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Best Quotes of 2014

5 min read

“We’ve been told we are the talk of China, and not in a good way.”

Redman & Associates CEO Mel Redman, after his company announced its intention to move manufacturing of battery-operated cars from China to Rogers

“I’m not Job, but I know what he feels like.”

Fitz Hill, president of Arkansas Baptist College, which secured long-term financing after months of cash-flow difficulties

“There’s certainly not a place in Vilonia to put a business, because it’s pretty much wiped out.”

Sue Shock, owner of Sue Shock Insurance of Vilonia, who said the renovated 1,100-SF home that she used for her business was destroyed by the devastating tornado that hit Faulkner County on April 27

“It’s been a phenomenal boost to my work, like an IPO basically.”

Guy W. Bell, a Little Rock artist, describing the effect of his inclusion in the State of the Art exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

“His mother and I are brokenhearted about it. I don’t know everything that’s happened, and I’m not sure if I could talk about it if I did.”

Dennis Smiley Sr., regarding allegations that his namesake son committed loan fraud against some 20 banks and forged his name on documents

“Your honor, I come before you with a humble heart. More than a half-decade ago, I made bad decisions based on my selfishness and pride. I failed those who loved and trusted me the most.”

Former high-profile northwest Arkansas developer Brandon Barber, addressing U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes before being sentenced for bank fraud and money laundering 

“This was not a Ponzi scheme, not repetitive fraud. When his business collapsed he could have done what honest businessmen did, take his lumps.”

Holmes, before sentencing Barber to serve 65 months in federal prison

“My grandmother told me I could be anything I wanted to be. I want to be a good executive. I don’t want to be a good female executive.”

Shannon Newton, after being named president of the Arkansas Trucking Association

“Speaking to newspapers, it’s still not all hot tubs and champagne, but it’s much better than it was five years ago.”

Tom Larimer, executive director of the Arkansas Press Association, on the state of the newspaper industry

“You’ve never had anyone stand before you who was closer to having this thing resolved.”

Convicted former insurance agent Steve Standridge to U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey, in a last-ditch effort to avoid going to federal prison

“I question that. And I question that because in the past six months … no restitution has been made to the victims in this case, not even a token amount. And that gives me pause.” 

Hickey, in response

“Carissa turned a year old when I was in drug rehab, and I gave her a mother for her birthday. And that’s a true story.”

Martha Moore, owner of paving company McCormick Works, describing how her love for her daughter led Moore to kick drugs and get her life together

“I regret I wasn’t stronger. I should have stood my ground and took my chances with the jury. I shouldn’t have signed. I just shouldn’t have signed the plea agreement.”

James Van Doren, who was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after trying to withdraw a guilty plea to one count of money laundering as part of a conspiracy to defraud creditors of Brandon Barber

“We’ve lost it all.” 

A member of the Acme Holding Co. employee stock ownership plan regarding the investment in Allied Bank’s parent company after Lex Golden steered the venture into bankruptcy court

“These folks are brand new to the process. They need help learning about how to use health care benefits. They are unfamiliar with wellness. They are unfamiliar with physician appointments, with compliance, with medication. They really need to be taught how to use the system, and the good news is they really want to be taught.”

Max Greenwood, spokeswoman for Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield, on Arkansans newly insured through the “private option”

“The stakes are high because of the importance of this project to everyone. It’s a little different than doing a corporate office for a corporation.”

David Porter of Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, speaking about the renovation of Little Rock’s 75-year-old Robinson Center

“People in the business world are smart, and it doesn’t take them long to figure out that if Wal-Mart is doing it because it helps their bottom line and also improves their green thumbprint, then it must be a smart thing to do.”

Ken Johnson, vice president for communications at the Solar Energy Industries Association, on other businesses expanding their solar energy generating capacity

“That’s the great thing about cheese making, is that if you mess up a batch, you take it to the market and charge extra. It’s crazy.”

Kent Walker, founder of Kent Walker Artisan Cheese

“We were just depositing the cash in a way we thought our bank had told us to do years ago.”

Patrice Duncan, owner of Duncan Outdoors Inc. of Conway, who pleaded guilty in May to one count of aiding and abetting “structuring” transactions and was sentenced in August to two years of probation. Duncan and her husband also forfeited the $94,500, because the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged she made smaller bank deposits in order to sidestep a bank’s requirement to report deposits of $10,000 or more.

“We have had several farmers from the Midsouth call us — wanted to know if we had any money of theirs that they could access, just kind of a state of panic.”

David Choate, vice president of grain and barge operation for Bruce Oakley Inc. of North Little Rock, speaking in August as news of the financial troubles at Turner Grain Merchandising Inc. of Brinkley began to surface

“The tax cuts the Legislature passed — while they made great partisan sense to the people who passed them — boy, you can’t maybe just flip the switch and not put any more money into prisons or Medicaid or some of those things.”

Richard Weiss, retiring director of the Department of Finance & Administration, regarding reconciling the state’s fiscal obligations with available funds

“I could easily — easily — use 500 more drivers right now. He who has the drivers will have the business. That’s the name of the game.”

Maverick USA Inc. CEO Steve Maverick, discussing the current driver shortage in the industry

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