Brent Birch, the chief information officer for Arkansas Business Publishing Group of Little Rock, has been offered the director's job for the planned Little Rock technology park.
The Little Rock Technology Park Authority voted Wednesdsay morning to offer the job to Birch. The park will occupy several sites along the Main Street corridor in downtown Little Rock.
Pending negotiations, Birch said he expects to accept the job and begin work sometime in July. Birch will negotiate with Jay Chesshir of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and Tom Butler of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on a compensation and benefits package.
The tech board has capped the salary for the position at $100,000.
Birch joined ABPG in 2000 as the company's "lone tech staffer." His main responsibility was helping launch the first version of ArkansasBusiness.com in December of that year. FLEX360 was launched in 2004.
Birch said the opportunity to shape the direction of the tech park and positively affect the city's economic development is what attracted him to the director's job.
"The various skills I've accumulated through my education and professional career, as well as numerous professional and personal relationships, made the job a fit, and I'm honored by the board's selection," Birch said. "I'm totally accustomed and comfortable wearing many hats, and this job will definitely require that."
Birch also was attracted to the momentum of entrepreneurship and tech-based ventures in central Arkansas.
"The groundswell of existing technology-based entities, coupled with the entrepreneurial movement in central Arkansas, is gaining ground with each passing year, and the opportunity to be a part of that is beyond exciting," Birch said.