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

21. Lavenski Smith
After graduating from law school at the University of Arkansas, Lavenski Smith worked as a staff attorney for Ozark Legal Services but later opened his own private practice, the Smith Law Office.

He served on the Arkansas Public Service Commission from 1997 to 1999 and was appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee as an associate justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court to finish the term of a retiring judge.

He was reappointed to the Arkansas Public Service Commission in 2001, where he was serving a six-year term when he was appointed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush in September 2001.

22. Charles Stewart
Charles Stewart, who last year was promoted to executive vice president of business development and public funds, institutional and not-for-profit business lines at Regions Bank of Little Rock, combines business success with civic responsibility.

Stewart co-founded and served as chairman of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation. He has also been chairman of the board of Heifer International and a member of its executive committee.

Stewart has received many awards, includingthe Mrs. David Terry Humanitarian Award, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce's William J. Smith Award-Outstanding Young Executive and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock President's Award.

The 2007 Community Build project, which Stewart designed and led for Regions, received the Gold Presidents Volunteer Award given by President George W. Bush. 

23. Lencola Sullivan
In 1980, Morrilton native Lencola Sullivan became the first African-American to be named Miss Arkansas. She went on to represent Arkansas in the Miss America pageant in the same year, where she became the first black woman to place in the top five.

Sullivan later reported for KARK-TV, Channel 4, in Little Rock until she moved to New York.

Sullivan, now Sullivan-Verseveldt, works for Shell Oil Co. in the Netherlands and is preparing to launch a business security company with her husband.

24. Sherman Tate
Among his many accomplishments, Sherman Tate was the first black man to be elected chairman of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tate joined Alltel in 1998 as vice president and general manger for operations for central Arkansas and became VP of external affairs before the company was sold to Verizon Wireless.



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