The Watkins Co.
Richard WatkinsWhen he went to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for a degree in business administration, Rick Watkins was planning to take a $24,000-a-year job selling computers for IBM Corp. Instead, he took a $12,000-a-year job working for his dad as a printing broker.
"Well, actually, he only paid me $9,000," Watkins recalls, "and I've got the W-2 to prove it."
In hindsight, the move seems to have been prudent - Watkins is now the president of a 200-employee, two-state printing business ranked among the top 200 printers in the nation.
About 90 percent of The Watkins Co.'s business is printing grocery store circulars.
He also delved into the political arena by working on the campaigns of state Rep. Bill Gwatney, D-Jacksonville, in 1984-92.
The 39-year-old Watkins is now serving as campaign manager for the Winston Bryant for Senate campaign, a job that takes up most of his free time.
He does find time to serve as a vice president for public relations for the Central Arkansas Boy Scouts of America - Watkins is himself an Eagle Scout.
He and his wife, Marcia, have two children.
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