Arkansas Business' 25 Minority Trailblazers (25th Anniversary)

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

Charles Stewart, executive vice president at Regions Bank

After his time at the agency, Martin became the president of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in 1989.

Martin, who had battled cancer for many years, was only 50 when he died in 1995.

15. Cynthia Nance
After the death of the dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2005, the faculty unanimously elected Cyndi Nance to fill the role, which made her both the first black and the first woman to be dean of the school since its inception in 1924.

Nance is co-chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Labor & Employment Law: Ethics & Professional Responsibility Committee and a member of the Arkansas Bar Association's Commission on Diversity.

Her many awards include the 2007 American Association for Affirmative Action Arthur A. Fletcher Award, the 2005 Arkansas Bar Association Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen Award and the University of Arkansas Alumni Association's Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award for Public Service among others.

16. Nolan Richardson
Nolan Richardson, a native of El Paso, Texas, became the first black head coach of a college team in the Southeastern Conference when he signed on with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1985. He also holds a historic basketball trifecta as the only head coach to win a Junior College National Championship, a National Invitational Tournament and a NCAA Championship.

Richardson left his mark on the game with an intense style of play that came to be known as "40 minutes of hell."

Richardson led the Hogs to the NCAA Final Four three times, emerging victorious in 1994.

However, Richardson's tenure was marred by his tempestuous relationship with Athletic Director Frank Broyles, which led to Richardson being fired in 2002. Richardson sued the university for race discrimination, and although he ultimately lost, the highly publicized trial forced the UA to acknowledge some disturbing attitudes and behaviors by officials. And in that way, many consider the suit to be part of the trail that Richardson blazed.

Richardson now spends much of his time at his 155-acre ranch in Fayetteville. He also does charity work for several cancer research foundations in memory of his daughter, Yvonne, who died at 13 from leukemia in 1987.

17. Art Porter
Art Porter Sr. displayed talent as a musician from an early age.

By the time he was 8, he was playing piano at church. When he was 14, he had his own classical music radio program.



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