State’s business hall of fame announces class of 2024

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 2,904 views 

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame class of 2024 includes (left-right) John Conner Jr., Gary George, Eric Jackson and Dhu Thompson.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced Thursday (Oct. 19) the 2024 class of inductees for the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

  • John L. Conner Jr.,president, Holden-Conner Co.
  • Gary George, chairman, George’s Inc.
  • Eric Jackson, senior vice president, Oaklawn
  • Dhu Thompson, owner, US Irrigation; former owner/president, Delta Plastics and Revolution Bag

Conner, of Newport, has farming and agribusiness operations in several Arkansas counties.

George is chairman of George’s Inc., a privately held, fully integrated poultry company, and Legacy National Bank, both of Springdale.

Jackson is the senior vice president at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Spring and serves on the board of directors.

Thompson is the founder, former owner and past chairman of the board of Delta Plastics, a manufacturer of poly irrigation tubing for the agricultural industry.

“These four individuals represent the best of Arkansas business, and their contributions have had a profound impact on our state and their own industries,” said Brent D. Williams, interim dean of the Walton College. “They are visionary leaders and dedicated advocates for their communities. I am confident that their stories will inspire current Walton College students and generations of Arkansas business leaders to come.”

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Feb. 16, 2024, 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.

The 2024 inductees will bring the number of Hall of Fame members to 100 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].