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.

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Phil Baldwin, Citizens Bank of Batesville (CFO Lifetime Achievement Award)

Phil Baldwin held the post of chief financial officer for a little over a decade at four stops during his 36-year career. That experience positioned him to become a statistic in a national trend among business executives. read more >

Susan M. Miller, BKD (Lifetime Achievement Award in Accounting)

In 2007, Susan Miller was named BKD's health care niche leader. The health care team has 16 employees and works with about 30 hospitals to improve their bottom lines. read more >

Wendy Bush, Dyke Industries (Large Private Company CFO of the Year Finalist)

You might think that a company that is 150 years old with a CFO who has been on the payroll for 33 years would run on autopilot. Not so, says Wendy Bush. read more >

Bill Harrison, E. Ritter & Co (Large Private Company CFO of the Year Finalist)

Bill Harrison is the CFO of E. Ritter & Co. in Jonesboro, the parent company of Ritter Agribusiness and Ritter Communications. The two companies together employ 326, and working with “people who are always trying to learn and to be better” is fun, Harrison said. read more >

Candice Hill, Priority Wire & Cable (Large Private Company CFO of the Year Finalist)

Candice Hill's love of ledgers and respect for the dollar made her a natural CFO. Since joining Priority Wire & Cable 17 years ago, Hill said, the company's revenue has increased 1,200 percent, although Hill is quick to point out that she wasn't taking sole credit for that. read more >

Ben Hollowell, Applied Technology Group USA (Small Private Company CFO of the Year Finalist)

Ben Hollowell was a psychology major before he realized he didn't want the graduate degree he'd need to be employable in that field. The next best fit was business and accounting. read more >

Lesley Nalley, Hot Springs Village POA (Small Private Company CFO of the Year Finalist)

Lesley Nalley has been CFO at the Hot Springs Village Property Owners Association for two years. In the position, she led a systemwide software upgrade and helped put data into a format easier to understand. read more >

Ben Thomas, PC Assistance (Small Private Company CFO of the Year Finalist)

Ben Thomas founded accounting software firm PC Assistance of Little Rock 22 years ago with $2,500 in capital and “zero experience running a business.” Now he's the small private company's CEO and CFO. read more >

Bob Bloom, Heifer International (Nonprofit Organization CFO of the Year Finalist)

Bob Bloom is the CFO of global nonprofit Heifer International, which works to end hunger and poverty through community development. He has been in his current position for five years. read more >

Harry Hutchison, St. Bernards Healthcare (Nonprofit Organization CFO of the Year Finalist)

Harry Hutchison, the vice president of finance and CFO at St. Bernards Healthcare in Jonesboro, is driven by his organization's mission. read more >

Billye Veteto, Razorback Foundation (Nonprofit Organization CFO of the Year Finalist)

Billye Veteto says she likes a job that isn't routine so she doesn't get bored. She is in the right spot at the Razorback Foundation read more >

Michael Burris, FNBC Bank (Small Bank CFO of the Year Finalist)

In the current banking environment, there are only two kinds of banks: those that are getting bigger and those that are getting bought. FNBC is trying to get bigger, CFO Michael Burris said. read more >

James Schnoes, One Bank & Trust (Small Bank CFO of the Year Finalist)

Rocked by mismanagement and placed under the regulatory microscope, One Bank & Trust remains a work in progress as James Schnoes helps restore order at the $316 million-asset institution. read more >

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

The multistate banking business means Drew Chandler is on the road more than he used to be. read more >

Kim Crook, First Arkansas Bank & Trust (Large Bank CFO of the Year Finalist)

In a telephone discussion of Kim Crook's 27 years at First Arkansas Bank & Trust, she said she had been the financial institution's CFO for about 15 years. But it turns out time does fly when you're having fun: She emailed a few minutes later to say it had actually been 20 years. read more >

Karla Payne, Arvest Bank (Large Bank CFO of the Year Finalist)

Karla Payne has been with Arvest for more than 33 years and found it a place that rewarded a hard worker who was smart and willing to learn more. read more >

Adam Adair, Arkansas State University-Newport (Education/Public Sector Finalist)

Adam Adair's management style is simple: Hire the right people, set high expectations and standards of excellence and then get out of their way and let them do their jobs. read more >

Sara Lenehan, City of Little Rock (Education/Public Sector Finalist)

Sara Lenehan loves her job as finance director for the city of Little Rock because of its diversity and challenges. read more >

Dorethea Yates, City of Hot Springs (Education/Public Sector Finalist)

A willingness to consider new approaches and a desire to simplify processes have been the keys to her success, said Dorethea Yates, who for 12 years has been finance director and treasurer for the city of Hot Springs. read more >