Lloyd McCracken Jr., CFO of Fowler Foods Inc. of Jonesboro, and Steve Nelson, former vice president and controller of Dillard’s Inc. of Little Rock, were honored with lifetime achievement awards at the Arkansas Business CFO of the Year luncheon on Wednesday.
McCracken, the CFO Lifetime Achievement Award winner, has worked for Wallace W. Fowler since 1981. He facilitated transactions worth more than $525 million, starting with a $37.7 million sale of 83 KFC franchises in 1985. Then he oversaw multiple mergers and private stock offerings for North Arkansas Bancshares Inc., Southwest Bancshares Inc. and Liberty Bancshares Inc. McCracker returned to northeast Arkansas after seven years in Memphis, including a stint at Touche Ross & Co., then one of the "Big Eight" accounting firms.
Nelson, the Lifetime Achievement in Accounting Award winner, spent 27 years of his 35-year career as vice president and controller for Dillard's Inc. He retired in 2015 and now teaches in the Accounting Department at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Before Dillards, he worked as an audit associate with Ernst & Whinney in Little Rock, as vice president and controller with First Federal of Arkansas and as controller of First American Bank, which later changed its name to One Bank. He joined Dillard's as its controller at the age of 30.
The awards are part of an annual event produced by Arkansas Business that honors lifetime achievements and chief financial officers in several categories.
Each of the honorees was chosen by an independent panel of judges: Phil Baldwin, CEO of Citizens Bank of Batesville; Karla Payne, CFO of Arvest Bank of Bentonville; and Jim Schnoes, executive vice president and CFO of One Bank & Trust NA of Little Rock.
The event's other honorees were:
- Jean Cook of Travel Nurse Across America, as Small Private Company CFO of the Year
- Susan White of George's Inc., as Medium/Large Private Company CFO of the Year
- Stephen Ragland of Stone Bank, as Bank CFO of the Year
- Kathy Lanier of Vital Link EMS Inc., as Nonprofit Organization CFO of the Year
- Len Frey of Arkansas State University, as Education CFO of the Year
- Paul Becker of the city of Fayetteville, as Public Sector CFO of the Year
Short biographies on all of the winners and finalists are available here.