Photography by Carper Creative Photography
Each year, community leaders wear their dancing shoes for the coveted winning title that is earned at the Dancing with Our Stars Gala. All this fun and friendly competition benefits the Children’s Tumor Foundation and supports the Arkansas chapter’s research and mission: to end and find a cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in the nervous system, causing tumors to form on nerve tissue.
Children’s Tumor Foundation also provides support for children and families affected by NF. A portion of gala proceeds will support the Adult NF Clinic Pilot Program. We’re putting each star in the spotlight and introducing them on our blog. They will compete at the Sept. 8 gala, in addition to soliciting contributions + votes prior to the event.
Dan Roda – Co-Founder & CEO, Abaca
Dancing with Savannah Boyce
This year, I am honored to be participating as one of our Stars in the Dancing with Our Stars – Little Rock Gala. Please consider supporting the Children’s Tumor Foundation and their mission to #ENDNF by voting for me and donating to my fundraising campaign.
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and returned to the Philadelphia area to attend law school at Villanova after four fun years at Tulane University in New Orleans. Shortly thereafter I met my wife — Lake Village, Arkansas, native Elizabeth Michael – and promptly followed her back to her home state after getting my JD in 2008.
I’ve been privileged to practice law for some great companies and firms across the state and to learn from some great mentors along the way. After we legalized medical cannabis in 2016, I helped start the state’s first cannabis trade association and, while representing clients looking to get into the state’s budding new industry, I ultimately caught the entrepreneurial bug myself, leading to the co-founding of a financial technology company, Abaca, along with three partners. In the years since we’ve grown Abaca from a one-room office in the Little Rock Technology Park to a team of over 30 employees that is providing banking and payment processing services to cannabis businesses coast to coast.
Outside of cannabis, Elizabeth and I share overlapping passions for history, architecture, and dogs. We live in a historic house in the Quapaw Quarter and we opened Bark Bar – the state’s first and only indoor/outdoor dog park, restaurant, and bar – in a neighborhood building that once housed a turn-of-the-century church. We’re also very proud to have been a small part of the development team that rehabilitated the long-vacant Hall and Davidson Buildings into the AC Hotel by Marriott Little Rock.
You may be wondering, though, what qualifications I might have that would help me as I prepare to participate in this year’s Dancing with the Stars in support of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. The answer is…. None. Objectively, I may be the least qualified dancer in the history of this event, and it’s highly likely that my performance will be a disaster.
Don’t you want to come see for yourself?