Arkansas Business Hall of Fame announces inductees for 2017

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 349 views 

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced Wednesday (Oct. 19) the 2017 class of inductees for the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

They are:
• Charles E. Scharlau, retired chairman, president and chief executive officer at Southwestern Energy Co.;

• Thomas B. Schueck, chairman of Lexicon Inc.;

• Sherman E. Tate, president and chief executive officer of Tate & Associates Management; and

• Gus M. Vratsinas, chairman of Bailey Construction and Consulting LLC.

They will join 74 other members of the Hall of Fame when they are inducted Feb. 10, 2017, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

“I am proud and humbled to have the opportunity to celebrate the careers of these four outstanding business leaders,” Matthew Waller, dean of the Walton College, said in a news release. “They and those who have preceded them as members of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame represent the best in business in our state. Their lives and epic achievements in business and in their communities have helped keep Arkansas moving forward.”

Scharlau, who earned a law degree from the UA in 1951, began his career as legal counsel at Southwestern Energy — then known as Arkansas Western Gas — in 1951 and spent the next 47 years with the company, retiring as president and CEO in 1998.

He is Of Counsel at Conner & Winters LLP in Fayetteville, is a past chairman of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the UA Board of Trustees from rom 1997-2007, including serving as its chairman from 2005-06.

As chairman of Lexicon, Schueck oversees a family of companies that includes Schueck Steel, which specializes in structural steel erection, mechanical equipment installation, construction management and plant maintenance. He has served during his career on numerous boards and commissions, including the Arkansas Highway Commission and the Little Rock Airport Commission.

Prior to starting his own company, Tate held senior management positions with the State of Arkansas, Arkansas Louisiana Gas Co. (ARKLA) and Alltel Corp., now Verizon Wireless. He is also a past chairman of the board at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, and a past chairman of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Vratsinas, who has a master’s in civil engineering from the UA, has more than 40 years experience in the state’s engineering and construction industry. He joined Bailey Construction when the company was launched in April 2011. Before that, he helped launch general contracting form Vratsinas Construction Co., which later became VCC. He was inducted into the Arkansas Construction Hall of Fame in 2006 and was named Arkansan of the Year in 2011 by Easter Seals Arkansas.

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is housed in the atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development at the Walton College on the UA campus in Fayetteville.

Ann Bordelon, Walton College alumna and chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of NOWDiagnostics Inc., chaired the selection committee of nine business and community leaders who reviewed nominations from throughout the state and chose the inductees.

Hall of Fame inductees must be over 60, and criteria included the significance of the impact made as a business leader, the concern demonstrated for improving the community and the display of ethics in all business dealings, according to the press release. A list of previous inductees into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is available at this link.

Tickets to the induction ceremony, a black-tie optional event, are $150 per person. For information about tickets and event sponsorships, contact the office of external relations at the Walton College at 479-575-6146, by email at [email protected], or on the Web.