Venture Center Seeks New Leader After Wayne Miller Departs

Venture Center Seeks New Leader After Wayne Miller Departs

The Venture Center on Thursday announced a national search for its next executive director following the departure of Wayne Miller, who had led the Little Rock-based nonprofit since 2018.

Miller has taken a position as senior vice president of innovation programs at the Independent Community Bankers of America, where he's overseeing operations for the trade group's ThinkTECH Accelerator program. The program, launched in 2018, was hosted by the Venture Center before the ICBA took it in-house this year. 

Mimi San Pedro, the Venture Center's chief strategy officer, has been named interim director. She has been with the nonprofit since 2019.

The Venture Center said its board of directors is looking for a "visionary leader equipped to ensure the organization’s mission is fulfilled through strategic planning and community outreach." 

"It’s an exciting time to be part of the Venture Center and we’re eager to find our next leader who will nurture and grow our programs and reinvigorate our commitment to fueling innovation,” James Hendren, board chair, said in a news release.

Miller, a Pittsburgh native, joined the Venture Center in 2017. He was managing director of the nonprofit's FinTech Accelerator before being named executive director.

Under Miller's leadership, the Venture Center launched its three-day VenCent Fintech Summit, which brought technology startups from across the nation and from as far as the Netherlands and Ireland to Little Rock. The Venture Center also launched its Spark! pre-accelerator program and partnered with Apptegy to launch its VCTech startup program.

"There is great opportunity ahead for our organization, from our many entrepreneurial endeavors fueling Arkansas’s growth to our established role in the global fintech space," Hendren said in the release. "With the help of our partners, we’ll continue connecting entrepreneurs to critical resources like mentorship, networking, prospects, and world-class accelerators."

This story has been updated to clarify that ICBA now hosts the ThinkTECH Accelerator.

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