State’s business HOF announces class of 2023

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,914 views 

From left: Curt Bradbury, Fletcher Lord Jr., Judy McReynolds and Ross Whipple.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced Wednesday (Oct. 26) the 2023 class of inductees for the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

  • Curt Bradbury, chief operating officer, Stephens Inc.
  • Fletcher Lord Jr., chairman of the board, Bumper to Bumper/Crow-Burlingame Co.
  • Judy R. McReynolds, chairman, president and CEO, ArcBest
  • Ross M. Whipple, president and CEO of Horizon Capital Partners LLLP, president of Horizon Timber Services Inc. and board chairman for The Ross Foundation.

“The newest Hall of Fame inductees elevate Arkansas as a pacesetter in the finance, auto parts, transportation, timber and investment worlds,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Walton College. “These four leaders help distinguish Arkansas as the right place for business, community and innovation.”

Bradbury joined Stephens, one of the largest investment banking firms located off Wall Street, in 1972 and has been COO since 1995.

Lord Jr. was president of family-owned Crow-Burlingame Co., one of the country’s largest Bumper to Bumper affiliates, from 1974 to 2012.

McReynolds was appointed president and CEO in 2010 and chairman in 2016. She started with the company in 1997 and has 30 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry.

Whipple has over 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur and business owner in the timber and banking industries.

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Feb. 17, 2023, 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 11 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.

There have been 96 inductees, including the 2023 members, since the Hall of Fame began in 1999, according to the Walton College website. A list of previous inductees into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is available at this link.

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].