When the task is describing James Hendren’s impact as an Arkansas influencer, where to begin? Hendren quite probably is the most impactful yet under-the-radar influencer in the state. Under the auspices of his own consulting firm, Hendren serves or has served as mentor, adviser, chairman and board member to almost every venture, program or effort related to the advancement of tech-based startups, STEM education and economic development in Arkansas.
His underlying leadership and guidance have helped propel the state to new heights in the development of its startup community and STEM education in its schools. Former CEO of Arkansas Systems Inc., the groundbreaking financial services company that helped launch the fintech industry, Hendren currently serves as chairman for the Venture Center and Broadband Development Group.
A short list of startup and board affiliations includes stints on the boards of Accelerate Arkansas (past chair), the Arkansas STEM Coalition; the Arkansas Economic Development Commission; the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority; Arkansas Academy of Computing; the University of Arkansas Walton Business College; the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine; the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Arts, Letters and Science, and prominent Arkansas startups Movista and Qbox.
Hendren also sits on the board of Viviar Medical, which develops non-invasive devices and systems for monitoring cardiopulmonary diseases, and on the Southern Regional Board for Boy Scouts of America. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in physics from the University of Arkansas.