John Chamberlin began his career in manual labor at poultry hatcheries his father managed, later programmed computers summers at a integrated poultry firm, and worked as a research assistant and instructor during his college days. His army service was as Chief Budget Analyst for the Army Materiel Command in Europe. In 1972 he moved to Little Rock to work in development for a then small firm, Systematics. In 1975 he left to form his own firm, Arkansas Systems.
The early years at Arkansas Systems involved diverse development – agricultural systems, a VA Ambulatory Care System, escrow accounting systems, and more – and searching for a niche. Eventually the niche appeared in the form of ATM systems and other online financial networks for banks. In the 1980s Arkansas Systems developed a large market in community banks in the US, with a few international installations.
As the number of community banks dropped due to changes in banking law and the economy, Arkansas Systems went international, put the first ATMs on Red Square, installed check processing systems for the People’s Bank of China, and developed a customer base in 60 countries. John did a lot of travel to make this happen! One of the client companies was Euronet, headquartered in Kansas City but with operation in Eastern Europe. Euronet, using Arkansas Systems software, eventually drove half the ATMs in many countries in Eastern Europe. In 1998 Euronet did an IPO and used part of the proceeds to acquire Arkansas Systems. John helped with the merger and remained with Euronet Worldwide until 2001.
John earned a master’s degree in Operations Research in human nutrition at MIT with courses split between engineering departments and the Sloan School of Management, and a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State. John also graduated from the US Army Finance School at Ft. Harrison IN, and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He continues education and research in areas such as bioinformatics, genetic genealogy and human origins.
Since 2001 John has been involved with several technology start-ups. He was a founding board member of a pioneering internet funds transfer firm, Ikobo. Currently he is a board member of Ceton Corp in Seattle and Bio-Detection Instruments in Fayetteville. He is a technology investor and serves on the investment committee of Fund for Arkansas’s Future.
John is also involved in service. He was an original member of the Southern Technology Council and recently stepped down from ten years on the board of the Arkansas Community Foundation, where he continues to serve on the Community Leadership Committee. He is a member of Accelerate Arkansas and serves on the executive committee of the Arkansas STEM Coalition. He is a business member of the Arkansas Continuing Commission on Educational Excellence. Currently he is vice chair of the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission. John is also an Arkansas Trustee of the Nature Conservancy.
John grew up in Clarksville and Fort Smith Arkansas and has lived in Little Rock since 1972. He also has a house in Gilbert, Arkansas. He and his wife Shannon have three children, Katharyn, Mary and John F. who all live in Little Rock.