Category: Business Executive of the Year
Murray now leads one of the largest advertising and marketing firms in the state with 85 employees and more than $15 million in revenue last year.
Advertising seems a long way from his computer engineering degree, but Murray says his engineering training taught him how to break down the complex problems he faces in his
Murray gained exposure to the marketing world at Procter & Gamble, where he spent 10 years and ended up on P&G's Wal-Mart sales team.
Murray left P&G in 1993 to head the marketing and product development divisions of DaySpring Cards at Siloam Springs. Three years later, he formed Brandworks Consulting. He merged with Thompson Earhart & Associates in 1999 and now specializes in "convergence marketing," which brings together shopper, manufacturer and retailer insights to create strong advertising campaigns.
He has built strong teams within the organization, allowing him extra time to be active at Fellowship Bible Church at Lowell. He is also on the boards of the Children's Safety Center, a nonprofit that aids abused children; Compassion Ministries, which helps women in crisis pregnancies and offers alternatives to abortion; and the University of Arkansas' Center for Retailing Excellence. "It's very rewarding to be able to give back to the community," Murray said.
Murray considers his greatest strength to be his ability to forge unity and passion in a leadership team.
Five major tenets make up his management philosophy:
• A leader must teach and reinforce the "non-negotiables" of leadership: produce results, "do the right thing" and tell the truth.
• You can never over-communicate.
• Treat your workplace relationships like a bank account by making more deposits than withdrawals.
• Tend to the bottom line.
• Treat everyone fairly.