Richard “Dick” Cisne, 65
Hudson Cisne & Co., Little Rock
Dick Cisne, a founder of Hudson Cisne & Co., was a 2016 finalist for Executive of the Year in the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards. A 1972 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, he is a director of Bank of the Ozarks Inc. and a former chairman of the Legal, Tax & Accounting Committee of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. He also is a director of the Arkansas State Police Foundation and the Central Arkansas Boys & Girls Clubs. After serving clients for 43 years, Cisne is planning a slow glide into retirement. He is assigning work to colleagues, but is seeking a smooth transition, saying, “I don’t know if I’ll ever quit coming to the office.”
Gary Cooper, 47
JPMS Cox PLLC, Little Rock
Gary Cooper, who has been with JPMS Cox since 1997, thinks having a famous name may have helped him in his accounting career. He hasn’t starred as Lou Gehrig or Sergeant York in the movies, as his namesake did, but he has been a featured speaker for the National Business Institute and Lorman Education Services. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Arkansas in 1991 and an MBA at Baylor University in 1993, and serves as a trustee of Little Rock Christian Academy and a member of the University of Central Arkansas Foundation Board. He notes that another Gary Cooper, his father, was an agent with the Internal Revenue Service. “Fortunately for me, most people like Gary Cooper movies, and the people who dealt with my dad at the IRS had good things to say about him.”
Karen Garrett, 43
Hudson Cisne & Co., Little Rock
Karen Garrett, who joined Hudson Cisne in 1996 and became managing partner in 2011, was president of the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy until the end of her term last year. She is a 1993 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and was honored in 2007 as one of Arkansas Business’ 40 Under 40. Garrett, who is responsible for strategic development and all administration at Hudson Cisne, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has expertise in self-insurance trusts, manufacturing, construction and serving clients with high net worth. She is also a member of the accounting advisory boards at UCA and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Barbara Hambrick, 46
Beall Barclay & Co., Fort Smith
Barbara Hambrick, who joined Beall Barclay in 1994, became managing member in 2010 at the firm, which was ranked third in the state on Arkansas Business’ 2015 list of largest accounting firms. Hambrick, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Oklahoma State University in 1993, serves as the firm’s personnel director and focuses on the oil and gas and construction contracting industries, along with nonprofits and retirement and pension plan auditing. She is a member of the Society of Certified Public Accountants for both Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Doug Richardson, 52
Chairman of Executive Committee
Frost PLLC, Little Rock
Doug Richardson joined Frost PLLC, the second-ranked firm on Arkansas Business’ 2015 list of largest accounting firms, after graduating from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1986. He specializes in audits of food processing and animal agriculture companies, with good reason: He has owned Richardson Land & Cattle, a Fulton County beef production and real estate company, for more than 30 years. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, who grew up near Viola, Arkansas, Richardson has made speeches to the National Pork Board, the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation, among other agricultural groups, and says his business passion is “helping clients make money or save money.”
Ryan Underwood, 48
BKD LLP, Little Rock
Ryan Underwood was just 32 years old when he became a partner in BKD LLP, which has ranked No. 1 on Arkansas Business’ annual list of the state’s largest accounting firms every year since 2011. A 1991 graduate of Arkansas State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, he became the firm’s managing partner in 2008. Underwood serves on the board of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in Little Rock and is treasurer and a strategic planning member for the board of the Greater Arkansas Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Steven Warren, 56
Regional Managing Partner
BKD LLP, Little Rock
Steven Warren was managing partner of BKD in Little Rock until 2008, when he was promoted to regional managing partner overseeing the firm’s practices in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi. He manages about 600 BKD partners and employees and is a member of the firm’s governing board. Warren is a former member of the Committee on Management of Accounting Practices at Missouri Southern University, his alma mater. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting there in 1983. He was co-chairman of the 2015 American Heart Association Heart Ball in Arkansas.
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