Tom Dalton - Director
Tom Dalton is the director of Innovate Arkansas. Tom has more than 25 years of experience working with state and local elected officials and community collaboratives in establishing programs for neighborhood revitalization, growth management, economic development, and the general quality of urban living. He has shared in the development and administration of numerous public policy initiatives in four different states.
Tom brings extensive experience in managing complex, diverse organizations to Winrock International and the Innovate Arkansas program.
B.A., Liberal Arts, State University of New York, 1965
Ted Dickey - Advisor
Ted received a B.A. from the University of Arkansas, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Thereafter, he earned a Juris Doctorate and was admitted to the Arkansas Bar. He spent over six years at Stephens Inc. in their Corporate Finance Department employed as a Financial Analyst, an Associate in the Financial Services Group and then as a Vice President in the Private Placement Group. During this time, he was responsible for placing debt and equity securities with institutional investors for public and private companies.
Ted is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a general partner of CDFP Capital's real estate fund, a Board member of Virtual Incubation and the University of Arkansas' Technology Development Foundation, a 2004 Arkansas Business selection to the "40 Under 40" list of businesspeople in Arkansas, and is the former chairman of the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
B.A., University of Arkansas, 1992
J.D., University of Arkansas, 1996
C.F.A., CFA Institute, 2004
Mike Smith, Jr. - Advisor
Mike Smith Jr. brings more than 20 years of business advisory experience to the Innovate Arkansas team. Mike is a former senior vice president in the Corporate Finance Group of Stephens Inc. He completed more than 50 merger and acquisition, public offering and private placement transactions for privately owned and publicly traded middle market companies during his 13 years there. He also sourced and executed principal investments for the Stephens family.
Mike is actively involved in venture capital and entrepreneurial development in the region, speaking on venture capital and early stage business development topics and serving on several private company boards.
B.A., Economics, Duke University, 1985
M.B.A., Emphasis in Finance, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, 1990
Jeff Amerine - Advisor
Jeff’s career has involved creating, financing and deploying high-tech telecommunications and information technology products and services. He has held senior leadership positions in seven startup ventures and three Fortune 500 companies over the past 22 years. Jeff joined the University of Arkansas Technology Licensing Office in February 2008.
His role at the university is to implement effective strategies and methods that lead to commercialization of world-class research. In addition, Jeff teaches entrepreneurship and at the Walton College of Business in addition to consulting for Innovate Arkansas. Over the past 4 years, Innovate Arkansas has served over 100 clients and has helped them raise $55 million in public and private funding.
In 2010, Jeff helped found a 21-member, tech-focused, angel investment fund called Gravity Ventures Arkansas. Gravity Ventures Arkansas has made five investments in high tech, high growth startups in Arkansas that included Acumen Holdings a joint investment involving Noro-Moseley Partners, and Dillard’s. The Gravity Ventures Arkansas team is now creating a second larger fund.
Other recent activities have included the statewide deployment of the Gone in 60 Seconds elevator pitch contest, Natural State Angel Association, and the successful creation of the ARK startup accelerator.
Jeff holds a BS, Physical Science, from the United States Naval Academy, an MS in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas, and is pursuing a doctorate in workforce development education at the University of Arkansas. Jeff is a certified project management professional (PMP) in good standing since 2002.
B.S., Physical Science, U.S. Naval Academy, 1984
M.S., Operations Management, University of Arkansas, 2009
Vicki Malpass - Program Officer 2
Vicki Malpass is a program officer for Innovate Arkansas and Winrock International's U.S. Programs. She provides program-budget oversight and program implementation for economic development projects in Arkansas and Louisiana. In addition, she acts as a liaison between subcontractors and the program office. Vicki also works with Arkansas Business Publishing Group and FLEX360 to develop and publish a user-friendly website for Innovate Arkansas.
Before receiving bachelor’s degrees in English and professional technical writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she worked as a registered sales assistant at Morgan Stanley offices in Washington, D.C., and Little Rock.
B.A., Professional Technical Writing, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2007
B.A., English (Information Technology Minor), University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2007
Sydney Pack - Program Associate
Sydney Pack is a program associate for Innovate Arkansas and Winrock International’s U.S. Programs. She acts as the first point of contact for all prospective and current Innovate Arkansas client companies.
Sydney is based in Little Rock and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas. Prior work at Winrock International’s U.S. Programs included working on rural development and agriculture projects relating to community development, economic development and sustainability.
B.S., Business Administration, University of Arkansas, 2011
Hark announced that it will launch a six-week tour of the Southeast beginning in July in partnership with Bespoke Video Production of Little Rock.
Nancy Gray, the new director of the BioVentures business incubator at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, is developing an entrepreneur-in-residence program to help mentor potential startup founders at the school.
Northwest Arkansas isn’t California’s Silicon Valley and has a long way to go before it can be considered remotely comparable, but technology industry leaders say the area is proving to be on the short list of best places in the field.
Wal-Mart needs vast numbers of technologically advanced workers and needs them as soon as possible, says SVP Rick Webb.