Richard Howe, CEO and chairman of Inuvo, the Internet marketing and technology company that is moving its headquarters from New York to Conway, said Thursday three main factors led to that decision.
“In Conway, we found the right combination of talent, of education and of a family atmosphere,” Howe, of Little Rock, said at Thursday’s announcement.
Inuvo’s headquarters will be in the Federal Plaza building in downtown Conway, where officials made the announcement.
The company will hire 50 people during the next four years, beginning immediately, Howe said, at salaries of $75,000 to $95,000. About a third of the jobs coming to Conway will be for employees transferred to Arkansas, and the rest will be hired in the state, a Conway official said.
Howe, 50, said Inuvo is a “very relationship-oriented company.” He said that around Christmastime, he brought Inuvo employees to look at the city.
Howe said he and his wife have two sons, one of whom attends the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
In addition to moving its headquarters, Howe said the company is “scaling back” its location in New York and closing its Florida location.
“This move will no doubt enhance our ability to compete,” he said.
The almost $54 million-a-year public company, Howe said, develops consumer applications “that make using the Internet easier” and delivers targeted ads onto websites owned by partners and the company.
Charles Morgan, formerly of Conway and former leader of Acxiom Corp., is an Inuvo board member and one of its larger shareholders, Howe said. Morgan attended Thursday’s announcement and was praised by everyone who took the podium.
“Basically, we just stole a play from your playbook, you know that,” Howe said to Morgan.
Morgan is executive chairman of First Orion Corp.’s PrivacyStar, a company that offers security applications for smartphones. That business is also in the Federal Plaza in Conway.
Gov. Mike Beebe said Conway is a “forward-thinking, progressive, on-the-move place,” so Inuvo’s relocation goes with that mindset.
Conway Mayor Tab Townsell said, “The product we’ve created in 2013 that attracted you and your company and your families is not a finished product.”
Townsell guaranteed that the city will continue to build quality of place.
“You can’t build quality of life without quality of place,” he said.
Brad Lacy, president and CEO of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and the Conway Development Corp., guaranteed Howe that the company would get the same level of service in two years that it is being given now.
The state will provide a $1.75 million grant from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund to help with the company’s relocation and equipment expenses.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.