The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group (ACCG) is pleased to name Marie Bruno as executive director of the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), an affiliate of ACCG. Bruno’s role as executive director will focus on improving and expanding the education-based initiatives for students in grades 5-12, as well as collegiate students. “Marie’s excellent communication skills, along with her experience in leading non-profits, uniquely positions her to continue building and nurturing partnerships with the business and education communities that will result in the group’s ability to reach more students throughout the state,” said C. Sam Walls, chief executive officer of Arkansas Capital Corporation. “Her expertise will allow us to further expand and improve on our student-based entrepreneurial endeavors.” Marie Bruno joined Connect Arkansas, an affiliate of ACCG, in August 2010 as a vice president, where she was responsible for coordinating and facilitating high-speed Internet deployment, access, and adoption activities in Arkansas and related initiatives at the regional, state and federal levels. Marie is a native of Fayetteville, Ark., and graduated in 1981 from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism with emphasis in Political Science. Bruno was previously with Arkansas Literacy Councils, a statewide nonprofit adult literacy organization that works to support more than 50 nonprofit literacy councils that recruit and train volunteers to tutor adults who want to improve their basic literacy and/or English as a Second Language skills. She was with Arkansas Literacy Councils from 1990-1998 and 2004-2010; serving 12 of those years as executive director. Bruno also served as communications manager for the Arkansas Department of Career Education from 1998-2004. Bruno began her career in television, starting as an intern for what is now KNWA (NBC/Fayetteville), in 1978. She went full-time upon graduation until 1982, when she joined KOTV (CBS/Tulsa). She has also worked for the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), and KTHV (CBS/Little Rock). She worked in several different capacities during her broadcasting career, including photographer/editor, writer, weather anchor, producer, and public relations/promotions manager. It was her work at the Arkansas Educational Television Network that led her to a new career in the nonprofit field. Arkansas Capital Corporation Group (ACCG), established in 1957, is a privately held group dedicated to improving the lives of Arkansans. ACCG and its affiliate companies empower entrepreneurs by providing capital to businesses through its capital availability programs and advocating for entrepreneurs through capital, educational and technological improvements. ACCG serves as the platform from which new opportunities are launched and today includes eight affiliates including Arkansas Capital Corporation (ACC), Six Bridges Capital Corporation (6BCC), Arkansas Capital Relending Corporation (ACRC), Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), Diamond State Ventures (DSV), Heartland Renaissance Fund (HRF), Connect Arkansas, and Pine State Capital (PSC). Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), established in 1999, is a private, 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to education-based initiatives that promote and foster the development of innovation and entrepreneurship within Arkansas. With broad support from the state’s business community, AEAF’s purpose is to nurture people and ideas to generate future Arkansas entrepreneurs. AEAF established and now manages the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup, a collegiate business plan competition, with an annual prize pool of $580,000, which is one of the largest prize pools in the country. Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation also manages business plan competitions for grades 5-8 via the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S) and grades 9-12 through the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase 2.0 (Y.E.S. 2.0).