Arkansas Business Hall of Fame 2012: Wayne Cranford

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 12:00 am  

Wayne CranfordChairman Emeritus, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods

Much of the agency’s success can be attributed to its long-term relationships with clients. It has worked with Oaklawn Park horse racing track in Hot Springs since the 1960s and had similar long-standing relationships with Allied Telephone (later Alltel), Middle South Utilities and Arkansas Power & Light (later Entergy), First Commercial Bank and others.

Cranford has been an inspiration to the advertising community with his mission to bring the latest communications tools and technologies from Madison Avenue to Main Street – from the creative revolution of the 1960s to the digital and social media revolution of today.

Cranford’s work with chief executive officers and other executives – including seven governors – led to President Bill Clinton appointing him to chair the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts from 1994 to 2001. Among his work on charitable and community organizations, Cranford is the chairman of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission and has served on the board of trustees of both the Arkansas Arts Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In his long career, Cranford has been honored many times by his peers. He received the Silver Medal Award by the Arkansas Advertising Federation/American Advertising Federation in 1989 and was a member of the first class inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame in 2008. Other honors bestowed over the years include the distinguished alumnus award from the University of Central Arkansas in 1995, the William F. Rector Award from Fifty for the Future in 1997 and the Golden Boy Award from the Little Rock Boys Club in 1990. He was one of three Arkansas’ Outstanding Young Men selected by the Arkansas Jaycees in 1969.

But one of the main ways that Cranford measures his success is his family. He has been married to his wife Frances, a former Miss Arkansas and first runner-up to Miss America, since 1962; and they take great pride in the accomplishments of their three sons Jay, Ross and Chris. Jay is senior vice president and chief creative officer at CJRW after success as an advertising copywriter at TBWA Chiat/Day in California. Ross is vice president for tourism services with CJRW, and youngest son Chris is a filmmaker, having graduated in 1994 from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. F



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