Business Briefs for September 10, 2007

CognitiveData of Little Rock and PI Roof Maintenance of North Little Rock have been named to the 2007 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in the United States. CognitiveData, a marketing technology company, ranked No. 208 on the list with a three-year growth rate of 1,045 percent. CEO Rod Ford founded CognitiveData in 2002. PI Roof Maintenance, founded in 2001, was No. 279 with a three-year growth rate of 887.5 percent. Both companies reported 2006 revenue of $5.5 million.

Dr. Peter D. Emanuel has been named executive director of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He served as acting director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 2004-2006.

Margaret A. McKenna has been named president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. McKenna recently re-signed as the president of Lesley University after more than two decades. Wal-Mart last year gave more than $270 million to support its 4,000-plus U.S.-based communities and has been recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest cash contributor in America.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Middle Eastern Studies program is offering free lessons in Arabic from 3-4:30 p.m. every Wednesday in Stabler Hall, Room 409. All classes are open to the public. Basel Khalil, a native Arabic speaker from Palestine, will teach the classes. No previous experience with the language is needed to attend. For more information, call (501) 569-8322.

Entergy Arkansas was among 11 utilities that Site Selection magazine selected for its Top Utilities for 2006. The designation recognizes performance in capital investment, job creation, capital investment per capita and jobs per 10,000 in population, and it gauges the ability of U.S. utility companies to complement power delivery with the powers of persuasion and innovation in fostering corporate investment in their territories. Mike Maulden is director of Teamwork Arkansas - Entergy Arkansas' Office of Economic Development.

The Young Professional Women of Arkansas will present Laura Sessions-Stepp, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and writer about young people and sexuality for The Washington Post, from 5:30-8 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the Chenal Country Club. Cost is $25 for the networking session and lecture or $50 for the VIP pre-reception, networking session and lecture. For more information, contact Leslie Rutledge at or Susan Altrui at

Harding University's American Studies Institute program has been awarded the George Washington Honor Medal by the Freedoms Foundation. ASI is responsible for the annual Distinguished Lecture Series that has brought such speakers as George H.W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Colin Powell and Margaret Thatcher to the campus at Searcy.

Pine Bluff Wastewater Utility has received the Peak Performance Gold Award for its wastewater operation from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. The award is for achieving 100 percent compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

Onebanc of Little Rock is sponsoring The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition for central Arkansas high schools. The Onebanc Partners in School program seeks to help students take control of their financial future. For schools wanting more information, e-mail Tanas Schmidt at

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmentalist, will speak on "Crimes Against Nature" at the inaugural Farris Lecture at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway on Sept. 19. The event, which will be free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. at the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall. A question-and-answer session and a book signing will follow. Kennedy is senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and a clinical professor at Pace University School of Law's Environmental Litigation Clinic.

ARHealthNet, a small-business health care program, has secured federal funding by meeting its target number of participants. ARHealthNet enrolled 1,550 subsidized participants, more than necessary to continue to receive federal government support. The state is allowed to enroll 15,000 subsidized participants. For more information, visit

The Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches has received the Good Samaritan Award as Outstanding Charity from The Action Institute, a religious-based national research institute. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.