The Arkansas Capital Corporation Board of Directors has appointed Sam Walls, III, as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective January 1, 2022.
Walls has served as Arkansas Capital’s president and COO since 2015. He joined Arkansas Capital in February 2003 as vice president and later served as senior vice president for Arkansas Capital’s affiliate companies.
“Sam has proven himself to be a true leader and was more than ready to take this next step to the CEO role,” said Kevin Burns, chairman of the board.
In his new tenure as CEO, Walls says he is eager to continue to build upon the company’s reputation and success as a driver in economic development and small business growth, adding that “ACC has a great board and a fantastic team that will continue to provide capital to entrepreneurs and job creators for years to come. We also want to be even more impactful in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion issues regarding access to capital for small businesses.”
Walls replaces Rush Deacon, who served as CEO from July 2013 through December 2021. Deacon is continuing with the company as managing director of Pine State Regional Center, a subsidiary of Arkansas Capital approved by the United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security for project finance activities through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Deacon was also a member of the company’s board of directors from 1997 through 2001.
Arkansas Capital is a special purpose, nonprofit finance company formed in 1957 by Winthrop Rockefeller and other business leaders in Arkansas who saw the need to transform the state from an agricultural-dominated economy to a more diverse commercial economy. Arkansas Capital partners with commercial banks, small businesses, and others from the private and public sectors to maximize its lending and project finance products to create and preserve employment opportunities and stimulate economic development in Arkansas and its bordering states. The company is certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution and by the Arkansas State Bank Department as an Economic Development Enterprise, demonstrating Arkansas Capital’s commitment to serving all communities, including unserved and underserved areas.
Since 1957, Arkansas Capital and its project financing partners have deployed more than $2.34 billion in capital to small businesses and economic development projects.