The Best & Worst of 2011

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 11:22 am  

Best Makeover
Since we're both judge and jury, we're going to give the prize to the redesign of Arkansas Business, which launched with the Aug. 1 issue.

Worst (as in Longest) Correction
That would be on Arkansas Business' list of largest accounting firms in Arkansas. 
After we published the list on Sept. 19, Jimmy Corley, executive director of the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy, telephoned to say that he'd searched his records and could find no Arkansas-licensed CPAs who listed Honkamp Krueger & Co. PC, based in Dubuque, Iowa, as their employer, though the firm itself was registered.

That was most unfortunate because AB had ranked Honkamp at No. 3 with 36 CPAs in its Bentonville office.

Ryan Hauber, a partner with Honkamp whom AB had earlier interviewed about his firm's entry into Arkansas, provided no reassurance but some clarity. He acknowledged the 36 CPAs referred to the entire firm, that it had 30 CPAs who do work for companies based in Arkansas and that all 30 were licensed in other states.

He somehow had misunderstood the cover letter accompanying the Arkansas Business survey saying the list is "ranked by number of certified public accountants on staff in Arkansas."

"On staff - I guess there's ambiguity to that," Hauber said. "Maybe there was a misunderstanding," he eventually acknowledged. 

Worst Time to Share a Name
The felonious problems of a bogus special improvement district bond magnate had bothersome consequences for Kevin Lewis.

The Benton process server and bail bondsman was splashed by some unwarranted notoriety because he shared a name with the former lawyer, sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his 13-year scheme.

He is Kevin Lewis, but not that Kevin Lewis.

And while readers of Arkansas Business are not likely to confuse bail bonds with improvement district bonds, some of the other Kevin Lewis' clients only know one kind of bond.

Best Game of Hide-and-Seek
It took Andy Myers 50 days to find and serve bond fraudster Kevin Lewis with lawsuits filed by creditors. Myers found his man in Searcy at his parents' house on Feb. 3. "I shouted, ‘Kevin Lewis is served' and set the papers down in the driveway," Myers recalled.

Best News for Doughnut Lovers
That came in July, when Dunkin' Donuts of Canton, Mass., announced that it had signed agreements with two franchisees to develop 11 new restaurants throughout Arkansas during the next several years. The first restaurant is scheduled to open in 2012 in Fort Smith.



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