamline team communications and institutional procurement workflows. The B2B marketplace application hosts nearly 10 million products from niche to industry-leading suppliers and is utilized by a wide range of labs at organizations including the NIH, Stanford, MIT, University of Michigan and SpaceX.
Prior to Labscoop, Das founded a company in the field of redox biochemistry. His company developed assay technologies to detect mitochondrial and antioxidant enzyme activity and has been cited in numerous publications. Das also founded a nonprofit that led a grant-funded project to retrofit school buses to emit lower emissions and utilize alternative fuels. Das was named Wildlife Federation’s Youth Conservationist of the Year.
More recently, Das co-founded Advance Vascular, a MedTech startup company pioneering the first-ever “smart” topical oxygen device.
Co-founder and CEO
In 2012, Josh Davenport joined forces with Heather Nelson to found Seal Solar. Since then, he has helped fuel its growth into one of Arkansas’ leading solar design and installation businesses. Today, Seal Solar employs 46 certified local professionals and offers turnkey solutions to homeowners, businesses, government entities and farmers across the state.
A top voice in Arkansas’s renewable energy industry, Davenport is a member of Arkansas Advanced Energy Association Distributed General Task Force and former president of the Arkansas Chapter of Energy Engineers. He is chairman of the Argenta Downtown Council and board member of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and UA Little Rock Alumni Association.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ouachita Baptist University; a bachelor’s in construction management and master’s in business administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and is a certified Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst and BPI Healthy Home Evaluator.
Derek A. Dyson
Today’s Power Inc.
Derek A. Dyson is the CEO/President of Today’s Power Inc. (TPI). A former shareholder for more than 20 years with the law firm of Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, he has worked closely in developing and implementing energy solutions for cooperatives, municipalities, tribal communities and independent developers. Dyson has worked on the financing, development, construction, operation and decommissioning of numerous energy projects across the United States and internationally. He has been a contracting officer with both the Department of Navy and the White House Situation Support Staff, as well as a law clerk with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
President and CEO
Chad Engelgau serves as Acxiom’s president and CEO, providing strategic leadership to the organization, which focuses on helping brands better use data, identity and technology solutions to understand people, and create growth for their businesses. Engelgau is a founding member of Acxiom’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness) Council and the executive sponsor for two of Acxiom’s business resource groups, Acxiom Women LEAD and Acxiom Black Employee Network. He also serves on the board of directors for the Ad Council and is a member of the Ad Council Audit Committee.
Previously, he served as global chief data strategist at Kinesso, the marketing intelligence unit of The Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (IPG), Acxiom’s parent company. He joined Kinesso after spending 13 years at Acxiom, where he held a variety of key leadership roles including CMO and head of strategy. Over his tenure, he was responsible for leading data and identity product management and strategy as well as product marketing. Before joining Acxiom, Engelgau spent nine years at Dell Inc.
Founder and CTO
Justin French is a founder and CTO at AngelEye Health, a leading provider of family engagement solutions for the NICU and PICU environments. French and others from UAMS Health founded AngelEye Health in 2013 to provide on-demand streaming video to families with children in the NICU/PICU. In his role as chief technology officer, French is a member of the leadership committee, contributing his expertise in product development and innovation as well as business growth initiatives that have led to the company’s robust expansion in recent years.
He is also responsible for AngelEye’s technical and product fulfillment teams. AngelEye’s cameras are now installed on 70 percent of NICU beds in Arkansas, the highest percentage of NICU beds with cameras in the nation, and are installed in 130 hospitals across the country.
Jake Gulick started his career in orthodontic technology in 2007 with Televox, which provided web design, appointment reminders and patient portals for dental and orthodontic clinics. In 2011, he moved to Cloud9Ortho, a new orthodontic-practice management software company that then had only two customers. Cloud9Ortho was the first cloud software in the orthodontic industry that let practices run their clinics without servers, from anywhere with an internet connection.
Gulick left Cloud9 in 2015 to help start Little Rock’s Greyfinch, where he saw an opportunity to finally assemble “all of the missing pieces” into a comprehensive orthodontic practice management software that would benefit both the practice and the patient. After multiple years in development and beta testing, Greyfinch started accepting new customers in January 2020. Greyfinch’s growth over the past two years continues to outpace expectations, as orthodontists are excited about a solution that is made for the clinic and their patients. Greyfinch is successful, Gulick says, due to its leveraging of the latest technology and platforms to be able to provide new features at a speed no other software in their market has been able to provide.
