Person of the Month: Grace Rains

Grace Rains is the director of operations at the Conductor, a public-private partnership between Startup Junkie Consulting and the University of Central Arkansas. The Conductor empowers entrepreneurs, makers and innovators, and is dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Central Arkansas. “I’d been introduced to the Conductor through events and an Innovation Lab at Conway Regional Health System, so when the opportunity arose to join the team, it felt like a natural next step.” (Mike Kemp photo)

City: Conway.

Work: Director of Operations at the Conductor since August 2019.

Why did you decide to go into your field: Entrepreneurship has been a theme throughout my life. I grew up in a household supported by a small business, worked for a variety of entrepreneurs, including a small business marketing firm, and even met my husband in an entrepreneurship and innovation class.

What do you enjoy most about your work: I feel strongly about connecting career with purpose, and I’m very fortunate that my job is extremely purposeful and rewarding. I get to empower and support others as they validate their ideas, work toward their dreams and realize their potential. 

Community activities: Board member for Bethlehem House and the Conway Public School Foundation; state coordinator for Global Entrepreneurship Week Arkansas.

Family: Husband, Josh; and our dogs, Scout and Ted.

Education: Bachelor of science degree in health sciences and master’s degree in business administration, both from the University of Central Arkansas.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: I like any opportunity to spend time outside. I love working in our yard or garden, hunting, hiking and floating.

Favorite place in Arkansas: Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean State Park, where my husband proposed.

What do you love about living in the 501: I love the kind, collaborative nature of the people who live here, the dedication to strengthening and building our communities, and our central location which gives us access to resources from across the state. 

More information: I want to encourage others to connect with us and utilize the resources of the Conductor – we’re here to help! Our work is focused on empowering entrepreneurs, innovators and makers through no cost programming and events for all ages as well as one-on-one small business coaching, our rural growth initiative and innovation in the UCA Makerspace, powered by Conductor.