Arkansas Business' 25 Wealthiest Arkansans (25th Anniversary)

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

Members of the Walton family.

A tax lawyer from Jonesboro, McAdams already had built a string of successful banks in northeast Arkansas. He then rebuilt Union National's credibility and transformed it into one of the most stable financial institutions in the state.

McAdams saw the value of his bank holdings roll over multiple times after first selling the family's stake in Union Bank of Arkansas for $115 million to Little Rock's Worthen Banking Corp.

Worthen sold to Boatmen's Bancshares of St. Louis, which sold to Nations Bancorporation of Charlotte, N.C., which purchased Bank of America in San Francisco. As a result, McAdams gained more from the banking consolidation wave of the '90s than any other Arkansan.

11. F.S. "Sheridan" Garrison Family
Sheridan Garrison sold American Freightways Inc. in February 2001 to FedEx Corp. of Memphis. Garrison died in 2004.

The $1.2 billion sale more than doubled the estimated wealth of the Garrison family - including his sons, Tom, Will and Daniel; his daughter, Tonya Maxey; and stepson, Travis Ruff. Sheridan founded Arkansas Freightways in 1982, took it public in 1989 and renamed it American Freightways in 1993.

Before the sale, the company posted revenue of $1.4 billion and employed about 1,000 workers at Harrison and some 16,200 across the country. It is still operated out of Harrison as a wholly owned subsidiary of FedEx, but it was relabeled as FedEx Freight.

Sheridan Garrison and his wife, Cindy, donated $1 million to the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas to establish the Garrison Chair in Supply Chain Management. Garrison graduated with honors from the UA business college in 1955.

The couple also donated $1.1 million in land and land-clearing equipment to Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches Inc.

12. Jack Shewmaker
Jack C. Shewmaker worked side-by-side with Sam Walton in building Wal-Mart Stores Inc. As a former president, chief operating officer, vice chairman and chief financial officer and long-time director, he helped transform the company into the world's most successful mass retailer. He still serves as a consultant to Wal-Mart.

His wealth is tied to his Wal-Mart stock. Last year, that was valued at $188.4 million, now down to about $153 million.

He has been president of J-Com Inc., a consulting company, since 1994. He has been a director of Sisters of Mercy Health System Inc. since 2007 and serves on the board of Drury University and the Cleveland Clinic

He also is the owner/operator of Jac's Ranch, a cattle operation that has produced national champions and been recognized for its work in the genetic engineering field.



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