Founder and CEO
Scenic Hill Solar
Bill Halter is the founder and CEO of Scenic Hill Solar, one of Arkansas’ leading solar developers. With extensive leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, Halter has served as Arkansas’ 14th lieutenant governor, advised former President Bill Clinton while serving on the White House staff, provided economic analysis to Congress, served as deputy commissioner for the Social Security Administration, consulted for Fortune 500 companies with McKinsey and Co., served as a trustee of Stanford University and served on the boards of six public companies in the information technology, life sciences and real estate industries.
As Arkansas lieutenant governor, Halter led the campaign to establish a state-run lottery in Arkansas with all proceeds dedicated to college scholarships. Since its launch, the lottery has generated more than $1 billion of additional scholarship assistance and produced more than 650,000 higher education scholarships. Halter is a Rhodes Scholar, receiving a Master of Philosophy degree in economics from Oxford University. He studied economics and political science as a National Merit Scholar and Harry S. Truman Scholar at Stanford.
Partner & CEO
As Partner and CEO, Zack Hill leads Few, the region’s premier digital design and development company. Hill’s marketing education and real world digital-product experience has him uniquely positioned to build a company like Few. The firm’s portfolio consists of consumer-facing digital experiences including highly custom marketing websites, web-applications, mobile applications, AR/VR and more. Few has seen significant growth over the past year, doubling in size to nearly 35 employees throughout the pandemic, and there’s no sign of slowing down. By putting his focus on growing the right way, establishing scalable leadership throughout the organization and continuing to be one step ahead of technology trends, Hill has positioned Few as the go-to partner for scaling organizations with design and technology.
Hill’s vision for Little Rock and Arkansas entails the unique quality of life offerings, attracting and keeping highly skilled technical professionals. Few is making its own investments in these efforts through a new office space concept in SOMA that is being built with a local and remote hybrid workforce in mind.
Broadband Development Group
Lou McAlister is a career network and telecommunications executive and entrepreneur. His career includes operational, technical, strategic planning and business development experience in large companies such as AT&T as well as in his own startups. He is the co-founder of Navigator Telecommunications, which was an Arkansas-based super-regional competitive local exchange company (CLEC) that operated in 31 states. He also co-founded 7×7 Networking, a San Francisco-based provider of broadband internet access in multi-tenant buildings. He holds a B.A. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an M.S. in telecommunications management from Polytechnic University in New York City.
The Venture Center
Wayne Miller is the executive director of The Venture Center, a globally recognized nonprofit entrepreneur support organization based in the Little Rock Tech Park. It produces award-winning, revenue-generating financial technology accelerator programs for the world’s biggest financial services organizations. Miller brings more than four decades of experience in a variety of industries and leadership roles as well as his own entrepreneurial achievement and Fortune 100 experience.
Before joining The Venture Center in 2017, he spearheaded the growth and development of several businesses including a private-equity-backed medical device manufacturer, two startup tech companies in the health care and cybersecurity fields and was COO of a $45 million transportation and logistics company. He served as CEO of start-up internet advertising company Admine.com, as director of business development for Proxicom (PXCM), an internet consulting and development company, and as the national director of business development for the “big five” professional services firm, Deloitte. Under Miller’s leadership, The Venture Center has been recognized by globally renowned fintech industry leader, Finovate, as 2020’s Best Fintech Accelerator.
Co-Founder and CEO
As co-founder of RevUnit, Paladino says he “built a team of really smart people who like to nerd out on technology and data.” Launched by Paladino and Joe Saumweber, RevUnit has grown into a thriving company that works to create real change in some of the world’s largest companies through data and process. It works to create enterprise change faster by partnering with leaders to help them turn data into insights, reinvent critical processes and upskill their teams.
RevUnit has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies four times, the Entrepreneur 360 list of America’s most innovative businesses and Entrepreneur’s top company cultures.
Paladino is the former CTO for Arkansas startups Overwatch and Btiques, and he served in various tech leadership roles at Rockfish Interactive. The Little Rock native also served as chair of the Northwest Arkansas Tech Council.
Bold Strategies Inc.
When Procter & Gamble (P&G) needed a leader to build its new global direct-to-consumer team, it chose Allan Peretz and his unique mix of global business strategy, brand management and information technology credentials.
