Arkansas is full of successful businesses that have become a part of the fabric of the communities they serve, if not the entire state. These operations are not only successful businesses but conscientious community partners.
Arkansas Money & Politics asked our readers to name their favorite Arkansas businesses in 36 categories. Readers submitted their votes online, and the firms chosen by AMP readers as the Most Admired in Arkansas for 2020 are listed on the following pages.
Frost, PLLC, has been providing personalized financial services to clients since 1974. With a team of certified public accountants and expertise in various industries like food processing, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, nonprofit and even cannabis, the company has become a leading independent accounting firm in the United States.
Frost offers valuable tax and assurance services as well, as business advisory services, by fostering relationships with clients to help them succeed. Team members work closely with clients to develop a plan and reach their objectives. The company is also a member of BDO Alliance USA, which allows it to serve clients with greater flexibility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Frost has several offices across the United States, including locations in Little Rock and Fayetteville.
Mangan Holcomb Partners/Team SI
Mangan Holcomb Partners and Team SI (MHP/Team SI) are two affiliated marketing companies in Little Rock with designers, strategists and marketing specialists that help clients build a businesses and brands on both digital and traditional platforms.
“TraDigital” is a term coined by Tim Whitley, CEO and founder of Team SI, who believes in the power of leveraging data insights into integrated strategic marketing using both traditional and digital marketing to reach audiences across all platforms.
Clients from a wide range of industries, such as health care, automotive, travel and tourism, agriculture and higher education, turn to MHP/Team SI for strategic recommendations to reach relevant audiences, engage in conversation and boost sales.
Through collaboration and marketing strategies tailored to specific business needs, MHP/Team SI empower clients to grow in their respective industries. The companies have a talent for developing new ideas and effectively executing them.
Polk Stanley Wilcox
Polk Stanley Wilcox is a full-service architectural, planning and interior-design firm with a focus on energy conservation and sustainability. With every project, the company strives to offer creative and innovative solutions to build a facility that positively impacts the lives of people and the communities around them.
Notable projects include the LEED-certified Heifer International headquarters building in Little Rock, the William J. Clinton Foundation Presidential Center and the new 24,000 square-foot CARTI Cancer Center in North Little Rock that opened earlier this year.
It also was recently selected as the architectural firm to design the National Cold War Museum, to be located at the former Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville.
Polk Stanley Wilcox employs an experienced team of licensed architects, interior designers, constructive administrators and administrative support staff to help meet the needs of clients.
Russell Chevrolet is a family-owned dealership with the largest selection of new Chevrolet vehicles in the state. Since 1963, the dealership has been growing through relationships and excellent customer service.
Brett Russell, representing the third generation of Russells, now operates the dealership as one of the 200 largest Chevrolet dealers in the nation. Furthermore, 30 percent of staff members have been with the company for 10 years or more. The Russell approach to business has been to treat staff and customers like family members with no high-pressure sale tactics.
The dealership has a service department with the most up-to-date electronic equipment that General Motors offers, as well as one of the largest selections of GM parts in the state, to ensure a timely repair for customers. Russell Chevrolet is also a multi-year recipient of the General Motors Chevrolet Mark of Excellence Trophy.
Simmons Bank has been providing comprehensive banking services to communities for more than 100 years. With approximately $20.8 billion in assets and 3,200 associates across seven states, the bank has come a long way since its 1903 founding in Pine Bluff. Associates work directly with both corporate and consumer clients to help turn financial dreams into reality.
Associates are not only committed to providing excellent services to clients, they are also involved in empowering the local community by engaging with schools, fire departments, food banks and advocacy organizations.
Simmons Bank operates approximately 250 locations throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois.
Chamber of Commerce
Little Rock Regional Chamber
The Little Rock Regional Chamber helps promote economic growth and development of the community. Guidance and support are available to ensure that businesses and industries can operate profitably, create opportunities and improve the quality of life for residents.
Members of the Little Rock Regional Chamber can connect with each other to network, attend training events and workshops, engage with business leaders and receive greater exposure to the community.
With international corporations headquartered in Little Rock in addition to startups, small businesses, universities, hospitals, nonprofits, religious organizations and more, the city is home to many areas of economic development. The chamber connects both new and existing businesses to necessary resources in an effort to help them succeed.
