C. Sam Walls Entrepreneur Educator Award

Arkansas Capital will once again seek nominations for its 2017 C. Sam Walls Entrepreneur Educator Award, presented by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, to honor Mr. Walls for his relentless advocacy for entrepreneurial education in Arkansas.

Mr. Walls joined Arkansas Capital in 1989. He was promoted to CEO in 1995 and led the company until his retirement in July 2013.

With the support of the Arkansas Capital Board of Directors, Mr. Walls established AEAF and created what is now known as the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition, which is became one of the premier collegiate business plan competitions in the United States and has been used to spearhead Arkansas Capital’s broad effort to empower entrepreneurs in Arkansas.

Since 2001, more than 2,300 students from 20 of the state’s four-year colleges and universities have competed in the Governor’s Cup, submitting 773 business plans. Winning teams and their faculty advisors have been awarded more than $1.9 million in cash prizes.

The C. Sam Walls Entrepreneur Educator Award will honor two college or university educators who have worked in support of entrepreneurial education on their campuses. Each winner will receive $2,500 to be used at his/her discretion. Their institution will also receive $2,500 for the furtherance of entrepreneurial education.

The awards will be presented to the winners during the 2017 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 11, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Wally Allen Ballroom of the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Who is eligible for the award? A member of the faculty or administration of an Arkansas college/university that is currently participating, or has participated in previous years, in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Business Plan Competition.

Who can make nominations? Any member of the faculty or administration of the nominee’s academic institution or any current or former student competitor may submit a nomination.

Nomination format: Nominations are to be submitted in writing, typed in 12-point Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Nominations are limited to five pages.

Nomination contents: Please begin the nomination with a cover page, including a date and the following information for both the nominator and the nominee — name, title, institution, street address, city/state/zip, email address, and phone number. This page is not included in the five-page limit. For the nomination, please include:

  • A statement on how the nominee meets the eligibility requirement.
  • Why you are making the nomination.
  • A narrative on what the nominee has done to promote entrepreneurial education on his / her campus. The narrative may include how he/she has:
    • encouraged teams to participate in the Governor’s Cup,
    • worked to integrate entrepreneurs and professionals from the local community to assist students in entrepreneurial education,
    • worked to include students from multiple disciplines (agriculture, business, hospitality/tourism, engineering, science, healthcare, etc.) to participate in business plan competitions and other entrepreneurial education activities,
    • effected changes in the curriculum and on campus to include entrepreneurship,
    • encouraged students to compete in other business plan competitions or to actually implement their business plans.

Submission of nominations: Email, mail, or fax nominations to:
AEAF – C. Sam Walls Award
200 River Market Ave., Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Attn: Marie Bruno

Email: mbruno@arcapital.com
Fax: 501-374-9425

Deadline: Friday, March 17, 2017, 5:00 p.m. CST

Notification of Winners: The two winners and their nominators will be notified by phone the week of March 20. Nominees and their nominators will be provided complimentary tickets to the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Awards Luncheon.

Previous Winners:




Questions: Please contact Marie Bruno, executive director, Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation by calling 501-374-9247 or emailing mbruno@arcapital.com.

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