Peretz led the consolidation of more than 25 different DTC e-commerce efforts across the United States, China, Germany and other major markets including iconic brands like SK-II, Braun, Oral B and more. Under his leadership, this multimillion-dollar business collectively grew over 60 percent within two years.
Since leaving P&G, Peretz has been a leading e-commerce consultant for consumer packaged goods (CPGs) of all sizes from pre-revenue startups to billion-dollar brands like Samsung.
He co-founded Bold Strategies Inc. in Rogers with a vision to create the first truly “end-to-end” strategic, e-commerce partner for growth-oriented CPGs. He’s led Bold Strategies to become one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. (ranked No. 259 on the “Inc. 5000”) and the fastest growing in Arkansas (ranked first on the Arkansas Inc. 5000).
President and CEO
Matt Rolfes leverages his 18 years of experience in technology and finance to drive and support MedEvolve’s growth and operational success. Rolfes brings to MedEvolve expertise in accounting and finance as well as corporate development and operations experience in both public and private companies. He joined Little Rock’s MedEvolve as CFO in August 2013 after serving as the controller for Streamline Health, a publicly traded, SaaS-focused enterprise content-management, business-analytics and computer-assisted coding software provider.
While at Streamline, Rolfes led the company’s accounting and reporting function through a time of significant growth including the planning, integration and reporting on two strategic acquisitions. Prior to Streamline, Rolfes spent five years with Grant Thornton LLP in audit and assurance services while working with several private and publicly traded companies in the technology, service, banking and consumer industrial-products sectors. He holds a BS in business administration from the University of Dayton.
Co-founder and CEO
Co-owner and CEO of SIEV Technologies, Davar Sasongko leads business development and commercialization efforts for the Fayetteville membrane tech startup. SIEV was founded in 2020 to commercialize its catalytic membrane technology with the goal of creating bio-based platform chemicals and byproducts from agricultural residues and low value biomass waste or feedstocks. It was born of research conducted at the University of Arkansas over a period of 10 years. Sasongko and his team are now preparing their technology to market.
Before co-founding SIEV with the UA’s Dr. Ranil Wickramasinghe, he spent more than two years in the energy industry as a consultant working primarily with medium-sized oil and gas producers. Sasongko obtained a degree in chemical engineering from the UA, and his desire to work on environmental engineering initiatives led him to Wickramasinghe’s research group at the Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology (MAST) Center.
Founder and CEO
Daniel Sharp founded Little Rock’s Apothewell to solve a problem he and his wife shared with other caretakers — managing a medication regimen and keeping their adult son, Philip, who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child, adherent to his medication schedule.Philip’s injury left him with a severe seizure disorder and unable to manage the medication regimen that controlled his seizures. Sharp said the solutions available before Apothewell left a giant gap in care. He founded Apothewell to create a better solution.
Apothewell combines a smartphone with a smart pill case to provide a complete solution to manage medication. After working for more than a year to get to market, Sharp and his team are ready to launch on iOS. If a closed beta planned for February goes as planned, Sharp will open the app to a larger audience in March. Later in 2022, he plans to launch on Android devices, and in 2023, begin selling the firm’s “Smart Pillcase” add-on devices.
Founder and CEO
Sanjeev K. Singh is the founder and CEO of Fayetteville’s Zenwork Inc., a digital tax-compliance and regulatory reporting company. Prior to founding his company, Singh received his bachelor’s degree and MBA at India’s Nagpur University and attended Harvard Business School for the Senior Executive Leadership Program and Business Management.
Zenwork Inc. operates under the brands Tax1099 and Compliancely and digitally processes millions of informational returns. Under the direction of Singh, Zenwork helps power more than 100,000 businesses nationwide. The Zenwork team has more than 10 years of experience in the industry, and Singh’s career in the industry spans decades of acquired knowledge.
CEO and Managing Partner
Josh Stanley is an experienced leader, serial entrepreneur and digital product expert. He is a co-founder and CEO at Cartwheel Startup Studio, a company that conceptualizes, validates, and forms B2B, SaaS companies based out of Northwest Arkansas.
Prior to Cartwheel, Stanley co-founded Teamvvork, a digital product studio and consultancy out of Las Vegas that was acquired by RevUnit in 2017. He held progressive roles at RevUnit from vice president of product to COO to president. He was a linchpin in years of double-digit growth and led the organization through a private equity transaction in 2019. Stanley also co-founded ZenSales, an SaaS business with rapid growth that was acquired by Ship.com in 2020. Prior to these entrepreneurial ventures, he held both product and project leadership positions at 1-800 Contacts, Backcountry.com and Zappos.
