Stephen Strange Wins Arkansas Business Executive of the Year

Stephen Strange Sr. of Conway, president and chief executive officer of American Management Corp., won the Arkansas Business Executive of the Year award at the 2001 Arkansas Business of the Year awards Thursday.

Strange, whose wholesale insurance products business employs 190 and had about $110 million in revenue last year, said vision and hard work are necessary for success.

Business Executive of the Year was among seven awards handed out to the some of the state's premier businesses, nonprofit organizations and executives during the 14th annual awards ceremony, which took place Thursday night at the Peabody Hotel-Little Rock.

A record 724 attended the event, sponsored by Arkansas Business Publishing Group, which publishes arkansasbusiness.com.

Also Thursday, Rick Niece of Clarksville won Nonprofit Executive of the Year. Niece, president of University of the Ozarks has raised more than $55 million for the campus since being named president of the university in 1997.

Other award-winners were as follows:

Polk Stanley Yeary Architects Ltd. of Little Rock won Business of the Year in Category I (1-25 employees).

Arkansas Bankers' Bank of Little Rock won Business of the Year in Category II (26-75 employees).

Athletic World Advertising of Fayetteville won Business of the Year in Category III (76-300 employees).

•?Access Schools of Little Rock won Nonprofit Organization of the Year.

This year, Arkansas Business Publishing Group partnered with the Arkansas Community Foundation to award the nonprofit group's award for Outstanding Philanthropic Corporations, which honors businesses that give to charities and the community. Winners of those awards were:

Harps Food Stores Inc. of Springdale,

Stone & Ward of Little Rock, and

SBC Southwestern Bell Arkansas of Little Rock.

For a full list of nominees and profiles for each, click here.

Arkansas Business readers nominated organizations for the awards. A panel of judges determined the winners. This year's judges were Stephen Bova of Intellimark, Bill Clark of CDI Contractors, Wilson Moore of Bank of America, Townsend Wolfe of the Arkansas Arts Center and Sam Walls of Arkansas Capital Corp.

Arkansas Business Publishing Group of Little Rock publishes Arkansas Business, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, Little Rock Family, Arkansas Next and more than 20 special publications.