Longtime Arkansas Capital Corp. executive Sam Walls III has been named CEO of the financial nonprofit effective Jan. 1, 2022.
Walls has worked 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, ACC chairman of the board.
Walls replaces Rush Deacon, who was 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.
Arkansas Capital is a 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.
The financial firm partners with commercial banks, small businesses, and others from the private and public sectors to maximize its lending and project finance products. ACC 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.
“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 said.
Walls’ father, Sam Walls II, was the longtime CEO of the organization.
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.