Charu Thomas is the founder of Fayetteville’s Ox, one of the state’s true tech up-and-comers. Ox builds fulfillment automation technology. Clients include top Fortune 500 retailers. Before founding Ox in 2017, Thomas was an internationally awarded researcher in the wearable computing field in Georgia Tech’s renowned industrial engineering program. In 2019, Thomas relocated to Northwest Arkansas for the Fuel Accelerator program and never left. Premier institutions have recognized her work like Microsoft, the USPTO, and ACM, and Thomas has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, and TechCrunch. She’s been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and was included in AMP’s 2020 Future 50 list, recognizing the future drivers of Arkansas’ economic, political and even cultural engines.
Thomas created Ox to empower, enable, and excite retailers, fulfillment centers, and 3PLs to transform and optimize manual processes throughout their supply chain quickly.
Arkansas STEM Coalition
Hannah Vogler became the executive director of the Arkansas STEM Coalition in January. She spent more than 20 years in the nonprofit world, helping numerous nonprofits become organizations that are stronger and better at meeting their missions, and has been recognized locally and nationally for her work.
Before becoming professionally involved in the nonprofit world, Vogler spent five years in the private equity department of a New York investment bank, helping raise capital for biotech companies and running a trading desk for restricted securities. She was a White House Intern, an intern for the political consulting firm of Carville & Begala, and she worked for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial (now Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights). She has been a political consultant and campaign manager on political campaigns ranging from local city council races to U.S. Congress. Most recently, she has served as executive director of the Pulaski County Imagination Library and the Argenta Community Development Corporation. She also co-founded The Colon Club, a national nonprofit organization that educates younger people about colorectal cancer.
Lee Watson is a prolific collaborator with an uncanny knack for bringing together talented people in pursuit of discovery and innovation. Driven by a passion for cyber science, quantum computing and fintech, he has worked to support state legislation in Arkansas to accelerate STEM education, drive innovation and create high-paying jobs for Arkansans.
After graduating from college, Lee built Clarovista, a regional mobile application development, marketing and data-analytics consulting company. Later, Watson was the founding CEO and board member of The Venture Center, an entrepreneur-led organization that established successful innovation programming for startups and companies in Central Arkansas. A key program, the VC FinTech Accelerator, has become the most recognized global FinTech startup innovation program and is supported by FIS (Fortune 500), the state of Arkansas and numerous other enterprise leaders. Today, Watson serves as founder and CEO of Forge Institute, an established cyber workforce training and infosec intelligence organization in Little Rock dedicated to securing the nation’s sensitive digital assets.
Founder and CEO
iDatafy, Little Rock
Dave Wengel is the founder and CEO of iDatafy, an information-services company based in Little Rock. iDatafy helps clients solve tough problems through the use of custom data consortiums. Most recently, Wengel and his team launched SmartResume — the world’s first certified job talent marketplace. SmartResume makes it easy for education partners to issue certified resumes that attest to the accomplishments of their current and past students. Once an individual receives their SmartResume, they can further customize it by adding occupational preferences and work experience before using it to apply for jobs. For employers, they have a new way to search, connect and hire job talent through the SmartResume platform.
Wengel is a third-generation entrepreneur and a leader with more than 20 years of experience in data analytics and computing. In 2021, Wengel was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Computing for his contributions to the field.
Arkansas Coding Academy
Alison Wish has been a leader in the Arkansas technology industry for 20 years. From her early days as a software engineer at Acxiom to now serving as the director of the Arkansas Coding Academy (ArCA) at the University of Central Arkansas, Wish has brought innovation, skill and mentorship to the industry. Wish has served as director ArCA since December 2020. This program produces career-ready, entry-level technical talent to fuel Arkansas companies. Under her leadership, ArCA increased enrollment, added corporate partnerships and established an advisory board.
Future plans include launching a new career development program and an apprenticeship this spring. Passionate about bringing more women into the tech field, she leads a “Women in Tech Peer Mentoring Circle” through a collaboration with UCA’s Women’s Leadership Network. Before coming to ArCA, Wish held leadership positions at Acxiom where she led groups of technical professionals. She is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in computer and information science.