Grace Rains and Tiffany Henry Join the Conductor as Director of Operations, Rural Director
CONWAY—The Conductor today announced that Grace Rains and Tiffany Henry will join its leadership team as the Director of Operations and Rural Director, respectively.
“The Director of Operations and the Rural Director are both pivotal additions to the Conductor team, and we are thrilled to expand our team with these two amazing thought leaders and visionaries,” said Kim Lane, the Executive Director of the Conductor. “In under three years, the Conductor has exponentially increased its footprint, its breadth of offerings and its impact. This expansion of our team marks another exciting milestone for the Conductor and the entrepreneurs we serve.”
Grace Rains will guide the strategy and execution of Conductor and Makerspace events and programming, and will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Conductor. In her former role, Rains worked in business development and physician recruitment at Conway Regional Health System, where she served as a Physician Recruiter. Rains also has a background in marketing and event management. She serves on the Bethlehem House Board of Directors, the Dazzle Days Steering Committee, and the Conway Regional Women’s Council Steering Committee.
“I’ve been so inspired by the Conductor’s impact on Central Arkansas’ economic and entrepreneurial ecosystem over the past few years,” Rains said. “I’m thrilled to join the Conductor team and grow our slate of offerings through entrepreneurial and Makerspace programming.”
Tiffany Henry will lead the Conductor’s rural outreach strategy, where she will collaborate with entrepreneurs and stakeholders to expand the Conductor’s reach to its 11-county footprint, which includes Cleburne County, Conway County, Faulkner County, Johnson County, Logan County, Lonoke County, Pope County, Pulaski County, Van Buren County, White County, and Yell County. Henry will pilot the Conductor’s programming in each area, and manage the Conductor’s rural ecosystem development around the state. Prior to joining the Conductor, Henry oversaw the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute’s community and leadership development program, Uncommon Communities, which helps grow citizen leaders to be the positive changes they want to see in their communities. She also serves as an “ESHIP Champion” for the Kauffman Foundation, where she unites entrepreneurial ecosystem builders around the nation. Additionally, she is a contributor to the Kauffman Foundation’s Ecosystem Builders Playbook, which serves as a guidebook for the field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building. She is the former chair of the Economic Vitality Committee for Main Street Russellville, and serves on the Steering Committee for Local Foods Local Places, a United States Environmental Protection Agency initiative that helps revitalize communities using local food systems.
“I am excited to join the Conductor and expand its programming into rural Arkansas,” said Tiffany Henry. “Entrepreneurial ecosystems are built by connecting entrepreneurs with the partnerships and resources that help them thrive. I look forward to building these ecosystems in our rural communities and fostering relationships that support innovation and collaborative problem solving, which are so valuable in today’s knowledge economy.”
In June, the Conductor welcomed two Conductor Educators to the team: Sharon Cone, Library Media Specialist at Ida Burns Elementary School, and Anita Reynolds, a Gifted and Talented teacher at Ida Burns Elementary School. Cone and Reynolds are thought leaders in STEM education and Makerspace programming, and lead the Conductor’s after-school workshops, community events, and outbound programming with students around the state.
“The growth of the Conductor is exciting for so many reasons,” Lane said. “We are creating new job opportunities in Central Arkansas, and in doing so, we are significantly expanding our potential to reach students, makers and entrepreneurs in new and innovative ways. This expansion will lead to an even stronger and more activated entrepreneurial and small business community in the region, and thus even more opportunities for job growth and economic empowerment. Our growth begets growth in very impactful ways.”
The Conductor, a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie Consulting, launched in Nov. 2016 to empower entrepreneurs, makers and innovators in central Arkansas through consulting, programming, educational workshops, and maker trainings and rapid prototyping in a free-of-charge Makerspace. It has reached nearly 9,500 people since launching less than three years ago.