Two-year college or university
University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College
University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College is a comprehensive two-year technical college that offers associate degrees, technical certificate programs and specialized programs for individuals and businesses. With locations in Little Rock and North Little Rock, the college serves the Central Arkansas region.
UA-Pulaski Tech is the largest two-year college in Arkansas and the fourth-largest institution of higher education in the state. The college provides access to a high-quality education that empowers students and promotes lifelong learning. There are also a number of student services like academic advising, career counseling, wellness programs, employment opportunities and even child care to ensure success.
The college strives to help direct students towards a pathway for success in an area they are passionate about. Transfer degrees from the college also allow students to work toward a bachelor’s degree at a participating four-year university.
Four-year college or university (tie)
University of Central Arkansas
The University of Central Arkansas is one of the oldest four-year public universities in the state. Originally founded as the Arkansas State Normal School, UCA was created in 1907 as a teachers training institution with 107 students enrolled and a faculty of eight. It later was decided in 1918 to offer extension courses and increase the entire curriculum.
Today, UCA has nearly 11,000 students enrolled and more than 500 faculty members. There are currently 162 academic programs and certificates offered.
Given the institution’s history in teacher education, the university remains committed to promote lifelong learning and development through close engagement between students, faculty members and the community.
The student-to-faculty ratio at the university is 15 to 1, and nearly half of the classes have fewer than 20 students to ensure personalized learning and strong support.
Arkansas Tech University
Arkansas Tech University has grown to be the third-largest university in Arkansas as well as the No. 1 choice for residents who wish to study STEM. Nearly 12,000 students were enrolled for the 2019-2020 academic year. Furthermore, 52.8 percent of the students at the main campus in Russellville reported being first-generation college students.
Located in the heart of the Arkansas River Valley, Arkansas Tech offers a range of programs from a certificate of proficiency to a doctoral degree. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1, students are able to reach their full potential through close academic advising and tutoring.
It has also been ranked among all higher education institutions across the state as tops in upward social mobility for six consecutive years. Tech strives to provide opportunities for students to help them achieve their goals and start a career. University alumni have gone on to pursue careers all over the state, across the country and in 35 different countries around the world.
Conway-based Nabholz, one of the state’s leading commercial contractors since 1949, offers a full range of construction services across the United States.
With more than 70 years of experience, the company strives to offer excellent services and creative solutions. Nabholz has the people, resources and expertise to meet the needs of every client.
Over the years, the company has expanded its work to other states and even formed Nabholz University, which offers a four-year apprenticeship program to individuals interested in the carpentry profession. Continuing education, professional development and advanced management training is also offered to team members at Nabholz.
Nabholz has been recognized for several recent projects including Arkansas Children’s Northwest Hospital, the Griffin Building in El Dorado’s Murphy Arts District and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Windgate Center of Art and Design.
The company has office locations across the state as well as in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri and Connecticut.
Convention and visitors bureau
Visit Bentonville Tourism Bureau
Home to the largest retailer in the world, Bentonville has become a popular destination over the past 20 years, thanks in large part to increased commerce and innovative entrepreneurship in Northwest Arkansas.
The Visit Bentonville Tourism Bureau promotes local tourism and provides travel information. With art, food, drinks, music, cycling and history, the small city with a growing cosmopolitan feel has an abundance to offer.
Earlier this year, The Momentary, a new contemporary art museum and event space, opened which operates as a satellite of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. With 140 miles of trails in the area, Bentonville is also considered a premier destination for mountain bikers and cyclists around the world.
Whether you are an art lover, avid cyclist or just a traveler, the Visit Bentonville Tourism Bureau highlights the city’s unique qualities and helps visitors find entertainment, accommodations and more.
Arkansas Federal Credit Union
With more than $1.29 billion in total assets and more than 300 employees, Arkansas Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Arkansas. As a not-for-profit financial institution, Arkansas Federal Credit Union invests profits back into benefits for members through high dividends and low loan rates. Both consumers and businesses entrust the credit union to get competitive rates and reduced fees for loans.
Currently headquartered in Jacksonville, Arkansas Federal Credit Union continues to grow and expand in order to better meet needs. Next year, it will move into a new, larger corporate headquarters in west Little Rock.
