Arkansas Business Hall of Fame 2013: Bill Cravens

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 12:00 am  

William L. Cravens

Cravens was approached by Joe Ford, chairman of Alltel Corporation, to serve as vice chairman and later chairman of the Alltel subsidiary Alltel Information Services. Cravens knew this would be a challenge and took the job initially for just two years but ended up staying for an additional five. He re-retired in 2001, but not before he and other Arkansans established Pinnacle Bank, where he served as chairman.

Even in a second “retirement” Cravens continues to serve on Oaklawn’s board — a position he has held since 1977 — and is still the jockey club’s chief financial officer.

He is a longtime supporter of the University of Arkansas and was honored in 2006 by induction into the university’s College of Engineering hall of fame.

Cravens has been honored many times over the years for his business and civic achievements. He was an honoree at the Heart Ball of the Arkansas affiliate of the American Heart Association in 1988. He received the Pinnacle Award from the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce in 1991. In 1992, Cravens was named Volunteer of the Year by the Southern Industrial Development Council for the state of Arkansas.

Cravens has always had the support of his family: his wife, Mary Lou, and his three daughters and their families; Cathy and her husband Kevin Crass and their sons Will and Ted; Cary and her husband Page Wilson and their son Ian and daughter Mimi and Lyn Wagner and her sons Rex and Roddy. He has served his church, Second Presbyterian, as elder, deacon and head of stewardship.

Cravens is the past board chairman of Fifty for the Future, Little Rock Port Authority, the Arkansas Arts Center, the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute, the United Way of Pulaski County, the Elizabeth Mitchell Children’s Center, the City Education Trust and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

He has served on the boards of the P.A.R.K. Foundation, the University of Arkansas College of Engineering, the University of Arkansas Alumni Board, the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, the Reynolds Institute of Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Arkansas Board of Advisors.



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