James H. Faulkner, an advertising and public relations leader who was inducted in the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2014, passed away Feb. 9 at the age of 88. Faulkner, a native of Malvern, passed away peacefully at his home, according to his family, after a lengthy illness.
He led an active and diverse life having been a member of the Razorback Band, a letterman on the tennis team, a sportswriter for the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Traveler, and served as an assistant sports publicity director for the University of Arkansas, his alma mater where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Prior to serving two years as an officer in the United States Air Force, Faulkner worked for several months as an announcer, copywriter and sports announcer for radio station KDAS in Malvern. Following his military service, he worked one year for KATV in Little Rock as an announcer and weatherman before beginning his business career in advertising and publishing and later in real estate and banking.
In 1957, Faulkner founded James H. Faulkner Advertising as a one-man firm in Pine Bluff. He later moved to Little Rock, changing the name to Faulkner & Associates where it grew into one of the largest marketing firms in the Southwest. The client list included Worthen Bank, Dillard’s Department Stores, Riceland Foods and The Arkansas Industrial Development Corporation.
Faulkner formed Falcon Video Productions and Falcon Distributors. Falcon Video was the first video production company in Arkansas producing commercials for advertisers, and Falcon Video Distributors was the first video movie and game distribution company in the mid-south, representing all major movie studios and video game companies in the nation.
Faulkner and Faulkner Inc., a partnership formed in 1996 with his son Phil, operated six food store franchises in three states. In 1996, the company received an award as Franchise of the Year for Frullati Franchise Systems Inc. from the International Franchise Association.
Following the sale of his privately-owned businesses and until his death, Faulkner remained active as an investor, principally in real estate and banking endeavors. He was a director of First Security Bancshares, one of the largest bank holding companies in Arkansas. He also formed a partnership with Lindsey Development Co. in six central Arkansas multifamily housing developments and three 18-hole golf courses.
He volunteered and contributed financially to a number of local and statewide charitable organizations over the years.