Mr. Lanis founded Partners in Knowledge after spending a decade traveling and working in some of the poorest places in the Americas. He has lived in Brazil, Haiti, and most recently Paraguay, where he worked on a project with Fundación Paraguaya’s self-sustaining secondary school, Escuela Agricola San Francisco de Asis. Mr. Lanis is a graduate of University of Arkansas’s Walton College of Business, where he pursued his bachelor’s in international business, and Clinton School of Public Service, where he obtained a Master of Public Service.
James L. "Skip" Rutherford III
Skip Rutherford is Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service In Little Rock, the nation's first to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree.
A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he received the Journalism Department's first Distinguished Alumnus Award. He has an extensive private sector background in communications and public relations and has served as a visiting professor at the University of Arkansas, the University of the Ozarks. Lyon College and the University of Central Arkansas. In 2015, he was a awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Hendrix College.
He serves on the Board of Trustees at Lyon College, the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Mid-South in Jackson, MS; and the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Children's Hospital System where he has promoted statewide children's health advocacy through the formation of the Natural Wonders Partnership Council.
He was the founding chairman of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and the Arts and was on the Little Rock School Board from 1987-1991, serving as president in 1989-90.
He has been named Headliner of the Year by the Arkansas Press Association; Arkansan of the Year by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association; Arkansan of the Year by the Arkansas Times; and was recognized as Tourism Person of the Year at the Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism.
He and his wife, Billie, are the parents of three children. They are members of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church where he co-teaches a young adult Sunday School class; is a past chairman of the Board of Stewards and co-chaired the church's centennial celebration. He also co-owns and manages two family farms in Independence and Jackson counties.
Sarah Hamilton is the Event Fundraiser for the Office of Alumni and Development at UA Little Rock. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Arkansas State University, and a Master’s of Arts from the University of Mississippi. Sarah chaired the 2016 Signature Chefs Auction to benefit the March of Dimes, where she oversaw a forty percent increase in revenue. Ms. Hamilton She has extensive experience in the field of higher education, volunteer management, event planning, and fundraising.
Robert Gunther is a CPA who has worked in public accounting for approximately 17 years with a firm based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Gunther is currently a Partner and head of the firm’s tax department, and is primarily engaged in in tax planning, compliance and consulting. Many of his clients operate as privately held family businesses, ESOP’s, Cooperatives, and entities that file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Industry specialties include food processing, agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation. Mr. Gunther is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Don Ernst currently serves as coordinator of the Children and Youth Initiative at the Central Arkansas Library System. He is instructor of education policy at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Mr. Ernst has served as director of education policy in the office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and as a senior consultant to the Coalition of Essential Schools, a network of reform minded high schools in Oakland, Calif.
A former teacher, Ernst has also worked on education initiatives with the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in Alexandra, Va., and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform in Providence, R.I. He served in the policy offices of former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh and former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.
Mr. Brown has worked in a multitude of capacities, both domestic and international, to move individuals and communities toward a more sustainable and prosperous future. Recently he completed a model for Heifer International (HI) to maximize income and minimize risk for rural agricultural producers in Nicaragua. Prior to his experience with HI, Mr. Brown worked with the Arkansas Community Foundation to identify how to best leverage affiliate grant money to bring lasting change to the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Mr. Brown is a former United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho, Africa where he established a health club in his community for exercise and sexual health instruction and advised a technical school in small business education. Brown has a Master of Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service and undergraduate degrees in finance and entrepreneurship from the University of Arkansas.
Sarah Bost is the Student Success Archivist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Center for Arkansas History and Culture where she leads efforts to bring archival materials into the classroom. She received her bachelor's degree in religious studies and master's degree in library science, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bost is passionate about preserving the past and documenting the present for future generations.
Secretary & Interim Treasurer
We're not quite ready yet!
We're spending every waking hour (and every dollar donated) on making PIK a reality. It's hard work! We would love to have your support in helping us become operational.