VIDEO: Arkansas Business of the Year Award Winners: Diana Wright Named 2008 Top Exec

(VIDEO: Click here to see all the winners profiles. Click the video links near the profiles to see video clips of each of the winners' acceptance speeches.)

Diana Wright, founder of The Right Solutions of Tontitown, which handles scheduling, housing and travel arrangements for temporary-duty nurses in all 50 states, was named Arkansas Business Executive of the Year in Little Rock on Tuesday evening.

A profile of Wright and other winners and finalists from the 21st annual award program sponsored by Arkansas Business Publishing Group of Little Rock are available online here.

More than 800 people gathered in the Wally Allen Ballroom of the Statehouse Convention Center to honor businesses, nonprofits and executives in seven categories.

Patti Manus, who founded Rainbow of Challenges Inc. of Hope to provide services for her own disabled child and others like her, was recognized as Nonprofit Executive of the Year.

Cadena Contracting Inc. of North Little Rock, which started in 1999 bidding jobs for a drywall crew and has grown to a $10 million general contractor, won in Category I, whose finalists have 1-25 employees. Laser manufacturer Power Technology Inc. of Alexander won in Category II (26-75 employees), and Arkansas Federal Credit Union of Jacksonville won in Category III (76-300).

CityYouth Ministries Inc. of Jonesboro, a nonprofit that served almost 10,000 young people last year on a budget of only $231,000, was named Nonprofit Organization of the Year.

The Arkansas Community Foundation also presented its Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation Awards to Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith, Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock and JPMS Cox of Little Rock.

Entrants in the Arkansas Business of the Year awards program are nominated by Arkansas Business readers. Winners are selected by an independent board of judges. This year's judges were Mary Beth Brooks of The Bank of Fayetteville, last year's Executive of the Year; Ben Steinberg of Southern Financial Partners of Helena, last year's Nonprofit Executive of the Year; Bruce Cross, who Little Rock law firm, Cross Gunter Witherspoon & Galchus, was last year's Category II Business of the Year; Angela Frazier of EGP PLLC of North Little Rock; and Haley Wilson of QualChoice of Little Rock.

This year's event was presented by Twin City Bank of North Little Rock and Centennial Bank, which are member banks of Home BancShares Inc. of Conway.