Today, Arkansas Federal Credit Union has 15 branches throughout Arkansas that serve more than 113,000 members.
Bernhard is one of the largest privately owned and innovative engineering and contracting firms in America. The engineering division, Bernhard TME, was established in Arkansas and is celebrating its 25thanniversary this year.
Bernhard utilizes its 2,000 employees and 25 office locations to address the ever-present issue of aging infrastructure and deferred maintenance. Through combined development, financing, design, construction and operations, the firm is able to serve a wide variety of clients with unique solutions. Its services include engineering, mechanical construction, operations and maintenance, electrical construction and Energy-as-a-Service.
One of the company’s prominent clients is the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Bernhard helped the campus embark on a campus-wide energy conservation project. The school now saves $3.1 million annually from spending on energy. Bernhard also played a crucial role in the expansion of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Currently, the Bernhard team is involved in more than 900 active projects in the United States.
Snyder Environmental is an environmental remediation firm that focuses on safety and accuracy for a quality job well done. The company specializes in asbestos abatement, lead paint removal/stabilization, mold remediation, duct cleaning and decontamination. Building trust with clients is a key element to everything Snyder Environmental does.
“Trust has at least two components, honesty and competence.” Snyder CEO Joe Carter said.
This commitment is demonstrated in the firm’s customer satisfaction results. Snyder earns 90 percent-plus satisfactory ratings in each of the following categories: meeting the project’s anticipated start date, completion of project within the expected time frame, leaving the work area clean, and the performance and professionalism of the supervisor and crew.
Headquartered in North Little Rock, Snyder has four main offices in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Snyder is an EIS Holdings, LLC company, making it a part of an environmental infrastructure-solutions conglomerate with more than 600 employees and 21 offices across the United States.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield was created as an answer to the Nation’s health care needs coming out of World War II and a desire to start a statewide hospital and medical insurance program. The combining of the Arkansas Medical Society and the Arkansas Hospital Association in 1946 resulted in the 1948 establishment of Arkansas Blue Cross.
Today, Arkansas Blue Cross is the largest health insurer in Arkansas, offering health and dental policies for individuals and coverage through employers. As a nonprofit organization, it is unique in that premiums are paid out in customer benefits. Plus, the company is owned by policyholders rather than stockholders. Premiums go to pay claims and administrative costs rather than stock dividends.
Launched with just five employees, Arkansas Blue Cross now employs more than 2,500 people and is headed by president and CEO, Curtis Barnett. Based in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas Blue Cross has offices in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff and Texarkana as well as retail locations across the state.
Arkansas Surgical Hospital
Launched by physicians in 2005, Arkansas Surgical Hospital in North Little Rock is considered one of the most trusted surgery hospitals in the state.
Most of the services offered at ASH entail orthopedic or spine surgeries. Additional services include breast oncology and reconstructive surgeries, pain management, urgent care and diagnostic imaging procedures as well as CT, MRI and myelography.
Boasting an infection rate of less than 0.5 percent (the national average is 3 percent), the hospital assigns fewer patients to each nurse and practices hourly rounds, allowing each patient more individualized and focused care. In addition, each member of the ASH nursing staff is Advanced-Cardiovascular-Life-Support (ACLS) certified.
Edafio Technology Partners
The letters “IT” typically strike fear or frustration in most organizations. Edafio itself was born in 1999 out of a Little Rock accounting firm’s frustration with IT. From those beginnings, Edafio has grown rapidly across Arkansas and into Tennessee.
Edafio focus of “powering IT through people” has made them the largest Arkansas-based managed services provider operating one the most extensive group of IT engineers in the region. Edafio’s approach is to eliminate IT distractions and create harmony with their client’s business. It helps build, support and protect clients’ businesses through implementing and optimizing IT consulting and management, cloud computing as well as cybersecurity solutions and healthcare consulting across multiple industries from their offices in Central and Northwest Arkansas. Edafio is driven by and owes its success to living its core values, which begin with their commitment to clients’ success.
Edafio’s expansion has been increasing in recent years. It opened an office in Rogers in 2014 to service Northwest Arkansas and opened a Conway office in 2016. A mainstay in the healthcare space while expanding into other industries, Edafio is one of the fastest-growing IT companies in the state.
