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Startup Grind with Charisse Childers

  • UCA Downtown 1105 West Oak Street Conway, AR, 72032 United States (map)

Join the Conductor for Startup Grind with Charisse Childers, Director for Arkansas Career Education.


Startup Grind is a monthly fireside chat presented in partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs. Conway is one of 200 cities in the world with a Startup Grind chapter. Each month, the Conductor hosts a fireside chat with a local influencer/entrepreneur. To date, the Conductor has hosted Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry; Amy Fecher, Executive VP of Operations at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission; Earnest Sweat, California-based venture capitalist; Jeff Amerine, Principal of Startup Junkie Consulting; Jeff Standridge, Chief Catalyst of the Conductor; and Alison Williams, Chief-of-Staff for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, among others.

Don't miss a chance to hear Charisse Childers's life and business advice, and network over food!

This is free and open to the public.


5:00 p.m. - Doors open + networking

6:00 p.m. - Fireside chat with Charisse Childers

7:00 p.m. - Networking


About Charisse Childers:

Having spent all of her life in Arkansas, raised in Blytheville and now living in Little Rock, Dr. Charisse Childers is always working to make a difference in the lives of others. Her experiences, knowledge, and unwavering enthusiasm are demonstrated in everything that she does. With 30 years of years of work and personal experience in business, education, law enforcement, non-profits and economic development, she has built friendships and has contacts in all parts of the state.

After graduating from Blytheville High School, Dr. Childers worked her way through college at Arkansas State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1988. Realizing that she wanted to continue her education and that additional education and training would open up greater opportunities, she later earned master’s and specialist’s degrees from Arkansas State University. Then at the age of 42, she graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Policy.

Dr. Childers’ career began in secondary and post-secondary education – giving her an opportunity to work with students and demonstrate the importance of an education. In addition to serving on a national education board and being recognized for her exemplary work in post-secondary education, she has written and administered federal, state, and local grants and has been a federal grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education.

She served from 2006–2014 as the executive director of Accelerate Arkansas, an 80-member statewide group of business and education leaders dedicated to knowledge-based economic development in the state of Arkansas. She was appointed director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education in January 2015 where she continues working with leaders around the state on education and economic development policy and career and educational services that prepare our youth and adults for jobs while meeting the needs of our businesses in Arkansas. 

Most recently, Dr.Childers was recognized by her peers as the 2016 ‘Rising Star’ by Advance CTE – an association of state directors of career and technical education.  Previously, she was recognized by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation as one of 40 non-profit leaders in the state-based on her accomplishments and strong leadership traits that exemplify the legacy of Governor Rockefeller and who are contributing to moving the needle in Arkansas.

Dr. Childers served on the Arkansas State Police Commission for seven years and currently is a member of the Arkansas State Police Foundation. She serves on the board of the Arkansas State Alumni Association and  Advance CTE.




Earlier Event: July 17
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Later Event: July 23
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