SARTA’s board chairman takes CEO reins

SARTA, the nonprofit dedicated to expanding Sacramento’s tech economy, has changed chief executives.

Meg Arnold, the organization’s board chairwoman, has replaced J.D. Stack as CEO of the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance.

Arnold just finished a four-month stint as head of the green capital alliance at Valley Vision, an organization devoted to regional planning. Before that she was with Drexel University’s Sacramento campus, and had been director of business development and entrepreneurship at the InnovationAccess program at the University of California, Davis.

Stack will remain at SARTA as director of program development and grants. He joined the organization in spring 2007 after 14 years as head of economic development for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Arnold takes charge of SARTA at a time when the region’s tech economy is struggling in a sour economy.

Companies are having trouble getting venture capital and other forms of financing, and “growth projections have slowed,” she said.

Yet she said the industry hasn’t ground to a halt, either. Entrepreneurs “are finding ways to bootstrap (their) companies,” she said.

SARTA has been involved in promoting the region’s green-technology initiative. It is perhaps best known for its quarterly index measuring the health of Sacramento’s tech industry.

With Arnold’s shift to CEO, the new SARTA chairman is Dave Sanders of the executive search firm Worldbridge Partners of Roseville.