Rose Law Firm
Rich in Arkansas history, Little Rock’s Rose Law Firm stands as the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River. In fact, the firm’s beginnings can be traced as far back as 1820, before Arkansas was even a state.
In the beginning, the firm was an agreement for “Partnership in the Practice of Law” between Robert Crittenden and Chester Ashley. Throughout the 1800s, Rose Law Firm shifted partnerships, garnering more members and more credibility. In 1965, the name Rose was officially added to the partnership name as an ode to U.M. Rose, a well-versed student, accomplished lawyer and linguist and a founder and president of the American Bar Association. The firm has held the name Rose in some shape or form ever since.
Today, the Rose firm boasts six former members who served on the Arkansas Supreme Court and is the only firm in the state to have had six members serve as president of the Arkansas Bar Association. Rose lawyers have included members of the Arkansas House of Representatives, a former U.S. Senator, a past president of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and former U.S. Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton.
Power Technology Inc.
Power Technology of Alexander has helped advance laser technology since its founding by Thomas Burgess in 1969. The company was founded to design, develop and manufacture a range of laser products for a range of purposes.
Today, Power Technology is operated by Burgess’ sons, Walter and William. It works with scientific, biomedical, industrial, semiconductor inspection, machine vision, defense and security applications, proving that the modules the company offers are ideal for most original equipment manufacturers and research-based applications.
In addition to laser technology, Power Technology boasts long-standing status as a world leader in helium/neon power-supply production.
Travel Nurse Across America
Travel Nurses Across America was born in 1999 with the mission of changing the travel-nursing industry for the better. Located in North Little Rock, Travel Nurses Across America was built on the grounds of doing what’s right in a job caregivers love.
Twenty-one years later, Travel Nurses Across America is one of the fastest-growing, health-care staffing firms in the country. The company has expanded beyond Arkansas and now places nurses in all 50 states. Nurses and technicians get the opportunity to travel the nation while serving through multi-week assignments in health care facilities.
The company’s founding vision was led by former chief executive officer and president Gene Scott for 12 years. In the past year, he has transitioned into the role of executive chairman while passing off his presidential role to CEO Tim McKenzie.
In 2017, Travel Nurses Across America announced the acquisition of Trinity Healthcare Staffing Group. This addition landed TNAA a top spot in the most significant travel-nurse staffing agencies.
In the late ’90s, Murphy Oil Corporation founded its subsidiary retail company, Murphy USA. In 1996, Murphy USA announced its mission to provide gas that makes buying smarter and driving farther an attainable goal for Americans.
During Murphy USA’s first year, the company opened 15 sites at select Walmart Supercenters.
Twenty-three years later, Murphy USA is now an independent, public company that has more than 1,470 Murphy USA stores spread across 26 states. Led by President and CEO Andrew Clyde, Murphy USA proudly employs 9,000 workers and serves an upwards of 1.6 million customers each day.
Sticking true to its original roots, Murphy USA remains headquartered in El Dorado, Arkansas.
Murphy USA is proud to support the Murphy Arts District, a nationally recognized entertainment and arts sector in El Dorado. In addition, the company continually supports the United Way of Union County. Over the last seven years, Murphy USA has donated more than $3 million to the El Dorado organization.
Metro Disaster is a recovery, repair and remodel service serving Arkansans since 1979. Founded in North Little Rock by Reed McConnell, the company has grown to complete more than 18,000 projects across Arkansas.
Metro Disaster specializes in fire-and-smoke recovery, water-and-flood recovery, environmental recovery and natural-disaster efforts.
In the past 41 years, the company expanded its facilities to provide 40,000 square feet of production and storage area. This expansion resulted in Metro Disaster becoming the most abundant storage space in the Natural State.
Today, North Little Rock native Brit Stewart is the chief executive officer of Metro Disaster. After beginning his career with the company in 1997 as a high school student, Stewart eventually worked his way up to a loss-specialist position at Metro Disaster. After 21 years with the company, Stewart was named its leader in 2018.
In 2019, Metro Disaster was named the “Restoration Company of the Year” by the Arkansas Adjusters Association and Professional Insurance Agents of Arkansas. In addition, the company was named the Arkansas Adjusters Association “Vendor of the Year” award winner in 2016.
