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Meet Our Founders
Born and raised in Central Arkansas, Justin Bates began his career in the corporate world before leaving in 2016 to work in the Small Business Arena. Justin is currently the President of Empire Kids & Connect Academy for Children, as well as the Tumbling Department Leader for Empire Kids. He is the proud father of his and Brooke's son Crew. Together Justin & Brooke (his wife) have two Boston Terriers, Hopson & Barley.
In his free time, Justin plays disc golf and loves to paint - but he is often dragged into the woods by Brooke to go hiking and overnight backpacking.
After launching a business from her garage in 2014, Co-Founder & Owner Brooke Plack has successively opened businesses focused on serving the children & families of Central Arkansas. As a serial entrepreneur herself, she knows the importance of working in beautiful places with positive vibes and is beyond excited to bring The Space at The Palace to the community.
Brooke is also the Founder & Owner of Empire Kids and Connect Academy for Children, as well as the Co-Founder and Board Chair for The EMpact One Foundation, a local non-profit organization focused on empowering youth by raising funds for children and youth in need to participate in high-quality sports and extracurricular activities.
In her free time, Brooke immerses herself in her garden (and soon to be greenhouse) and enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, and listening to audiobooks.
As a Pine Bluff native, Lisa Weeks joined Brooke in 2014 and was integral in building both businesses from the ground up. Gifted in administration and the never-ending "to-do" lists, Lisa is the glue that holds the team together.
Lisa is currently the Vice President of Administration for Empire Kids & Connect Academy for Children, as well as the Co-Founder and oversees Administration & Compliance for The EMpact One Foundation.
Lisa and her husband Mike have three grown children and two beautiful grandchildren. Lisa is an advocate for Spinal Cord Injury Awareness and Equal Accessibility for All.