Presenting the 40 Under 40 Class of 2019: An Annual List of Rising Stars

Presenting the 40 Under 40 Class of 2019: An Annual List of Rising Stars
Nate Steel, Misti Staley, Kandi Chitman Hughes, Jeff Wood, Katie Niebaum and Eddie Thomas represent 15% of the 2019 class of Arkansas Business' 40 Under 40. (Jason Masters)

An acquaintance asked me why his nominee wasn’t selected for this year’s class of 40 Under 40 honorees, and I sent him a cellphone photo of the inches-thick binder of nominees from which our internal committee was forced to choose. It is not an easy task, nor have I ever been confident that we hadn’t overlooked nominees at least as accomplished as the final list.

I am confident that this 26th class — the 20th I’ve had a hand in selecting — will have its intended effect: You will meet 40 impressive young business and community leaders who will give you confidence that our state will be in good hands for decades to come.

When committee members dig into the binders full of women and men, we are looking for professional accomplishments and community service. We are also looking for the potential to do great things in the future. We keep in mind that Arkansas is much more than just the Little Rock and Fayetteville MSAs, even though more nominees come from the places where more people live. In these pages, you’ll see plenty of people from central and northwest Arkansas, but you’ll also see the kind of talent being plied in Magnolia, Mountain Home, Morrilton and Marianna — and a few other places that don’t start with “M.”

We also look for a variety of industries, and we look for diversity in gender and race — which has become easier than it was in the early years of this project. Above all, we look for leadership, that elusive character trait that never grows old and will never go out of style.

A luncheon recognizing this year’s honorees will be held at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock on Wednesday, June 19. The luncheon is open to those of us who never made the cut. For more details, go to

Gwen Moritz


Wes Anderson

Natalie Bartholomew

William Cunningham
Mandy Davis

Scott Davis

Bailey Faulkner

Jami Fisher

Ateca Foreman

Brandon Foshee

Kale Gober

Edward Haddock

Kandi Chitman Hughes

Mervin Jebaraj

Todd Jenkins

Glen Johnson

John Lawson

J.D. Lowery

Diana McDaniel

Nick Morgan

Laura Nick

Katie Niebaum

Dan Oberste

Kendra Pruitt

Tobias Pugsley

Nathan Reed

Dan Roda

Dr. Analix Rodriguez

Brian Rohlman

Marshall Saviers

Rep. Jamie Scott

Misti Staley

Nate Steel

Eddie Thomas

Tonya Thompson

Jonathan VanHorn

Katherine Vasilos

Craig Vick

Steven Webb

Amy Whitehead

Jeff Wood
Photography by: Jason Masters Photography, Beth Hall Photography, Grisham Studio, Moore Visuals, Suzette Osburn Photography

Purchase tickets for this year's event