Business Briefs for Sept. 13, 2004

•?ABF Freight System Inc. has been recognized by Logistics Management magazine as a 2004 Quest for Quality Award winner. The annual award is based on the magazine's annual readership survey of customer satisfaction. ABF will be presented with the award on Oct. 6 in Philadelphia.

•?Doyle Rogers will be given the 2004 Vision Award by the Lions World Services for the Blind on Oct. 6 at The Peabody Little Rock. The award luncheon is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Rogers is president of Doyle Rogers Co. and chairman of Metropolitan National Bank. Tickets are $60 each, or $600 for a table of 10. Call (501) 664-7100 or visit www.lwsb.org.

•?Lt. Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller will be the keynote speaker at the seventh-annual Building Owners & Managers Asso-ciation Legislative Forum on Sept. 14. The meeting at the Little Rock Club, from 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m., is designed to advance the agenda of commercial real estate by bringing its professionals face-to-face with decision makers. The cost is $20 per person. For reservations, contact Janet Alton at (501) 604-2677 or bomaglr@prodigy.net.

•?The Central Arkansas Transit Authority has won a first-place award in the 25th annual AdWheel Awards competition of the American Public Transportation Association. The award will be presented Oct. 11 at an APTA annual meeting in Atlanta.

•?The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has filed a lawsuit challenging the same-sex marriage ballot initiative to amend the Arkansas Constitution. The ACLU says the initiative violates the constitution and that the ballot title and text are unclear and misleading. The state Supreme Court agreed to expedite a hearing, setting Sept. 23 for oral arguments. Each side has until Sept. 20 to respond to the briefs.

•?Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a new system of labeling catfish designed to boost the industry in the state. Frozen catfish filets and nuggets from America's Catch Inc. sold in Arkansas Supercenters now carry a green sticker saying the product comes from Arkansas. Catfish farmers contribute $100 million to the Arkansas economy each year, which has a $1 billion impact on the state's economy. Arkansas has more than 34,000 acres of catfish farms. Mississippi-based America's Catch buys fish from 64 Arkansas producers, and almost half of its product comes from Arkansas.

•?Jubal Smith, project manager for Entergy Arkansas' Office of Economic Development, was recently named manager of economic development for Austin, Texas. Smith joined Teamwork Arkansas in 1997 and served as the project manager for the Central Arkansas Economic Development Alliance.

•?Larry T. Wilson, chairman, president and CEO of First Arkansas Bank & Trust of Jacksonville and an alumnus of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, has donated $125,000 to establish the Larry T. Wilson Doctoral Fellowship at the UA Sam W. Walton College of Business. It will be matched with a $125,000 gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Founda-tion to recruit doctoral candidates to the school.

•?Coldwell Banker Mortgage and the Federal National Mortgage Associa-tion recently selected Coldwell Banker Advantage of Little Rock as one of six companies in the nation to pilot a new educational Web site, Home Buyer Assistance, at www.homesilove.com.

•?Gene Holman has been named president of the mortgage division of Bank of the Ozarks. A 30-year veteran of the real estate and mortgage banking business, he will handle mortgage lending operations and residential construction and development lending. Jean Arehart, who has served as mortgage division president for seven years, will assume the role of senior lending officer and chairman of the loan committee. She will continue to serve as a board member for the bank and its holding company.

•?Acxiom Corp. has been named the 2004 "CRM Data Quality Market Leader" by CRM magazine, an industry publication dedicated to helping companies become customer-focused. The announcement was made during the Digital Consulting Institute's annual Customer Relationship Management Conference & Exposition at San Fran-cisco.

•?The Donald W. Reynolds Founda-tion has awarded grants totaling $12 million to give geriatric training to the faculties of health centers at Duke University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the University of California at Los Angeles. Those schools will form the Donald W. Reynolds Consortium to Strengthen Faculty Expertise in Geriatrics. Each school will get a grant of $3 million over six years.