Arkansas Business Hall of Fame announces inductees for 2019

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,359 views 

Claiborne Deming, from left, the late Joe Steele, Warren Stephens and the late John Tyson will be inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced Wednesday (Oct. 10) the 2019 class of inductees for the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

They are:

  • Claiborne P. Deming, retired president and chief executive officer and current chairman of the board, Murphy Oil Corp.
  • The late Joe M. Steele, founder, Steele Canning Co. and the Springdale Canning Co.
  • Warren A. Stephens, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Stephens Inc.
  • The late John W. Tyson, founder and former chief executive officer, Tyson Foods

They will join 82 other members of the Hall of Fame when they are inducted Feb. 8, 2019, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

“These leaders have shaped Arkansas with their sense of community and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Walton College, said in a news release. “Their contributions reach beyond our state’s borders, while creating lucrative opportunities for Arkansans.”

Deming was president and CEO of El Dorado-based Murphy Oil from Oct. 1, 1994, to Dec. 31, 2008. He has chaired the executive committee of the board of directors since January 2009.

Steele started Steele Canning Co. in 1924, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History, and it grew to be one of the largest privately owned canning companies in the world, partly as a result of the introduction of Popeye brand spinach in 1965.

Stephens is the longtime chief executive of the diversified financial group founded in 1933 in Little Rock. He will join his father in the state’s business Hall of Fame. The late Jackson T. Stephens, who served as president of Stephens Inc. from 1957 to 1986, was inducted in 1999.

Tyson was president and founder of Tyson Feed and Hatchery, the company that in 1972 became Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest producer of meat products. He was CEO of the company from 1935 until his death in 1967. Tyson will join his son in the state’s business hall of fame. The late Don Tyson, president of the business in 1966 and CEO and chairman from 1967 to 1991, was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2000

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 of Fayetteville public relations firm Mitchell, chaired the selection committee of nine business and community leaders who reviewed nominations from throughout the state and chose the inductees. Criteria for selection 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. In addition, living inductees must be over the age of 60.

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 at this link.