They Said It in 2001

by Arkansas Business staff  on Monday, Dec. 24, 2001 12:00 am  

Some memorable quotes from the pages of Arkansas Business:

"At the end of the day, let's be able to say we did a great job (not just good). If we do, then we've done our part to win this fight one day at a time. See you Monday."
Warren Stephens of Stephens Inc. of Little Rock, in a memo to employees the Friday before markets reopened after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I would hate to think that an incident like this would cause the kind of economic chaos that would bring down an economy like this. That's just too unbelievable a doomsday scenario."
Wayne Lee, chairman of the finance department at the University of Arkansas' Sam Walton College of Business, commenting after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks.

"I've never seen anything like this. It's probably like the perfect storm."
Dean Cannon, CEO of Cannon Express Inc. of Springdale, speaking about how, after several years of record profits, trucking has endured almost two years of uniformly bad news, fueled by an almost cataclysmic union of negative business factors.

"We're going to be poor, and we're going to stay poor."
Jeff Collins, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, commenting on Arkansas' failure to make the investments necessary to improve its economic base.

"The Gazette and the Democrat deal, and the fact that one paper took the other one over, that was a small pimple in the cosmos with regard to the context of how media itself has changed in the last decade."
Frank Cox, CEO of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, the state's largest advertising agency, looking back on the 10th anniversary of the Arkansas Democrat's 1991 victory in the great newspaper war with the over the Gannett-owned Arkansas Gazette.

"Clete had the skills to ride a lawn mower, and his daddy gave him a Ferrari."
Shareholder Bill Owens of Shawnee, Kan., referring to Clete Brewer and his father, Jerry, who co-founded StaffMark Inc. The company imploded, sold off all but one of its divisions, changed its name to Edgewater Technology Inc. and left Fayetteville for Wakefield, Mass.

"As I tell a lot of our customers, it is a great time to be a borrower but not a great time to be a depositor."
William Scholl, president of Pulaski Bank & Trust, on how the historically low interest rates are hurting retirees.

"It has been my desire for the past several weeks to pursue an opportunity in the private sector that will enable me to add value to a business through my work and also to be a better Mom and a more active church member and community citizen."
Barbara Pardue, in a letter resigning as director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development on Jan. 30. She wasn't heard from again until Dec. 12, when Hunter Gray Associates Inc. of Little Rock announced that she had been hired as a partner in the advertising and management consulting firm.

"Upon advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to respond based upon the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Arkansas Constitution Article 2 Section 8."
James Edward Turner Jr., when an attorney for the Bank of Dardanelle asked his name and address in a deposition. The bank sued Turner and dozens of his customers after Turner defaulted on a line of credit used to stock his Russellville used car lot.

"The prescription drug manufacturers in this country and worldwide actually have surpassed the tobacco industry in their willingness to allow human suffering in an attempt to enlarge their bottom line."
Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., the only pharmacist in Congress, talking about a shortage of prescription drugs that was driving up prices.

"The people who write these regulations often have never worked a day in their life

in real business."
Bud Cummins, then director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Arkansas, talking about the high cost of implementing proposed ergonomics regulations.

"[T]he most deceitful conduct I've ever experienced by any member of the Senate."
Veteran state Sen. Cliff Hoofman, D-North Little Rock, describing a parliamentary maneuver by Sen. Doyle Webb, R-Benton, that killed a bill to repeal the Check Cashers Act of 1999.

"People got to eat."
Ed Nicholson, spokesman for Tyson Foods Inc., presciently predicting that Tyson and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. might actually sell more during a recession.

"Our goal this year is to be cash-flow positive."
Michael J. Brown, president, CEO and largest shareholder of Euronet Services Inc., parent company of what once was Arkansas Systems Inc.

"A year ago, we had a hard time convincing anyone that the economy would slow down. Now we're having a hard time convincing anyone that it will pick up."
David Wyss, chief economist with Standard & Poor's in New York, talking at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Economic Forecast Conference in April.

"When an Acxiom associate voluntarily says, 'Cut my pay and give me a stake in the company's future,' that is the ultimate vote of confidence from the very people who best know this company, its customers and its products."
Charles D. Morgan, Acxiom Corp. company leader, in announcing that 1,973 workers decided to take stock options in exchange for voluntary pay cuts above the mandatory 5 percent pay cuts. Within a few weeks, the company reduced payroll expenses even further by laying off more than 400 employees.

"We tell investors that this is no overnight, get-rich-quick investment."
Dennis Cossey, CEO of ThermoEnergy Corp., a 13-year-old Little Rock company that's never made a profit.

"Arkansas has the highest bank-merger burnout that I've ever seen."
C. Stanley Bailey, CEO of Superior Financial Corp., on Superior Federal Bank's benefiting from "merger-dislocated customers." June 30 figures released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed that interstate megabanks, especially Regions Bank, still dominate the state but are rapidly losing market share.

"I wish him luck — but not a whole lot of luck."
Mark Raines, news director of television station KTHV-TV, Channel 11, commenting on Bob Denman's promotion from general sales manager to station manager at KARK-TV, Channel 4.

"It seems to me that the business has just totally collapsed since the end of March."
William Dillard II, CEO of Dillard's Inc., in blaming the economy for the company's sales woes. That statement later proved prophetic, when economic analysts determined in November that the U.S. economy had entered a recession in March.

"Any time an industry such as the convenience store industry sees Wal-Mart tipping its toe in the gas tank, they get very nervous."
Chuck Gilmer, editor of the grocery trade publication The Shelby Report Southwest.

"It was never described as a hedge fund."
George Snyder, chief fiscal officer for Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, of the pension fund's investment in a limited liability company set up by the chief financial officer of Enron Corp. of Houston, the subject of the largest bankruptcy in history.

"It's my gut feeling that Stewart's competitors are behind this."
Jeff Fuller, owner of Realty of Little Rock, of a class-action suit filed against Stewart Title Co. for alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Fuller himself also became a defendant in a related lawsuit.

"It's an atrophied appendage."
Sherman Frederick, president of Donrey Media Group, on the Northwest Arkansas Times and Bentonville Daily Record "editions" included in the northwest Arkansas edition of competitor Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

"I know where I'm going."
Jim Crider, who left the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce to head the Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County.

"Under normal circumstances, I would arbitrate. But in this case, the damages are much greater than any billing issue. This is a no-win for me. There is nothing to gain. I've lost the Web site, and I lost the $100,000 I paid to have it done."
Diane Bray, owner of Sea Tropics Inc. of Little Rock, concerning a failed business relationship with Einstein Systems Inc. of Little Rock.

"This is the big one. This is a trophy for the wall. When you land a Nestlé, you've pulled the king mackerel into the boat."
Gov. Mike Huckabee on Jonesboro's landing of a Nestlé USA food processing plant that will employ 1,000 workers.

"Have you ever seen a takeover deal where the board will not respond to the adequacy of the offer?"
Scott Ford, president and chief operating officer of Alltel Corp., on his company's $9 billion offer to buy CenturyTel Inc. of Monroe, La.

"As I said when I announced, I'm not perfect. Have I made mistakes? Yeah, I have."
Jim Hendren, Republican congressional candidate in the 3rd District, who later admitted to a yearlong extramarital affair. He failed to make the runoff in the election.



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