John Riggs IV


J.A. Riggs Tractor Co.

Little Rock

John Riggs IV

By now, the public probably knows John Riggs IV best as President of Little Rock's well-publicized school board, which has been challenged by a string of short-term superintendents who have failed to remove the district from federal court supervision.

But Riggs also has a day job as president of J.A. Riggs Tractor on Interstate 30, a business started by his great-grandfather in 1927.

Riggs, who is 38, leads a diversified company that includes a Caterpillar heavy industrial equipment distributorship; a manufacturing company called CEPCO that makes attachments for construction and farm equipment; a division that sells and services hydraulic components and includes an industrial machine shop; and the latest acquisition, Riggs Rental Services.

Riggs has worked all his adult life at the company, beginning a training program in 1982 as advertising and promotions manager, continuing in various managerial jobs, becoming vice president of sales in 1991 and then being named president two years ago.

His favorite thing about the job: "It's a great deal of fun to wake up every morning and play with great big Tonkatoys," Riggs says. He can do that? we asked. "Yeah. I'm the president of the company I can do anything I like."

Aside from the huge time commitment involved in being on the school board, (he has been board president since September) Riggs sits on the boards of New Futures for Youth and Volunteers in Public Schools. He is also chairman of the Leadership Greater Little Rock program, a leadership training institute.