The five leaders of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock were recognized in the 2022 edition of the Arkansas 250.
Among them are Chancellor Christina Dreil, Christian O’Neill, Vice Chancellor for University Development, Teresa Bayner, Dean of the William H. Bowen School of Law, Laura Fine, State Director of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center located in Little Rock. . , and Michael Pacco, Chief Economist and State Economic Forecaster at the Arkansas Institute for Economic Development in Little Rock.
Chancellor Drail and Christian O’Neill are perennial Arkansas 250 honorees, most recently recognized for their accomplishments in 2020.
“I am honored to be part of the Arkansas 250 and share this recognition with ASBTDC’s statewide team of over 40 dedicated to helping Arkansas start and grow businesses,” said Fine. “We are grateful to our clients for choosing to partner with us and to our many partners for prioritizing small business success.”
Arkansas 250 is an Arkansas Business Publishing Group publication that recognizes the state’s most influential leaders in banking and finance, construction and real estate, economic development, education and health, government and politics, industry leaders, law, poultry and agriculture, quality life and modern legends.
“I am honored to be included in such a prestigious list of Arkansas residents,” Pakko said. “It’s great to know that the work I do in the field of economic analysis and forecasting is recognized and appreciated by the public and the business community, and I’m grateful to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for providing me with a platform to participate in sharing this information.”
The Arkansas 250 describes the honorees as:
Drail became UA Little Rock’s first female chancellor in 2019 as the university faced unprecedented challenges. She led efforts to optimize the size of the institution, balance the budget, and improve efficiency by redirecting resources to institutional priorities.
O’Neill serves as Vice Chancellor for University Development at UA Little Rock, leading efforts to mobilize philanthropic support for the university. His leadership has resulted in a multi-year fundraiser of over $20 million, enabling UA Little Rock to provide students with the tools they need to succeed and improve the community and the state.
Beiner became the first female dean at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. As dean, she helped open a legal services clinic for law school veterans and a Pro Bono services center, and successfully secured approval and funding for the Center for Racial Justice and Criminal Justice Reform.
Fine leads a team dedicated to helping small businesses. Over the past year, the Arkansas Center for Small Business Development and Technology opened an office at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and launched the Arkansas Business Navigator program. The team supports over 9,000 jobs and has acquired over $83 million in capital.
Packo is Chief Economist and State Economic Forecaster at the Arkansas Institute for Economic Development in Little Rock. Before coming to Arkansas in 2009, Pacco was a research economist and fellow at the Federal Research Bank of St. Louis. Together with AEDI, he prepares forecasts and conducts research on the economy of Arkansas.