Arkansas Business' 25 Living Legends (25th Anniversary)

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

Charles Morgan
Fort Smith native Charles Morgan turned a small data firm into a corporation with revenue of more than $1 billion, one that provides information management to many of the world's largest companies. Charles Morgan joined Demographics as a vice president. After changing names a couple of times, the company dubbed itself Acxiom Corp. in 1988, five years after going public.

Morgan retired as "company leader" in 2007 after a buyout deal by two private equity firms fell through. Morgan currently lives in Dallas, but it's impossible to imagine the business environment in Arkansas during the past 25 years without him.

Don Munro
While most shoe manufacturing has long since moved overseas, the industry lives on in Arkansas thanks to Donald M. Munro of Munro & Co. Inc. of Hot Springs.

Connors & Hoffman Footwear Co. moved Munro to Arkansas from New Hampshire in 1960. In 1972, Munro established his company as a successor to Connors & Hoffman.

Munro expanded the company, acquiring DeWitt Footwear of DeWitt in 1979, starting Munro American in 1984 and acquiring Jumping Jack Shoes of Monett, Mo., in 1991.

Munro is a former chairman of the Footwear Industry Association and past chair of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

Sheffield Nelson
Former gas utility executive Sheffield Nelson got his name in the news last year by helping pressure the Arkansas Legislature into increasing the severance tax on natural gas for the first time in a half century.

Now a lawyer practicing at Jack Nelson Jones Fink Jiles & Gregory in Little Rock, Nelson was president, chairman and CEO of Arkla Inc. from 1973 to 1984. During that time, the Wall Street Transcript named him Outstanding Gas Utility Chief Executive of the Year.

Nelson also ran unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for governor in 1990 and 1994.

Dale Nicholson
Dale Nicholson has presided over one of Arkansas' most influential television stations since 1974. He started in television in 1960, working for a station in El Dorado. Two years later, he moved to KATV-TV, Channel 7.

As president and general manager of the local ABC affiliate, Nicholson, for more than a quarter- century, has played a role in almost every decision one of the state's most influential media outlets has made. The station has captured almost 20 Emmys from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences during Nicholson's tenure.

He was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Gold Circle in June 2008.



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