Lydia Carson

Director, President and CEO

Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, Balm Innovations LLC

Little Rock

Lydia Carson

Balancing two careers means Lydia Carson, 38, has to be as efficient as possible.

Carson’s first career is directing the state-sponsored Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, a program of the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority that is one of 59 national programs in the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. It seeks to help the state’s manufacturers increase sales and profits by cutting costs and improving their operations.

AMS has increased sales at Arkansas manufacturers by nearly $170 million, helped them save more than $14 million and has created and retained more than 2,000 jobs.

“I feel that manufacturing is vitally important to this state, and there are a lot of homegrown opportunities here to be harvested,” Carson said.

Carson’s second career is running Balm Innovations LLC, a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences BioVentures firm marketing natural personal care products, like Omnibalm, a tea tree oil topical cream developed at UAMS to treat skin irritations. The product is on the shelves of dozens of drugstores statewide, and Carson hopes eventually to go international.

She serves on the boards of the central Arkansas chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Arkansas Inventors’ Group.