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Nancy Gray of UAMS BioVentures Joins Tech Park Board

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Nancy Gray, director of the BioVentures startup incubator at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, has been appointed to the board of the Little Rock Technology Park, and board member and vice chair Kevin Zaffaroni has been reappointed.

Gray replaces Tom Butler, the retired UAMS vice chancellor for administration and government affairs. Gray and Zaffaroni, a recently retired senior vice president at Acxiom, are UAMS’ two representatives on the board, each named by Chancellor Dan Rahn. Board appointments are good for five years.

UAMS is one of three partners, along with the city of Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, in the planned $100 million tech park along Main Street downtown. 

Other board members are:

  • Chair Mary Good, founding dean of the George Donaghey College of Engineering & Information Technology at UALR;
  • Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams;
  • Developer/broker Dickson Flake of Colliers International Little Rock;
  • C.J. Duvall, vice president of institutional advancement at Philander Smith College;
  • Jay Chesshir, president and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Good and Williams are UALR’s representatives on the board while Flake and Duvall were appointed by Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. Good and Chesshir have been reappointed while Duvall is in the process of being reappointed, according to Tech Park Director Brent Birch.

“Nancy’s appointment will bring unique insight to the board regarding the commercialization of university-based research that will be invaluable as we move forward with current and future phases,” Birch said in a news release. “Kevin’s reappointment is also a boon for the project as his past leadership has helped us reach this point and will carry forward as we navigate the opening Phase 1 later this year.”

The board will hold a regular scheduled meeting on Wednesday from the leased office space it shares with the Venture Center at 107 East Markham. By Feb. 1, it expects to close on property acquisitions along Main that will make up the project’s first phase, including the purchase of 415 Main from Little Rock attorney Richard Mays.

The board purchased the Mays property, which it needs to anchor phase 1 of the park, for $1.037 million, and it almost filed an eminent domain suit against Mays to acquire the property before the two sides settled.

Mays signed off on the deal Dec. 15.

Mays plans to be out of the building in February, and Birch said the tech park will honor the leases of five other tenants at 415 Main. The tenants can stay until their leases are up if they so choose, and will be able to terminate the leases early without penalty, he said.

Renovation of the property will begin early this year and work around the existing tenants.

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