UA Business Hall of Fame 2014: Mark C. Simmons

by UA Business Hall of Fame  on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 12:00 am  

Among other offices held, Simmons is a past member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and a past director of the Arkansas State Council on Economic Education. Simmons has supported education efforts to allow Siloam students to attend the Ozark Natural Science Center in Huntsville, and to fund scholarships at Siloam Springs High School, the University of Arkansas and John Brown University. In 1979, Simmons founded his company’s M.H. “Bill” Simmons Memorial Scholarship Program for children of Simmons employees and growers, which help 25-40 students a year attend college or vocational-technical schools.

Simmons is an avid outdoorsman with a passion for the rivers and streams of northwest Arkansas. He has been a board member of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership since its inception. He has been a board member and officer of The Nature Conservancy for seven years. He supported The Nature Conservancy’s development of many of its Arkansas programs including water resources policy, the Kings River Preserve and the Big Woods Project and he is instrumental in the conservancy’s involvement in ongoing Illinois River stream restoration work. In 2011, Simmons received the Golden Paddle Award in Agriculture from the Illinois River Watershed Partnership.

Family, of course, has always been at the forefront for Simmons and Diane. The couple’s son Todd graduated from Georgetown University and lives with his wife Shelley in Siloam Springs.

Like his dad, Todd Simmons worked in the family business during summers while he was in school. Upon graduation from college, Todd took a sales position with the company and now has taken over from his father as CEO of Simmons Foods, Inc. He and Shelley have two children: Caroline and Charlie.

Simmons’ daughter Sarah lives in Connecticut with her children Asher and Sadie. Sarah is actively involved in the family business as well as serving on the advisory board of Simmons.

Simmons had to develop leadership skills early to continue the success of the family business and make it grow to new heights. He continues to share those leadership lessons with his family, his community, his industry and his region.



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