Slideshow: Lloyd McCracken Jr., Steve Nelson Receive Lifetime Honors at CFO Awards


Fowler Foods CFO Lloyd McCracken Jr., center, accepts the CFO Lifetime Achievement Award from Phyllis Rogers, SVP and CFO of Delta Dental, and Mitch Bettis, publisher of Arkansas Business.
Fowler Foods CFO Lloyd McCracken Jr., center, accepts the CFO Lifetime Achievement Award from Phyllis Rogers, SVP and CFO of Delta Dental, and Mitch Bettis, publisher of Arkansas Business. (Steven Leach)
Steve Nelson accepts the Lifetime Achievement in Accounting Award for his work with Dillard's Inc.
Steve Nelson accepts the Lifetime Achievement in Accounting Award for his work with Dillard's Inc. (Steven Leach)
Susan White of George's Inc. won the CFO of the Year award in the Medium/Large Private Company category.
Susan White of George's Inc. won the CFO of the Year award in the Medium/Large Private Company category. (Steven Leach)
Jean Cook of Travel Nurse Across America won the CFO of the Year award in the Small Private Company category.
Jean Cook of Travel Nurse Across America won the CFO of the Year award in the Small Private Company category. (Steven Leach)
Kathy Lanier of Vital Link EMS Inc. was named the winner of the Nonprofit Organization CFO of the Year award.
Kathy Lanier of Vital Link EMS Inc. was named the winner of the Nonprofit Organization CFO of the Year award. (Steven Leach)
Stephen Ragland of Stone Bank took home honors as Bank CFO of the Year.
Stephen Ragland of Stone Bank took home honors as Bank CFO of the Year. (Steven Leach)
Len Frey of Arkansas State University was named winner of the Education CFO of the Year award.
Len Frey of Arkansas State University was named winner of the Education CFO of the Year award. (Steven Leach)
Paul Becker, CFO for the city of Fayetteville, accepts the award for Public Sector CFO of the Year from Arkansas Business Publisher Mitch Bettis.
Paul Becker, CFO for the city of Fayetteville, accepts the award for Public Sector CFO of the Year from Arkansas Business Publisher Mitch Bettis. (Steven Leach)

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:

Short biographies on all of the winners and finalists are available here.


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