Business Briefs Nov. 14, 2005

• Carl Simpson Willock, 79, died Nov. 7. He was the former president of Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, the former president and CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., a former state legislator and former President Bill Clinton's liaison to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

• Cooper Standard Automotive, a division of Cooper Tire, will close its El Dorado auto plant in 18 months, costing 400 workers their jobs. The facility, which manufactures rubber-bonded metal parts for cars, will relocate in Indiana.

• Alltel Corp. of Little Rock CEO Scott Ford has been named to the board of Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale. The board seat is a new one and will give Tyson Foods five independent seats on its 10-member board. Ford also will serve on Tyson's audit committee.

• Little Rock Wastewater Utility has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The award, the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, was based on the utility's 2004 financial report.

• Terry Horton, executive director of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation for the past 14 years, has resigned to take a job as a salesman at a North Little Rock car dealership. David Carruth of Clarendon, president of the federation, said the group will begin seeking another executive director immediately.

• Hutchinson/Mayrath of Clay Center, Kan., a division of Global Industries Inc. of Grand Island, Neb., has opened a regional warehouse at Wynne. The company is a leading supplier of grain and material handling equipment such as augers and conveyors.

• Central Baptist College at Conway has received a $1 million gift from a couple that wants to remain anonymous. It is the largest donation in the school's history. A portion of the money will be used to fund its missions degree program, development of online degree programs and training modules for missionaries, and enhancement of other Bible-related programs.

• Henry Kissinger, former President Richard Nixon's secretary of state and Nobel Peace Prize winner, will be the featured speaker at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce's 139th annual meeting on Dec. 7. Tickets are $55 each and include lunch. For more information, call (501) 372-2001.

• Two executives with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville are among Fortune magazine's 50 most powerful women. Linda Dillman, executive vice president and chief information officer, ranked No. 29 on list. Claire Watts, executive vice president of product development and apparel and home merchandising, ranked No. 43.

• The Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department and the Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville received the 2005 Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Award, sponsored by the American Road & Transportation Builders Asso-ciation and the National Safety Council. The competition recognizes outstanding efforts to help reduce roadway work zone construction accidents, injuries and deaths.

• MBC Holdings of Jonesboro has bought two downtown Jonesboro buildings, the 38,000-SF former Citi-zens Bank property and the 20,000-SF McAdams Trust Building, both on opposite corners of Main Street and Washington Avenue.

• Pinnacle Group of Rogers and its development partner, General Growth Properties Inc. of Chicago, told a group of leasing agents and business leaders last week that they plan to open the 980,000-SF Pinnacle Hills Promenade shopping center in Rogers on Oct. 6, 2006.

• Dassault Falcon Jet of Little Rock received the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's first Ark-ansas Environmental Stewardship Award, or "Envy Award." The company, which manufactures aircraft parts, was recognized for minimizing waste and pollution prevention.

• Oaklawn Jockey Club Inc. in Hot Springs and Southland Racing Corp. in West Memphis got voters' approval to offer electronic gaming machines at their respective racetracks.

• Gov. Mike Huckabee received the Public Official of the Year Award last week from Governing magazine for his work on health coverage for children, education management and school finance, and health initiatives, the magazine said.

• The Arkansas Small Business Development Center appointed two new advisory board members: Sam Hinton, senior vice president of Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock, and Paul Shuffield Jr., community development officer with Southern Financial Partners of Arkadelphia.