By BECKY HARRIS
LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER
An overflow crowd on Thursday morning on the second floor of Federal Plaza in Downtown Conway heard Gov. Mike Beebe welcome Inuvo, an Internet marketing firm.
Beebe said he wasn’t allowed to say what the salaries of the 50 employees will be, but they will be "very, very, very high salaries."
Beebe said: "Conway continues to build an attractive climate of success for knowledge-based industries.
"Between the three universities and numerous existing technology companies, Inuvo’s leaders knew they would find a hard-working, educated workforce ready to fuel the company’s continued growth."
As the Governor was speaking, Charles Morgan’s cell phone alerted him to a call. The crowd laughed as Morgan, longtime CEO of Acxiom, a member of the board and one of the largest stockholders of Inuvo, blushed as he fumbled with his phone.
"Technology," Morgan grimaced as he switched off the phone.
Rich Howe, a former Acxiom executive, is CEO and President of Inuvo.
Howe praised the Governor and Conway officials for supporting the move of the company’s headquarters from New York to Conway.
The Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund provided a grant to help cover relocation and equipment expenses for Inuvo.
"This was a good financial decision, for the company, its employees and our families," Howe said.
"Through this move, we both improve our operating performance and partner with a state committed to creating opportunities for knowledge-based businesses."
He told that over the Christmas holidays, some Conway Chamber employees hosted Inuvo employees and their families, taking them on tours of the town and area to see what awaits them.
Howe said before he made the announcement, he was most worried about the move for his Chief Financial Officer, Wally Ruiz, who surprisingly reacted favorably to the boss’s news with one word:
Ruiz is a hunter, he explained, and happy he’ll be closer to flooded fields and early-morning outings.
In his welcoming comments, Mayor Tab Townsell said the City is committed to building a "quality of place."
"Conway has spent the last decade investing in education and infrastructure for the very purpose of attracting talented people like the ones so critical to Inuvo’s success."
Howe said the company is looking for good people. For job inquiries, visit www.inuvo.com/careers.
Inuvo develops applications and delivers targeted ads onto partner websites. The company says its revenues were $53.3 million in fiscal 2012, up 49 percent from the year before.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 505-1234.)