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Success Stories

Genesis Child Learning Center

In April 2011, Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC) client Brenda Gatewood and her husband, Odis, launched Genesis Childcare Learning Center in El Dorado.  Their goal is to serve the growing community while meeting the needs of children and parents.  Their daycare provides a balance of “home-like” care and appropriate development activities while nurturing children and encouraging them to grow to their full potential.

Starting with an idea, AWBC helped Brenda and Odis to prepare a business plan, develop financial projections, marketing, and more so they could acquire a loan to get the business started and file as a limited liability company in Arkansas.  In the end, the Gatewoods did not take out a loan, but did fundraising so they could make updates to their building to bring it to code.  Genesis is one of the only daycares in South Arkansas to offer a unique perk: online viewing.  Parents love the ability to watch their children at any time, or all day long, from their... Read More

Galley Support Innovations

Whether you’re flying at 30,000 feet or yachting on a river, it’s the little things that can make a big difference to interior quality and luxury. Galley Support Innovations (GSI), of Sherwood, Arkansas, designs and manufactures custom interior hardware for just this market that includes commercial aircraft, trains, and yachts. 

Owners Gina and Wade Radke have changed the way the industry looks at interior hardware.  Much of the hardware on these transportation vehicles had not been updated in decades.

“We’re not interested in selling everybody the same latch,” said Gina.  “That’s been done for years.  Led by Wade, our team sits down with the aircraft designers to understand the complete interior design.  From there they design custom solutions that fit the overall design.   Our motto is ‘We Make It Happen’.”

GSI manufacturing was run as a California family-owned business for over 50 years before Gina and Wade bought the business in 2004 and moved it to... Read More


Clubhaus Fitness, with locations in Fayetteville and Little Rock, is the latest innovation in health clubs.  The clubs feature a modern boutique setting in a relaxed, environmentally-friendly atmosphere equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and amenities. The focus is on an integrated program of fitness, wellness and nutrition, creating a unique fitness experience in Arkansas.

Clubhaus Fitness is the vision of Stuart Walker.  He began his career in health club management over 25 years ago in Arkansas’ largest health clubs.  In 2008, he lost his job due to the economic downturn.  Looking over job possibilities, he decided that he would start his own health club in Fayetteville.   With his background in social work and psychology, it was the perfect choice. “I like helping people and working with them,” said Stuart.  In 2009, Stuart and his father, retired businessman Loyd Walker, opened the first Clubhaus Fitness on Dickson Street in Fayetteville with an SBA guaranteed... Read More



Architectural photography used to be a field dominated by men.  DeAnn Shields-Marley’s stunning and award winning photography helped changed that.  DeAnn is the owner of Shields-Marley Photography based in Little Rock.  Her current body of work encompasses structures located throughout the southeast, southwest as well as other locations around the nation. Her architectural photographs have been integral in assisting architects presenting their work to clients and Design Award selection committees.

DeAnn spent her early childhood in rural Arkansas, moving to North Little Rock when she was nine, and then to Houston, Texas, in her early twenties.  DeAnn started studying photography in Houston and won a prize in the first photography contest that she entered.  In addition to her accounting education, she continued her studies in photography at Winona Institute of Professional Photography, Maine Media... Read More