Brown & Brown Insurance
In 1939, cousins Adrian Brown and Charles “Cov” Owen banded together to open the beginnings of what is now the Brown & Brown Insurance Agency. Over the next 80 years, the company transitioned from a Florida family-oriented business into the sixth-largest independent agency in the United States.
Today, Brown & Brown Insurance has 300 offices spread across the nation with three located in Arkansas.
Brown & Brown’s Arkansas-based advisers pride themselves in offering insurance brokerage benefits with a small-town feel.
Executive Vice President J. Todd Setser leads the Little Rock, Russellville and Springdale offices. Setser has dedicated himself to the success of Brown & Brown in Arkansas since 2006.
In September 2007, Forbes ranked Brown & Brown No. 10 on its “The 100 Best Mid-Cap Stocks in America” list. In 2018, the company became the eighth-largest independent insurance-intermediary organization in the world.
Brown & Brown Insurance is overseen nationally by President and CEO J.Powell Brown.
Commercial real estate
Colliers International has been paving the way for commercial real estate, property management and development management in Arkansas since 1971.
In 2004, members of four firms — Barnes, Quinn, Flake & Anderson, IBR Real Estate and Lane Real Estate Services — banded together to form the Arkansas Colliers group.
With 17.9 million square feet of commercial space leased and managed, Colliers Arkansas is now the largest commercial real-estate firm in Arkansas.
Issac Smith has been the president of Colliers International Arkansas since 2017. Smith has been with the company for more than 15 years, where he specializes in brokerage work for investment properties. In the past eight years, Smith has assisted in more than $400 million in acquisitions at the firm.
Smith and Executive Vice President and Principal Todd Rice run the day-to-day operations at Colliers, which employs 100 people in its Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas offices.
Since 2016, nine employees have been awarded membership in the Collier International Everest Club, an exclusive club recognizing the top 10 percent of the international company’s brokerage professionals.
Residential real estate
The Janet Jones Company
Janet Jones began her legendary real-estate career in 1974. In 1980, Jones took a leap of faith and started her own real estate endeavor, The Janet Jones Company.
Forty years later, Janet Jones remains the owner and president. Located in Little Rock, the agency continues to serve the state with its signature gold standard. The Janet Jones Company employs 37 agents and 11 support-staff members throughout the state. The company’s agents collectively list and sell five times more than the Little Rock Market Area average.
The Janet Jones Company is in partnership with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the largest real-estate distribution network in the world. The members of this internationally distinguished organization collectively produce more home sales than any other real-estate network.
In 2013, The Janet Jones Company was named AY About You’s “Best Residential Real Estate Company.”
Founded in November of 2014 by Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Today’s Power strives to serve communities desiring solar-powered energy. The company aims to provide the gift of renewable resources to electric cooperatives in Arkansas and neighboring states.
Located in Little Rock, Today’s Power focuses on improving the quality of life of its customers by making electricity affordable and energy renewable. Michael Henderson is the president of Today’s Power. He also serves as the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. Henderson has been with AECC since 1984.
Today’s Power partners with influential forces such as Southern Arkansas University Tech, Hershey’s Chocolate and the city of Fayetteville to create clean energy in a financially conscious way.
Like many families, Apptegy Founder Jeston George once struggled with keeping up with his nephew’s school events. After grappling with the schedule, George took it upon himself to establish a simple solution for a common problem. With this mission in mind, Apptegy was born.
Based in Little Rock, the history of the education technology Apptegy dates back to 2013. After two years of bootstrapping and self-funding, George received his first round of funding for Apptegy in 2015.
Today, Apptegy is a company that proudly provides marketing and branding strategy to K-12 schools. Through its Thrillshare app, Apptegy gives school districts the technology necessary to manage communication and marketing initiatives through an efficient and effective mobile platform.
Apptegy is one of the fastest-growing technology companies in Arkansas. In the past five years, the company has grown from a small team to more than 140 employees.
In 2020, Apptegy was named one of Forbes’ “Best Startup Employers.”
