Class of 2020 announced for state’s business hall of fame

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,049 views 

From left: Gerald Alley, Olivia Farrell, Charles Nabholz, Reynie Rutledge.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced Thursday (Oct. 10) the 2020 class of inductees for the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

  • Gerald Alley, president and chief executive officer, Con-Real LP
  • Olivia Farrell, retired chief executive officer, Arkansas Business Publishing Group
  • Charles Nabholz, chairman emeritus, Nabholz Corp.
  • Reynie Rutledge, chairman and chief executive officer, First Security Bancorp

“These distinguished leaders have done much to promote Arkansas through their business dealings and community support,” said Matt Waller, Walton College dean. “They serve as global ambassadors to our state through their industries. I am proud to welcome them to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.”

Alley is the founder and president of Con-Real Inc., the largest African American-owned construction and real estate firm in Texas and the Southwest. He has served on the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board of the Walton College of Business.

From her position in the publication industry, Farrell helped build the Arkansas Times and Arkansas Business Publishing Group into two of the state’s biggest independent multi-media firms.

Nabholz began his career with Nabholz Construction and Supply in 1954. In 1961, he founded Conark Builders, which later became a department of Nabholz Construction Services. In 1983, he established Nabholz Properties Inc., a commercial real estate development company, and still serves as president. He was elected board chairman for The Nabholz Group in 2000 and became chairman emeritus in 2014.

When he was 27 years old, Rutledge bought Searcy-chartered First Security Bank in 1977. A few years later, a bank holding company now known as First Security Bancorp was formed. With $5.5 billion in assets, First Security is now the state’s fifth-largest banking organization.

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Feb. 7, 2020, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The hall of fame is permanently housed in the atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development on the UA campus in Fayetteville.

Jason LaFrance, a Walton College alumnus and principal of Dale Capital Partners, 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 or by email at [email protected].