Arkansas Business' 'Gone but Not Forgotten' (25th Anniversary)

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

Fay Jones, architect of the Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs, died in 2004.

Rockefeller announced he would run for governor in 2006, but his health forced him to withdraw.

Rockefeller died of a blood disorder in 2006.

22. W.E. Ayres
W.E. Ayres grew up in the South, but not in Arkansas. He became a fixture in Arkansas, however, thanks to his work at Simmons First National Bank of Pine Bluff.

A few years after graduating from Millsaps College in his home state of Mississippi, Ayres took a job at Simmons. By 1969, he was a senior vice president. By 1977, he was a director. And in 1985, he took the reins as the bank's president, a title he held until retiring in 1995. For fun, he then became president emeritus until his death in 2006.

23. Bill Clark
William Clark took full advantage of an offer he received around 1987. Clark started CDI Contractors that year, partnering with Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock.

The company originally began building many of Dillard's stores. Business branched out from there, with revenue eventually topping $500 million. Commissions also began rolling in from clients outside of Dillard's. Clark and his firm built the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Immanuel Baptist Church and Episcopal Collegiate School.

Clark died in 2007.

24. Jack Fleischauer
Jack Fleischauer's résumé included executive positions at Arkansas banks such as Worthen Bank & Trust, National Bank of Commerce at Pine Bluff and First Commercial Bank, which Regions Financial Corp. bought.

After the purchase, Fleischauer became president of Regions' western region, including Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and western Tennessee. He remained engaged in the communities he lived in, spearheading several United Way campaigns in cities where he lived. He was also among the group that founded the King Cotton Holiday Classic at Pine Bluff.

Fleischauer died in 2007.

25. Bill Gwatney
Bill Gwatney was a hard-nosed legislator during his 10 years in the state Senate. His colleagues dubbed him "Gwatzilla," a nicknamed based on the Godzilla-like monster that appeared in commercials for his family's three car dealerships and his commanding presence.

Gwatney was chairman of the state's Democratic Party when he was shot dead at the party's headquarters in 2008. 


(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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