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CFO of the Year: Introduction from Publisher Mitch Bettis

Chief financial officers don’t usually grandstand or seek the limelight, so the idea of honoring them at an awards luncheon might seem unusual.

Jeff Holt, EVP & CFO / Stallion Transportation Group / Beebe

CFO Lifetime Achievement: Jeff Holt, Stallion Transportation Group

Holt, 65, has been the CFO of Stallion Transportation Group in Beebe since it started in August 1992.

Mike Carroll, Lifetime Achievement in Accounting / Fort Smith

Lifetime Achievement in Accounting: Mike Carroll

Carroll’s four-decade career as a Fort Smith CPA and economic development commissioner and his friendship with Gov. Asa Hutchinson might never have been if he had continued following a teacher’s advice to become a physician.

Bobby Gabbard, Controller / Summerwood Partners LLC / Bryant

Small Private Company CFO Winner: Bobby Gabbard, Summerwood Partners LLC

When Bobby Gabbard joined newly formed Summerwood Partners in 1997, he was one among a handful of staffers, and he did whatever needed to be done in addition to his duties as controller.

Jennifer Bridges, CFO / OrthoArkansas / Little Rock

Large Private Company CFO Winner: Jennifer Bridges, OrthoArkansas

In 2020, Bridges joined OrthoArkansas, which offers care for all orthopedic needs. She knew she had made the right decision because of the company’s culture.

Leslie Huitt, CEO & CFO / Bradley County Medical Center / Warren

Hospital CFO Winner: Leslie Huitt, Bradley County Medical Center

Huitt was hired as controller at Bradley County Medical Center in Warren in May 2019 and promoted to chief financial officer a year later.

Sylvia Murchison, Senior VP & CFO / Goodwill Industries of Arkansas / Little Rock

Nonprofit CFO Winner: Sylvia Murchison, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas

Sylvia Murchison, who spent a number of years working in the for-profit sector, said moving into nonprofits was a conscious decision.

TyRhonda Henderson, Finance Director / City of Texarkana

Public Sector/Education CFO Winner: TyRhonda Henderson, City of Texarkana

TyRhonda Henderson joined the city of Texarkana as a staff accountant and purchasing agent in 2011 and was promoted to controller the next year. After twice turning down the job, she was promoted to finance director in 2015.

Tom Major, CFO / Mayfair Sterling / Little Rock

Small Private Company CFO: Tom Major, Mayfair Sterling

A chance to do accounting part time led to his current CFO post at Mayfair Sterling, led by one of his favorite leaders, RJ Martino.

Joe Hafner, CFO / Arkansas Glass Container Corp. / Jonesboro

Small Private Company CFO: Joe Hafner, Arkansas Glass Container Corp.

In October 2019, Hafner began his current job as CFO for Arkansas Glass Container Corp.

Chad Ware, CFO / Central States Manufacturing Inc. / Lowell

Large Private Company CFO: Chad Ware, Central States Manufacturing Inc.

Among his accomplishments at Central States, Ware is happy with streamlining processes that have made its employee stock ownership plan more user-friendly and a real-time reporting process that gets data in the right hands sooner and aids prompt decision-making.

Ashley Sims. CFO / Rock Dental Brands / Little Rock

Large Private Company CFO: Ashley Sims, Rock Dental Brands

Ashley Sims always loved numbers, but it was the operational side of business that hooked her, and learning those skills has propelled her to a fast-paced career at fast-growing Rock Dental Brands of Little Rock.

Phyllis Rogers, CFO / Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care / Little Rock

Nonprofit CFO: Phyllis Rogers, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care

Well into the third decade of an award-winning career, Phyllis Rogers continues to oversee big projects, including an extraordinary effort at the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care to more than double the employee count during the early stages of the pandemic.

Katie Dailey, CFO / Arkansas Humanities Council / Little Rock

Nonprofit CFO: Katie Dailey, Arkansas Humanities Council

Dailey has made her career in the nonprofit world, first in programming and then, as she recognized the importance of finances to nonprofit work, in financial roles.

Adam Motherwell, CFO / Beaver Water District / Lowell

Public Sector/Education CFO: Adam Motherwell, Beaver Water District

In 2014, Motherwell accepted the job of CFO of the Beaver Water District, which provides water to more than 350,000 customers.

Gaye Manning, Vice Chancellor, Finance & Administration / Southern Arkansas University Tech / East Camden

Public Sector/Education CFO: Gaye Manning, Southern Arkansas University Tech

Gaye Manning says SAU Tech, the two-year community college affiliated with her alma mater, “has been my life for almost 38 years.” But it wasn’t what she had expected.

Kyle Sanders, CFO / NEA Baptist Health System / Jonesboro

Hospital CFO: Kyle Sanders, NEA Baptist Health System

In 2019, Sanders became CFO of NEA Baptist Health System, which includes the hospital and NEA Baptist Clinic.

Jeremy Jeffery, SVP & CFO / Jefferson Regional Medical Center / Pine Bluff

Hospital CFO: Jeremy Jeffery, Jefferson Regional Medical Center

Jeffery joined Jefferson Regional Medical Center as assistant controller in 2008, working his way up to his current position in January.

Brandon Gorman, CFO / Arkansas Rural Health Partnership / Lake Village

Hospital CFO: Brandon Gorman, Arkansas Rural Health Partnership

In 2019, Gorman joined the partnership full time. “I thought this is a way for me to take what I’ve learned and promote it throughout these rural areas,” he said.

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