Blake Rutherford to Join McLarty Companies as VP

The McLarty Companies announced Wednesday that Blake Rutherford will join the company later this month as a vice president.

The company, which owns RLJ-McLarty-Landers Automotive Holdings and other ventures, said Rutherford will be responsible for advising the company and its affiliates on communications, strategy and corporate social responsibility. 

Rutherford will report to Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, the company's chairman, and Franklin McLarty, its senior vice president

Since September 2010, Rutherford has been chief of staff to Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. Previously, he was director of public communications for Stone Ward and an attorney with Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP, both of Little Rock.

"I have known Blake for many years, and I have watched his professional career develop as an attorney, a public relations executive, and recently as chief of staff to the attorney general," Franklin McLarty said. "His experience will enhance our family business interests as we continue to grow in Arkansas and beyond."

He said Rutherford's public- and private-sector comunications experience will be an asset.

In a statement, McDaniel said he's selected a new chief of staff and will announce the selection "soon."

"Blake is a great personal friend and a class act," McDaniel said. "I hate to see him leave, but I know he moves on to an exciting, new challenge in the private sector. Our loss is The McLarty Companies' gain."
Founded in 1921 as McLarty Leasing Systems, McLarty Companies is a fourth-generation family holding company based in Little Rock. The company includes the McLarty family's interest in RLJ-McLarty-Landers Automotive Holdings, one of the largest auto retailers in the nation.
"I have great respect for the McLartys and all they have been able to accomplish in business and public service," Rutherford said. "In this new role I look forward to being able to assist their talented team in achieving their business goals. I am very fortunate to have this opportunity."