In the early 1980s, with transportation-service experience in his pocket and recent news of federal deregulation of the trucking industry in mind, Steve Williams and his co-worker and friend Larry Leahy decided to follow their American dream of starting their own hauling company. In this pursuit, Maverick Transportation was born in Texarkana, Arkansas.
In 1983, Williams purchased his partner’s interest in the company and is now Maverick’s chairman and chief executive officer.
With a company-wide move to Little Rock and six acquisitions later, Maverick Transportation now operates and hauls steel, building materials and more throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In 2018, Maverick Transportation was awarded both the “Platinum Workplace Safety Award” and the “Platinum National Safety Award” by the Great West Casualty Company.
Today, the Williams family still owns 100 percent of Maverick companies.
First Arkansas Bank and Trust
The wealth management and trust team at First Arkansas Bank & Trust has more than 50 years of combined experience in trust and estate administration, investment management services (including managed IRAs) and custody and escrow services. The FAB&T wealth management team is well-equipped to help clients achieve their financial goals with knowledgeable and quality service.
It’s the same blend of classic customer service and cutting edge technology that has been at the core of FAB&T since its opening 70 years ago. Along with trust management, FAB&T offers a full-service mortgage department, commercial loan services, a 24/7 customer call center and a credit-card division.
FAB&T, named a Best in State Bank by Forbes in 2018, has twice been recognized as a Military Bank of the Year and is a Best Place to Work in Arkansas.
Entergy began its long legacy with a humble beginning — a handshake and a pile of sawdust.
Harvey Couch, the president of Arkansas Power Company, was an investor and entrepreneur during the early 20th century. In 1913, he took his electrical franchise to two small towns in Arkansas and shook hands with lumber company owner H.H. Foster for his vital sawdust. This collaboration is what propelled Entergy into the Fortune 500 company it is today.
More than 106 years later, Entergy helps power life with energy plants that produce approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric-generating capacity. Entergy serves customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, employing upwards of 14,000 staff members. Entergy sees annual revenue of $11 billion.
Today, Laura R. Landreaux is the president and CEO of Arkansas Entergy Corporation. Landreaux has been a part of the Entergy family since she started as a senior counsel in 2007.
This year, Newsweek featured Entergy in its first-ever list of “America’s Most Responsible Companies.” Entergy scored among the top 6 percent in the utility category on social scoring and placed in the top three in the utility category on governance scoring.
Ghidotti Communications is an Arkansas-based firm that utilizes public relations, influencer marketing and content marketing to strategically improve their client’s branding, partnerships and results.
Located in Little Rock, Ghidotti is a boutique communications firm that represents prestigious companies and clients in all industries including retail, health care, retirement communities, professional services, nonprofits and more.
Ghidotti Communications was founded in 2007 by Benton native Natalie Ghidotti. Ghidotti remains the principal and chief executive officer.
Over the years, Ghidotti Communications has grown into a seven-person staff with a diverse set of part-time subcontractors. Today, the firm represents companies and communities that range from the Little Rock Police Department to McDonald’s Central Arkansas Co-op.
In 2018, Ghidotti Communications received 14 awards at the PRSA AdComm Awards, taking the top spot for awards received from any agency.
Stephens Inc., headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas was founded in 1933 by Wilton R. Stephens, affectionately known as Mr. Witt, who bought Arkansas highway bonds at a very deep discount. He believed Arkansas would make good on its debt and eventually, the bonds paid off at par. So began the Stephens reputation of investing wisely for its own account and for its clients. The small firm grew steadily, and Jackson T. Stephens, Mr. Witt’s brother and Warren Stephens’ Dad, joined the firm as an equal partner in 1946.
On their handshake partnership, they built the powerhouse investment firm, Stephens Inc., which grew to become the largest such firm outside of Wall Street. Stephens was instrumental in the growth of and led the initial public offering of Wal-Mart. Other Arkansas companies that are or were long term clients of Stephens are JB Hunt, Systematics, Alltel (Verizon), Worthen Banking Corporation (Bank of America) Arkla Gas (CenterPoint Energy) to name a few.
