A little competition never hurt Jane Mote.
From deer hunting to accounting, Mote, CFO of Southern Marketing Affiliates of Jonesboro, doesn’t mind the push that comes from being challenged. She will be the first to admit she is motivated “when somebody tells you you can’t get this done or you can’t do this.”
A Jonesboro native who comes from a medical family, Mote, 58, also admits to a bit of squeamishness that led her, while at Arkansas State University, to reconsider her plans to be a doctor. “They would try to expose me to stuff and I would pass out,” Mote said. “I quickly figured out I needed to go into something different.”
Leaning toward business, she embraced accounting for competitive reasons. “I felt like I could go into other areas of business, but accounting was technical enough that they couldn’t come into mine,” Mote said. “It was more competitive from a job market standpoint.”
She started out with ICI Americas Inc., at the time the world’s third-largest chemical company. Her work moved her to places like Louisiana and Delaware, “climbing that corporate ladder pretty quickly,” before she felt the urge to return to Arkansas.
A position at Sun Industries Inc., owned by Arkansas’ William Hurt Jr., led her to the farm implements business Southern Marketing Affiliates, founded by William Hurt Sr.
Mote most enjoys solving problems and making processes and departments leaner and more efficient. “When it finally all comes together and you have that ‘Aha!’ moment and go ‘That is so neat,’” Mote said. “It’s just making improvements.”
Outside of work, Mote and her husband have built the homes they have lived in, shown horses and followed her son’s travel baseball team. She borrowed a gun and became a deer hunter, naturally, when her son told her she couldn’t shoot. “It’s been on ever since. So we deer hunt,” Mote said.