Sarah Goforth - Executive Director, Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Sarah Goforth teaches the graduate-level New Venture Development course sequence and serves as a lead teaching team member for the statewide NSF I-Corps site. She oversees a team responsible for programs and places supporting student and faculty innovators and entrepreneurs, including the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, Startup Village, and McMillon Innovation Studio. A passionate entrepreneurial ecosystem-builder, Sarah forms collaborations between OEI and partners on campus and off, in service to the U of A student community and the state of Arkansas.
Deb Williams - Senior Director, Operations & Student Programs
In her role as Director of Student Programs, Deb creates opportunities to connect students to initiatives that that give them a practical application for what they learn in the classroom and during workshops or trainings. She oversees the Venture Intern Program and the execution of the Heartland Challenge, an international high-growth startup competition that brings graduate student entrepreneurs to the NWA region. Another primary responsibility is supporting the development of new Social Innovation Initiatives at the University. Deb holds a master of science in Counselor Education from the University of Arkansas and is originally from the great state of Iowa.
Justin Urso - Director, McMillon Innovation Studio
Prior to joining the McMillon Innovation Studio, Justin was a full-time entrepreneur who built several start-ups and small businesses in the Northwest Arkansas community. During that time he learned the importance of innovation and hustle. His experience includes being an MBA graduate from the University of Arkansas Walton College of Business, working in the headquarters of three consumer packaged goods companies, and having been a full-time dad and educator during the height of the covid pandemic. Justin is passionate about education, innovation, finding the next great innovators and entrepreneurs, solving problems, and spending his free time with his family exploring the outdoors.
Cari Humphry – Marketing and Creative Services DirectorCari helps communicate the vision of the Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation to University of Arkansas students, both current and future, faculty, alums, and the NWA Community. She oversees the creative marketing strategy of OEI’s initiatives.
Phil Shellhammer – Director, Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program
An accomplished business executive and serial entrepreneur, Phil will lead a business incubator helping early-stage startup companies develop innovative products and services within the Outdoor Recreation Industry. Phil’s unique blend of experiences allows him to pursue his passion to help other entrepreneurs at the very beginning of their journey from idea to launch. Phil also serves on the boards of Arkansas Athletes Outreach (AAO), a local non-profit using sports to reach and support the children in our local community, and Students Acquiring Knowledge through Enterprise (SAKE), a business leadership course and experience at the University of Arkansas.
Kristen Kiefer - Program Manager/Executive AssistantKristen manages the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub and provides assistance to our Executive Director, Sarah Goforth.
Brandon Howard – Communications & Social Media Specialist
Brandon is an experienced communications professional with an extensive background in print and broadcast media.
He is an Arkansas native and a proud graduate of the University of Arkansas.
Tiffany Henry / Instructional Designer of Training and Workshops
Tiffany champions student innovation by designing entrepreneurial training and workshops for OEI programs. With a background in startup community building, she has experience coordinating activities that support economic empowerment, creative problem solving, and venture development. Tiffany holds a master’s degree in psychology from Arkansas Tech University and has certificates in group facilitation and strategic grant writing.
Jason Riley - Program Manager of Venture InternshipsJason overseas the Venture Intern Program. This program matches talented undergraduate students from the University of Arkansas with startups, entrepreneurship support organizations, and investor networks within the community. Jason is a native of Little Rock,Ark and holds a B.S. Degree from University of Central Arkansas and Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Arkansas.
Madison Sutton – Program Manager of Competitions
Madison is a Fayetteville local whose journey at the OEI started with a pitch competition. Now she manages competitions for the office, including the Heartland Challenge and the Seed Funding Pitch Competition. Madison has experience in event planning and loves to get creative in her role with graphic design and decoration. She uses Airtable for just about everything, so Airtable questions are always welcome. In her free time, she loves dancing, reading, and all things creative.
Rachel Sullivant - Assistant Director, McMillon Innovation Studio
Rachel is the Assistant Director for the McMillon Innovation Studio where she helps advise and teach students using human-centered design methodologies in health, food, and retail. Formerly, Rachel was the Director and Advisor of Enactus, a social entrepreneurial student group on the University of Arkansas campus. She worked on a variety of projects, both domestically and internationally, focused on creating entrepreneurial solutions to social problems. Rachel hold a Masters in International Business and is pursuing her Juris Doctorate at the University of Arkansas.
Jessica Andrews - Impact Innovation Program Manager
Jessica is committed to supporting students, organizations, and the community in the
pursuit of positive social impact through innovative and evidence-based programming
and strategies. She is a firm believer that active listening and collaboration are
critical to successful initiatives. She has seven years of experience working in the
nonprofit sector, which includes leadership roles as CEO of the 7hills Homeless Center
and serving as executive director of the Startup Junkie Foundation. An Arkansas native,
Jessica is a University of Arkansas graduate and Fayetteville resident. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys being outdoors and traveling with her son, Max,
and her husband, Scott. She also loves cooking, interior design, painting, reading
high fantasy, and playing with her dogs, Layla and Charlie.