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‘Running Through Cash Like Crazy’: Best Quotes of 2022

5 min read

“I’ve been a nurse a long time. This is something I’ve never seen in my career with nursing.” 

Trenda Ray, chief nursing officer at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, speaking in January about COVID-19 and the state’s nursing shortage.

“Truly, White Water is one of the last juke joints in the South. It really is, for music, one of the most important places in the South.” 

Travis Hill, co-owner with his wife, Natalee Miller, of the legendary White Water Tavern in Little Rock. Their purchase of White Water kept it from closing.

“We were running through cash like crazy.” 

William Dillard II, CEO of Dillard’s Inc. of Little Rock, speaking of the retailer’s experience early in the pandemic.

“It is going to be bad this winter when the first bills come out after the home heating season begins. The state’s solar policy is under attack.”

— Former Arkansas Public Service Commission Chair Ted Thomas, who cited what he sees as resistance to solar power adoption by the state’s electric cooperatives as one reason for the frustration that led him to leave the commission.

“Just imagine your business just having to shut its doors and can’t take appointments, can’t bill, can’t do anything for over a week.” 

Mark Hodges, chief growth officer at Edafio Technology Partners of North Little Rock, an IT consulting firm, on how ransomware can shut down a business.

“Bitcoin is not back up to $70,000 yet, so we could be better.” 

Cameron Baker, CEO of Cryptic Farms, which has cryptocurrency mining operations in Arkansas. A single bitcoin, which was trading at close to $70,000 as recently as November 2021, was worth about $17,000 in early December.

“We’re just old radio hippies doing it the way we think radio ought to be done.”

—  Clyde Clifford, legendary mage of Arkansas rock radio, on the grizzled lineup of veteran DJs cueing up deep-dive album cuts on the Arkansas Rocks network.

“It’s the crazy market that we’ve had for the last two or three years now, the roller-coaster prices that have generated unprecedented profits in the sawmill business.” 

Steve Anthony, president of Anthony Timberlands Inc. of Bearden (Ouachita County), discussing a surge in sawmill updates and expansions in Arkansas.

“I’m a very honest person.”

Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, former chair of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, denying any wrongdoing in the awarding of cannabis licenses in a court case deposition in which she answered questions on alleged bribes and scoring manipulation in the application process.

“I am bracing up and have stressed to our managers and I’ve said to our board, we are far from out of the woods. On the governmental level, it’s as if we’re out of COVID, but hospitals haven’t rebounded from COVID.”

Peggy Abbott, president and CEO of Ouachita County Medical Center in Camden, on hospitals’ financial struggles.

“I’ve been losing hair and gaining weight.” 

Carlton Saffa, chief market officer of Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, on the six-month effort to redo the casino’s debt that slashed the interest rate from 13% to 2.59%.

“Our industry sold the idea of consolidation to the FCC and Congress based on gaining the ability to be more efficient, spreading costs over more than one station. It should have worked, but the end result 26 years later is that all that money used to acquire all these stations left these companies drowning in debt.”

Trey Stafford, president and general manager of Jonesboro Radio Group.

“Jonesboro is our northwest Arkansas.” 

Boris Dover, executive vice president of Batesville’s First Community Bank, regarding hot lending markets.

“They’re going to have to either be wealthy people or big risk-takers, because wind and hail deductibles are going through the roof.”

— Little Rock insurance executive Andrew Meadors, describing people choosing to live anywhere near coastal Florida, Alabama or Mississippi.

“I call it ‘the Great Compression.’ Everyone is being squeezed.” 

Brian Burton, the new CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank, regarding the challenges of meeting pandemic-enhanced demand in the face of inflationary pressures and supply chain problems.

“Once you get to that level where you’ve covered your fixed expenses, money does cascade to the bottom line. And it’s a very fun business.” 

Rush Harding, an investor in Little Rock’s Cache Restaurant.

“Where is the drive-through for the powdered Donettes going to be?” 

Kevin Jester, chairman of the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County, regarding plans for the new Hostess Brands industrial bakery.

“One time they were about to arrest me because they thought I was one of the musicians, and there was some dope involved in the situation. I had to do some tall explaining that I was in graduate school at Indiana, in Indianapolis to see Hank and to see Ray Charles.”

— 90-year-old Norwood Seymour, retired Little Rock businessman, drummer and jazz DJ, describing a close call with high school buddy Hank Crawford, a member of Charles’ band.

“They were cutting prices and putting UALR cheerleaders on the front page with Spandex, which just horrified Gazette readers. I thought oh, no wonder they’re charging half as much. It’s not as good a paper as it used to be. They changed in a way that gave the Gazette’s readers a reason to try us.”

Walter Hussman, retiring as publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, reflecting on the Gannett chain’s missteps more than 30 years ago in the Little Rock newspaper war between the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette.

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