E.C. Barton chairman Niel Crowson steps down

by Paul Holmes ([email protected]) 1,209 views 

Niel Crowson of Jonesboro, long-standing chairman of the board and past president of E.C. Barton and Co., retired as chairman of the board, effective December 2022.

Crowson served as president and chairman of the board for E.C. Barton and Company for more than 25 years, a role to which he returned to in 2020 following his retirement in 2018. He will remain a member of the board in 2023 to serve as an advisor to the board and newly appointed chairman, Mark Biggers, who succeeded Crowson as president of E.C. Barton and Co. in 2020.

Under Crowson’s guidance, Barton expanded its footprint from 44 locations in 6 states to 117 locations in 19 states and experienced 700% revenue growth.

In addition to his leadership of the company, Crowson has served in many local, state and regional capacities.

He was appointed in 2015 by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas State University board of trustees. An ASU alumnus, Crowson served as a member of the ASU Foundation Board.

“Niel has been a friend, colleague, and mentor of mine for over 25 years. During this time, he has served the state of Arkansas in both job creation and education through roles on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees, as well as our community, as a leader on the Jonesboro Economic Development Corporation, the Jonesboro Unlimited group, the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and many other community organizations.

“Over his tenure as chairman and CEO with E.C. Barton and Co., Niel has transitioned and grown our company from a regional company in northeast Arkansas to a national company with stores in 19 states stretching from Texas to New England,” said Alec Farmer, E.C. Barton and Co, board member and chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission.

“Few can match Niel’s leadership in both thepublic and private sector, and after 25 years, he has earned a well-deserved “thank you” for his efforts,” Farmer added.

Notable appointments Crowson has held over the years include serving as chairman of the Do It Best Corporation, chairmanship of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, chairman and executive committee member of Jonesboro Economic Development Corporation, president of the Jonesboro Industrial Development Corporation, president of the Jonesboro Jaycees, vice chair of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Disposal Authority, a Pillars Member of the Jonesboro United Way, member of Jonesboro Unlimited, and a member of the Arkansas Good Roads Association.

He served in the Arkansas National Guard from 1970 through 1976.

“Niel’s vision for the future of the company and his drive to continue to build towards that vision helped make E.C. Barton & Company what it is today,” Biggers said.