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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Six finalists for tech park director's job

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 9:22 PM

The board of directors for Little Rock Technology Park chose six applicants for the park director's job from the 16 submitted and will seek to meet with the finalists starting next week. 

They are Brent Birch,  director of the FLEX360 Web Development Firm and the chief information officer for Arkansas Business Publishing Group; Thomas Chilton,  technology development director for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission; Elizabeth Hood,  a senior faculty member in agricultural biotechnology and Lipscomb Distinguished Professor of Agriculture at Arkansas State University; Brian Rogers,  also from ASU, the director for intellectual property and of the CATALYST Innovation Accelerator; Scott Shellabarger,  director of IT at NovaSys, and John Kincaid,  chief operating officer of Whisenhunt Investment Group. Kincaid's resume was submitted after last week's meeting of the board where 15 applicants were discussed. Because board member C.J. Duvall was not present, no action was taken. He was present today. Bob Johnson could not attend. Other board members are chair Dr. Mary Good, Kevin Zaffaroni, Tom Butler, Dickson Flake and Jay Chesshir. 

Duties of the director, as put forth in the board's request for applications: 

The Director will be the lead staff person for LRTPA. He/she will report to the Board of Directors of seven members, appointed by the three sponsors of LRTPA. The Director will market the Center to prospective tenants and start-up support activities, as well as manage all operations of the Center. As the first Director, he/she will tend to define the public image of the Center, working with its various partners and participants. The Director will be the public face of LRTPA and the Center during hearings and meetings, and will represent LRTPA to partners in government and non-profit sectors. Specific responsibilities and duties include:

Develop an environment that fosters business incubation and start-up companies in close partnership with UALR, UAMS, ACH and economic development agencies.

Coordinate with economic development organizations and real estate practitioners to recruit emerging and established technology-related companies.

Establish and stimulate productive relationships among the Center’s tenants and research faculty, staff and students.

Establish and manage venture capital relationships in partnership with related Central Arkansas and statewide organizations.

Participate in the coordination of site development and building construction with developers, research organizations and community to assure implementation of the Board-approved master plan with its adopted covenants and guidelines.

Provide assistance in obtaining financing and provide administrative and financial oversight of the office.

Maintain effective working relationships with local and state economic development and government leaders.  

At the meeting today, the board agreed to sublease the tech park's temporary space on the first floor of the Block Two Lofts building on Markham to Winrock International's Ark Challenge program. The lease is for seven months; rent will be $6,428 a month. The Ark Challenge accelerator competition will move in July 1, after improvements to the space.The board also approved the terms of its own lease of the building, 8,000 square feet, from building owner Monarch Investment & Management Group of Franktown, Colo. The city of Little Rock is picking up the first year's rent $95,616 for the park; UALR, UAMS, the city and Children's Hospital will pick up operating costs.

click to enlarge Sketch of tech park leased space on Markham shows capability for 160 PC stations.
  • Sketch of tech park leased space on Markham shows capability for 160 PC stations.

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