Arkansas Business' 25 for the Future (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

Cliff Beckham, President and CEO of USA Truck, Inc. of Van Buren

23. Robbie Wills
It took a couple of tries to win his first elected office, Faulkner County Justice of the Peace, but since then, state Rep. Robbie Wills, D-Conway, has been on a march upwards.

In his third, and last, term as a state representative, Wills has become a very visible Speaker of the House, writing frequently about the day's legislation on his blog.

What term-limited Wills will do next is unknown, though one issue during the current session will ensure he'll have an impact on the state for years to come. He gave himself the job of shepherding House legislation to establish the state lottery and to distribute the scholarship money it generates.

24. David Wood
After Claiborne Deming stepped down as Murphy Oil Corp.'s CEO, David Wood stepped into the role. Wood formerly was executive vice president of worldwide exploration and production operations. Wood, 51, is the first new head of the oil and gas company in 14 years.

25. Christina Yarnell
Although she is not overseeing the day-to-day operations at Yarnell's Ice Cream of Searcy, Christina Yarnell continues the tradition of keeping the company in the family.

Yarnell does not appear to be letting the ice cream melt on her watch. She has already played a role in developing new flavors, like Woo Pig Chewy, that have proven to be hits.

The company continues to innovate, and Christina Yarnell, executive vice president and treasurer, will continue to be a part of that. Sounds like a sweet deal.

(Click here to see all the stories in our anniversary edition. Or click here to flip through each page of the edition in this special free electronic version.) 



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