Arkansas Business City of Distinction 2011

A chief financial officer is a historian and fortune-teller responsible for recording what has happened and for predicting what will happen with a company's financial performance. The honorees here represent the perfect combination of intelligence, judgment, loyalty, integrity, high energy, balanced ego and impressive ability to see around corners. Arkansas Business honors those men and women who serve as the foundation upon which companies succeed or fail.

Featured Inside

Phillip W. Cox of JPMS Cox (Lifetime Achievement in Accounting)

Phillip W. Cox, who has worked in public accounting since 1970, says the biggest challenge in his career was learning that clients want more in an accountant than a “numbers person.” People, Cox said, “want someone they can connect with on a truly personal basis.” read more >

Gene Whisenhunt of Hickingbotham Investments (CFO of the Year, Lifetime Achievement as a CFO)

Gene Whisenhunt developed an interest in business while growing up in Glenwood (Pike County). That interest culminated in his work with the Frank Hickingbotham family, a relationship that began at Little Rock's TCBY Enterprises and continues today with Hickingbotham Investments Inc. read more >

Welcome to the 2013 CFO Awards (Publisher Mitch Bettis Introduction)

Chief financial officers don't usually grandstand or seek the limelight, so the idea of honoring them at an awards banquet might seem unusual. But for the past five years, Arkansas Business has shined the spotlight on financial leaders in Arkansas with distinct achievements in their field. read more >

George “Trey” Jackson III of Pruitt Tool & Supply (CFO of the Year Finalist, Small Private Companies)

Since starting at Pruitt Tool & Supply Co. of Fort Smith six years ago, Trey Jackson has helped the company grow into its new generation and adjust to new methods of business. read more >

Kristi Prince of Maxwell Hardwood Flooring (CFO of the Year Finalist, Small Private Companies)

Kristi Prince's diverse experiences with Lockheed Martin and Radio Shack helped her join Maxwell Hardwood Flooring, a longtime business in Monticello, as CFO. Since then, she's helped the company grow and thrive even through the Great Recession, which affected her company's industry directly. read more >

Mark Langston of Life & Specialty Ventures (CFO of the Year Finalist, Large Private Companies)

In June 2014, Mark Langston will have spent 30 years in accounting, with nearly half of that time as the chief financial officer for Life & Specialty Ventures LLC of Little Rock, which is a holding company that owns and operates USAble Life of Little Rock and Florida Combined Life of Jacksonville, Fla. read more >

Phyllis Rogers of Delta Dental of Arkansas (CFO of the Year Finalist, Large Private Companies)

Since Phyllis Rogers arrived at Delta Dental in 2000 as vice president of finance, she has watched its revenue grow from $133 million to more than $400 million. The nonprofit dental benefits provider, headquartered in Sherwood, is projected to have about $410 million in revenue this year, she said. read more >

Steven Rose of Conway Regional Health System (CFO of the Year Finalist, Large Private Companies)

Steven Rose is vice president and chief financial officer of Conway Regional Health System, which includes the hospital and its clinics. It has about 1,200 employees. Away from the hospital Rose is the chairman of the board of the national Healthcare Financial Management Association, a nonprofit organization for health care financial management executives and leaders. read more >

Denise Drennan of North Little Rock School District (CFO of the Year Finalist, Public Sector)

Denise Drennan, CFO of the North Little Rock School District, has helped the district out of a fiscal pinch and onto the path to growth and improvement. Her efforts made her a finalist for Arkansas Business CFO of the year in the public sector category. read more >

Michael Henderson of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. (CFO of the Year Finalist, Public Sector)

Michael Henderson, senior vice president and CFO of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., aims to provide affordable service to rural Arkansans, keeping the lights on and the prices low so folks can use the money saved to enhance their quality of life. read more >

Jane W. Jackson of the City of Stuttgart (CFO of the Year Finalist, Public Sector)

In 1977, Jane Jackson was in her second year interning as a bookkeeper for the city of Stuttgart when an unexpected death left the finance position open, resulting in her promotion. Whoever takes over for her will be just the third person to serve as Stuttgart's finance officer in 62 years, and Jackson will leave behind an office in good shape. read more >

Sara Lenehan of the City of Little Rock (CFO of the Year Finalist, Public Sector)

Sara Lenehan applies her skills with numbers for the city as part of a 30-year career in the industry, mostly in the private sector. She went to work for Little Rock in 2004 as comptroller and became finance director in 2008. read more >

Jonathan Baird of Peoples Bank (CFO of the Year Finalist, Small Bank)

Jonathan Baird represents the fifth generation in the family business at Peoples Bank of Magnolia. His great-great-grandfather was among the investors who started the bank in 1910. His mother, Mary Fowler, is the current president and CEO. read more >

Judy Lawton of Heartland Bank (CFO of the Year Finalist, Small Bank)

Judy Lawton has been working in banking for 32 years, the past nine with Heartland Bank of Bryant. At Heartland, she has helped what was a small, publicly traded thrift transform into a commercial bank that is still small ($202 million in assets) but stable and profitable ($2.7 million in net income in the first half of 2013). read more >

Drew Chandler of Farmers Bank & Trust (CFO of the Year Finalist, Large Bank)

This is the year of Drew Chandler. In June, he was among the young business leaders recognized by Arkansas Business as the “40 Under 40,” and now he's a finalist for the title of CFO of the Year in the small bank category. read more >

Greg McKinney of Bank of the Ozarks (CFO of the Year Finalist, Large Bank)

A year ago, when Greg McKinney was a finalist for CFO of the Year in the same large bank category, he predicted that Bank of the Ozarks Inc. would have scores more opportunities to bid on failing banks around the country. read more >

Katherine T. Jones of Arkansas Hospice (CFO of the Year Finalist, Nonprofit)

For Kathy Jones, the constant change in the health care industry both provides her greatest challenge and underlies her greatest accomplishment. Her embrace of change has helped Arkansas Hospice experience growth of 8.7 percent in the past three fiscal years, to a revenue total of $28.8 million in the most recent fiscal year. read more >

Susan Rogers of Access Group (CFO of the Year Finalist, Nonprofit)

Last year Susan Rogers became controller of Access Group Inc., a Little Rock nonprofit that works with developmentally challenged children. read more >