About Arkansas Center for Data Sciences

Empowering You. Transforming Arkansas.

Growing & Advancing Arkansas's Technology Workforce

Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) is a nonprofit working to grow Arkansas’ IT talent pipeline by solving a two-fold problem:

  • More people than ever are seeking careers in IT but don’t have access to the training or experience they need to be successful.
  • Employers are struggling to find IT talent with the technical and business skills to fill their open positions.

Our mission is to connect these employers with career seekers to help them attract, train, and retain top talent while also contributing to the growth of their industry and local economy. We do this through Internships, Apprenticeships, ReSkill Programs, talent acquisition programs, and tailored classroom training at no cost to the employer or the career seeker.

Meet Our Team

Our team is passionate about helping career seekers gain relevant workforce skills in top data science companies around the state while supporting the employers who hire and train them.

Bill Yoder

Executive Director

Lonnie Emard

Director of Apprenticeship

Ashley French

Director of Talent Management & Recruiting

Don Walker

Director of Training

Clint Hankinson

Director of Marketing

Jim Morgan

Senior Consulting Editor

Lisa Wiggins

Director of Client Relations

Logan Hunt

Director of Project Management and Grant Administration

Dawn Smith

Project Manager

Amanda Champlin

Program Manager, Work-Based Learning

Elise Long

Career Coach / Talent Recruiter

Nichole Parsons

Career Coach / Talent Recruiter

Jenny Sales

Career Coach / Talent Recruiter

Caitlynn Raines

Career Coach / Talent Recruiter

Christa Hindman

Grants Analyst

Board of Directors

Charles Morgan

 CEO, First Orion

Michael Preston

Managing Director, Stephens, Inc

Warren Stephens

CEO, Stephens, Inc

Scott Spradley

Former CIO & CTO, Tyson Foods

Thomas Reilley

CHM, Highland Pellets

Blue Ribbon Commission

In 2017, former Governor Asa Hutchinson established the Blue Ribbon Commission to report on the Economic Competitiveness of Arkansas in Data Analytics and Computing (the “Commission”). The Commission, co-led by prominent industry leaders, consists of representatives from several top companies in Arkansas utilizing data analytics and computing in various industries. The Commission’s goal was to devise a plan for Arkansas to capitalize on the burgeoning data analytics and computing market, projected to reach a value of nearly $100 billion. The Commission acknowledged the significance of data analytics and computing in transforming the business landscape and saw it as vital for the state’s economic growth and job creation. Since then, they have continued to collaborate with existing companies to help them adopt data analytics and computing, making Arkansas a formidable player in the global market. The success of the Commission’s endeavors relies on the combination of short-term actions and a long-lasting public-private partnership.

We've Helped Over 100 Employers Find Qualified Talent.