Business Briefs

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 14, 2011 12:00 am  

Silas Hunt Memorial Room Renovated

Charles Robinson, vice provost for diversity at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, discusses the importance of Silas Hunt's legacy at the March 4 open house of the renovated Silas Hunt Memorial Room in the Arkansas Union. In 1948, Hunt was admitted to the University of Arkansas School of Law, "becoming the first African-American student admitted to the university since Reconstruction and the first black student to be admitted for graduate or professional studies at any all-white Southern university," according to the "Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture." Robinson's office provided funding for a timeline displayed in the room that chronicles the black experience at the UA. Hanging in the background are banners of two recipients of the Silas Hunt Legacy Award, Lonnie Williams and Gerald Jordan.


Bess Chisum Stephens Dies

Bess Chisum Stephens, wife of the late W.R. "Witt" Stephens, died March 4 in Little Rock. She was 83. A memorial service for Bess Stephens took place March 5.

Bess Stephens was active in the Little Rock community, particularly the Little Rock Central YWCA. The organization honored her in 1986 by naming its facilities on 12th Street in Little Rock the Bess Chisum Stephens Center. The center is an affiliate of the Centers for Youth & Families.

Born in Little Rock on Sept. 23, 1927, she graduated from Little Rock High School in 1945. After attending Little Rock Junior College in 1947, she began her business career at the Walthour Flake Realty Co. She later worked at the W.R. Stephens Investment Co., which her husband built. That firm is now known as Stephens Inc. She was later chairman emeritus of The Stephens Group.

The family said memorials could be made to the Bess Chisum Stephens Center for Youth & Families at 5909 Forest Place, No. 205, Little Rock, AR 72207.


ABF Expanding Service

ABF, the largest subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith, said last week that it was expanding its RPM service to the western third of the country, giving the freight company's services coast-to-coast to reach. ABF first offered RPM, short for Regional Performance Model, in 2006 along the Eastern Seaboard. It expanded coverage to the eastern two-thirds of the nation in 2007.

"Customers benefit from rapid, dependable regional service in addition to the flexibility, supply chain visibility, careful cargo handling and attentive customer service they've come to expect from ABF," ABF Senior Vice President Roy Slagle said in a news release.


Chamber Sets Trade Seminar
The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce is holding a seminar on international trade from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 30. The free seminar, titled "Export Smarter: Learn the Trick of International Trade," will be held at the chamber's headquarters at 1200 W. Capitol Ave. in Little Rock.

For more information or to register, call Susie Marks at (501) 210-4206 or visit


New DataPath CEO Named

John Robbins Jr. has been named president and chief executive officer of DataPath of Little Rock after the Feb. 22 death of the company's founder, John Robbins Sr.

John Robbins Jr., who has served as DataPath's vice president and director of health care payment solutions for the past four years, has been with the company since 1996. He is known in the employee benefits industry for developing the myResourceCard credit card in partnership with national credit card companies. The card, which has several patents, is a leading health care payment platform for many large companies across the country.

DataPath, founded in 1984, is a privately held company that produces software for administering employee benefit plans.


Two Realty Firms Merge

Coldwell Banker RPM of Little Rock has merged with Weichert Realtors, Pat Mote Properties of Benton. The merger brings eight agents to Coldwell Banker's Saline County office. Mote has been selling real estate in central Arkansas since 1986. After working with another franchise company and later with an independent real estate company, Mote opened her own company in January 1999. Mote and her husband, Jerry, bought a Weichert Realtors franchise in December 2005. 




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