Today, Chairman Warren Stephens is the sole owner of Stephens Inc. and was appointed President and CEO by his father in 1986. Warren has led the expansion of Stephens Inc. and its affiliates into a multifaceted enterprise with the growth of investment banking, research and capital markets, money management services, wealth management, and municipal finance underwriting and advisory services, along with private equity investing and insurance. Stephens serves a broad client base, which includes corporations, state and local governments, financial institutions, institutional investors and individual investors throughout the United States and overseas. Stephens employs 1,200 people and maintains 29 offices in strategic locations across the country and in Europe. For more information, visit www.stephens.com. Member NYSE, SIPC
Bank of England
Locally owned, the Bank of England has stood for more than 100 years in the Lonoke County town. The bank prides itself on a century of stability as well as specialization in agricultural finance. In addition to its dedication to providing a modern financial institution while maintaining the feeling of a community bank, the Bank of England offers mortgage and insurance departments.
Bank of England Mortgage has been helping local residents since its doors opened in 1898 and has grown throughout Arkansas and beyond. Clients work with credible national-mortgage bankers, providing access to hundreds of mortgage products. While recognizing the commitment that comes with buying a new home or other life moves that require a mortgage, the Bank of England’s management team has a combined 150 years of experience in mortgage, many involved in state and national mortgage broker and banker associations.
The company has more than 99 locations in 39 states with more than 1,000 employees.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House began as an idea from a unique combination of dreamers: an NFL team, a children’s hospital and a restaurant chain. Kim Hill, the young daughter of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill, was diagnosed with leukemia, spurring action from the NFL team in an attempt to help the family with their expenses.
The Hill family was constantly at the hospital, sleeping in waiting rooms and eating dinner out of a vending machine. Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager, joined forces with the head of pediatric oncology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, creating the idea of providing a temporary residence for families of children being treated at the hospital. The owners of Philadelphia McDonald’s franchises were the final pieces of the puzzle, donating proceeds from the sale of their Shamrock Shakes in order to fund the very first Ronald McDonald House.
Today, Ronald McDonald House Charities are established in memory of Ray Kroc, the founder of the fast-food chain and a strong advocate for children. There are more than 365 Ronald McDonald Houses in more than 43 countries and regions. The Ronald McDonald House in Arkansas was opened in 1981 to provide help for families of children hospitalized at Arkansas Children’s, the University of Arkansas for Medical Science and Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities include different services, such as providing free dental care to children in need and the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Located in Conway, Salem Place Nursing and Rehab has been home for loved ones for more than 25 years. Salem Place specializes in short-term rehabilitation and long-term care services, offering status as one of America’s top nursing homes as declared by the Consumer Research Council of America for four years in a row.
The facility is designed as a neighborhood, with four distinct halls complete with their own dining hall and kitchen. The home is surrounded by manicured outdoor courtyards and large patios, where residents are invited to enjoy their days and nights. For their residents, Salem provides daily planned activities, as well as invites family participation in celebrations and meals.
Salem Place is dedicated to making its facility feel like home for all their residents.
As a plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Spann has worked hard to get where he is today. In his recent pursuit and acquisition of a board certification in plastic surgery, Spann completed a five-year stint in general surgery, two years in plastic surgery and 18 months of intensive testing and practice evaluation. He is now board-certified in both general surgery by the American Board of Surgery and plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Both boards are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Located in Little Rock, Dr. Spann’s office offers a range of procedures, including facial rejuvenation, body contouring and breast surgery. In addition, his office also provides non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers, Fraxel laser resurfacing and Liposonix.
Dr. Spann has been selected as a top plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Arkansas by multiple publications.
In a society calling for mental health help, The BridgeWay works to provide services designed to help children, adolescents and adults, regardless of the issues they are battling. Established in 1983, it was co-founded by a group of community-based physicians and Universal Health Services. Locally managed and publicly owned, it has grown to become one of Arkansas’ largest psychiatric hospitals in the state.
The BridgeWay campus, which overlooks the Arkansas River, is located in the wooded hills between North Little Rock and Maumelle, providing a place of private and quiet healing as the campus. Providing help for those experiencing behavioral, emotional or addictive problems, The BridgeWay utilizes its 18 acres to ensure its more than 100 patients receive individualized care in comfortable spaces.
The BridgeWay is staffed with a team of mental health professionals, including board-certified child/adolescent and adult psychiatrists, masters level clinical therapists, as well as nurses and mental health associates.