Our Team

Staff

 

Sarah Goforth - Executive Director, Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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 - Student Programs Director

Deb Williams - Student Programs Director

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

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 Director

Cari Humphry – Marketing and Creative Services Director

Cari 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

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 - Administrative Support Supervisor

Kristen Kiefer - Administrative Support Supervisor

Kristen Kiefer joined us on February 3rd as the Administrative Support Supervisor for the Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub. Coming to us from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture with an administrative background of 6+ years, Kristen assists in managing the many happenings of the Hub. When she's not at the Hub she's spending time with her husband, fur-children of four, and houseplants of plenty!
Brandon Howard – Communications & Social Media Specialist

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 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 Internships

Jason Riley - Program Manager of Venture Internships

Jason 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 Student Programs

Madison Sutton – Program Manager of Student Programs

A recent grad from the Walton College, Madison is thrilled to be a part of the OEI team. Madison supports the Social Innovation Challenge, Venture Intern Program, and Heartland Challenge. She also serves as the Director of Enactus, a social entrepreneurial student group at the University of Arkansas.

 

Rachel Sullivant - Assistant Director, McMillon Innovation Studio

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 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.

Hilola Tuychieva - Project Manager, Events

Hilola Tuychieva - Project Manager, Events

An experienced manager, Hilola is passionate about linking business and education to support student success. She joins OEI after working with the U of A Graduate School of Business Administration Office. She holds a BA in Foreign Languages from Central Asia and is a graduate of the Walton College of Business, where she focused in Supply Chain Management.
Jerra Hill / Associate Director of Operations

Jerra Hill / Associate Director of Operations

Jerra assists with the operations at the Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Originally from North Carolina, Jerra has been with the University of Arkansas for 11 years.