Arkansas Business' 25 Living Legends (25th Anniversary)

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

Frank D. Hickingbotham
Call him the serial entrepreneur.

After a successful career in insurance, Frank D. Hickingbotham discovered frozen yogurt while visiting a Neiman Marcus store in Dallas. He opened TCBY and soon began selling franchises. By 1983 he had sold at least 45 franchises in 10 states. The company went public in 1988, and a private investment firm bought it in 2000.

Hickingbotham now is CEO of Hickingbotham Investments Inc., which reported $410 million in 2007 revenue. The company operates auto and Harley-Davidson dealerships, among other entities.

Johnelle Hunt
J.B. and Johnelle Hunt operated as a team when they founded what would become J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell in 1961. The business began as a rice hull-packaging company.

Originally working part time to help J.B., Johnelle began taking on greater responsibility, handling much of the company's financial statements and bookkeeping. She held the title of corporate secretary until her retirement from the company's board of directors in 2008.

Johnelle Hunt remains active in the community, helping many local charities. She also works closely with The Pinnacle Group, an office and retail development partnership, and several other ventures in which she holds an ownership stake.

Jim Lindsey
First known as a running back for the University of Arkansas' 1964 national championship football team, Jim Lindsey later proved that he is more than just brawn.

After completing his pro football career with the Minnesota Vikings, Lindsey returned to Fayetteville and started Lindsey & Associates, a real estate company. Lindsey now is also involved in property management and construction management. The Lindsey Co. oversees Lindsey's investments and consistently ranks among the state's largest private companies, with 2007 revenue of $365.3 million. Lindsey also served on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees until this month.

George K. Mitchell
Who said doctors aren't good businessmen? George K. Mitchell began his career at Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield as medical director in 1968 and served as president and CEO from 1975 until 1993, growing its revenue to $478 million. He continues to serve as vice chairman of the insurer's board.

Many readers might also recognize Mitchell from the many charitable organizations he supports, including Junior Achievement of Arkansas and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Maurice Mitchell
H. Maurice Mitchell founded Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC, one of the state's largest law firms, with a diverse practice and offices in Little Rock, Rogers, New York and Austin, Texas.

Mitchell still represents a few clients, but he has not confined himself to the courtroom. In 2007, he was given the Winthrop Rockefeller Memorial Award. The award honors individuals who have supported the arts and the Arkansas Arts Center.



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