Marla Johnson

Co-Founder & CEO, LeapXL

From 1995 - 2018 Marla Johnson focused on scaling complex Internet-related applications for businesses across multiple industries through the pioneering AristotleInc. In that journey, she became adept at prognosticating and advancing game-changing tech innovation – she was often on a speaking circuit telling her audienceswhat was next and how they could ride the wave of digital transformation.

In 2018, Marla and Brian Stack launched LeapXL to deliver on a dream of simple, fast cloud computing with no code tools for data connection, application development and deployment (iPaaS and aPaaS), resulting in lightning speed development and deployment of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), collapsing months of agile development into a few days. LeapXL has found a successful foothold in banking, insurance and financial services because LeapXL gives flight to companies in the race to securely modernize and scale a series of legacy, core and innovative fintech together to quickly respond to today’s demanding customers and get more products out to market fasterwithout breakage.

Marla’s energy comes from her drive to make a big, positive impact on as many people as possible. Her tireless service to the community led to Aristotle being name Arkansas Corporate Philanthropist of the year. She received the national Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship and distinguished alumni awards from both her alma maters, the University of Memphis and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 2017, Marla funneled her passion for transformative and meaningful work into Smart Media, LLC, her Bentonville, Arkansas marketing consulting and game publishing firm and Blockchain Ready Studio which focused on sustainable, local food production traceability. For over a decade, she has served on Fifty for the Future in Little Rock and on the board of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. In 2021 she was named a “Titan of Tech” by Arkansas Money and Politics. In 2022, Marla was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Computing and joined the steering committee of the Arkansas chapter of Million Women Mentors.

Additional Personal Background Technical and creative orchestration and transformation of systems is what Marla was built to do. Marla’s father sold and helped install mainframe computers for Burroughs Corporation, so she was around “computing machines” since she can remember. In college, she conducted research on both mainframes with punch cards and then on personal computers. After graduating college, she helped produce a series of videotapes on how to program personal computers which was used by Boeing Corporation to help them move from mainframe to PC.

Marla’s video production expertise landed her the opportunity to help produce one of the first games with video for Electronic Arts with a team at Five Miles Out in Little Rock, Arkansas. That team went on to become the core of Aristotle Inc., and Marla was the CEO and Cofounder. She spent 20 years deploying pioneering and award-winning work in Internet application development, data design, search engine optimization and digital media for multiple industry sectors including entertainment, news, banking, retail, healthcare, non-profit and tourism.