Governor Names Philip Tappan to Game & Fish Commission

Governor Names Philip Tappan to Game & Fish Commission
Philip Tappan (file)

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday the appointment of Philip Tappan to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. 

Tappan is managing partner of Tappan Land & Water, a company that owns a majority interest in Purple Cow Restaurants and several properties in central Arkansas. He is chairman of the restaurant chain's board and retired as president and CEO of Quality Performance Food Group in 2003.

At a news conference broadcast online, Tappan said he would work to continue the "symbiotic relationship" the AGFC enjoys with the rest of the state and cited budget constraints and climate change among the challenges it faces.

"These challenges are plentiful, but with the team assembled, much is possible," he said.

Tappan serves on the boards of CHI St. Vincent, Access School and the Arkansas Community Foundation. He previously served on the boards of Simmons Bank (where he was executive vice president), the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Foundation and the Arkansas Foodbank Network. He has a bachelor's degree in business administration and banking and finance from the University of Arkansas.

Commissioners, appointed by the governor, serve seven-year terms.

In May, the commission voted to hire Austin Booth as its new director. Booth, the first external director hire in 21 years, replaced Patt Fitts, who retired Wednesday.

Tappan and Booth spoke briefly at Thursday's announcement. Tappan said he was encouraged by the "talented and energetic new director." Booth called the new commissioner a "tenacious" outdoorsman and conservationist and a successful businessman.

Tappan said he was inspired by George Dunklin, former chairman of Ducks Unlimited and owner of the Five Oaks Hunting Lodge, and other outdoorsmen.