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Marla Johnson

CEO & Cofounder


Marla spent over 20 years deploying pioneering and award-winning work in Internet application development, data design, marketing and digital media in multiple industries including finance, government, retail, agriculture, health, tourism and food-service as CEO and Cofounder of Aristotle, Inc. In 2017, Marla funneled her passion into her online marketing and media consulting firm for transformative technology, Smart Media, LLC, and in 2018, she co-founded LeapXL with Brian Stack.

“What gives me energy is building extraordinary value for every player in a value chain:  the end-customers, our clients, our partners, our employees, and our investors. That technical and creative orchestration and transformation of systems that we all rely on daily, usually from our phones, is what I am built to do.” 

​Marla is experienced in design thinking, strategic planning, project planning, systems thinking, and business modeling. Marla has been conducting market research, speaking, and teaching nationally for many years regarding communication technology, marketing and digital advertising. She has worked actively on many community efforts related to education, workforce development, the arts, health, technology, entrepreneurship and economic development. She was an Adjunct Professor of Marketing in the College of Business at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she received her Master’s Degree in Education. She received the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship and University of Memphis Distinguished Alumna Award. She is also on the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield board of directors.



Marla is a nationally recognized technology expert and keynote speaker on the Internet, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and emerging technologies, including blockchain and LCNC (low-code/no-code). Marla has spoken to industry groups and at tech conferences about online marketing, research methodology, tracking and metrics, social networking trends, blockchain for supply chain, advances in Ag Tech and how LCNC is changing the rules of enterprise innovation and modernization.

Selected past speaking engagements follow:

  • “Message in a Digital Bottle: Operationalizing Audience Segmentation.” Search Engine Journal Summit sponsored by Searchmetrics, Silicon Valley, CA

  • “The 12 Most Important Things You Need to Know Right Now about Online Tourism Marketing." Kentucky Tourism Industry Annual Conference

  • “Why and How to Build a New Breed of Consumer-oriented DMOs.” Destination Marketing Association International Annual Convention

  • “What will the Tourism-Promotion Website of the Future Look Like?” eTourism Summit

  • “Marketing is in Your Hands: How Social Media, Mobile Technology, and Geo-location Services can Build Your Audience.” Small Market Meetings Conference

  • “How Search, Social and Mobile Communications can Increase Meeting Sales and Leisure Visits.” Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism 

  • “Apps, Tablets, Email: The Future of Your Mobile Relationships.” International Association of Business Communicators

  • “New Channels, New Challenges: Planning for Mobile Technology and the Next Generation in Social Media.” American Advertising Federation

Marla has presented at many conferences and to many organizations including:

  • America Outdoors

  • American Advertising Federation 

  • Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism

  • Destination Marketing Association International Annual Conference

  • Destination Marketing Association of the West (formerly Western Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau (WACVB))

  • eTourism Summit 

  • International Association of Business Communicators 

  • Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference 

  • Kentucky Tourism Industry Annual Conference 

  • Louisiana Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit 

  • Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism 

  • Missouri Governor’s Conference on Tourism 

  • National Tourism Association

  • New Mexico Governor’s Conference

  • North Carolina Governor’s Conference

  • Northwest Arkansas Tech Summit

  • Search Engine Journal Summit (2015) – Silicon Valley, CA

  • Small Market Meetings Conference 

  • South Carolina Governor’s Conference

  • Travel and Tourism Research Association – Marketing Outlook Forum

  • University of Arkansas – Fayetteville

  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • U.S. Travel Association’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO)

  • West Virginia Governor’s Conference


Marla satisfies her love of the outdoors by cycling and kayaking and expresses her love of the earth through growing vegetables, herbs and flowers. She is also married to the most wonderful man on the planet who brought three beautiful granddaughters into her life.

Location: Arkansas

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