Four leaders who have made significant contributions to their communities and to the canning, protein, finance and petroleum industries will be honored Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Little Rock at the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced that the following business leaders will be added to the list of 82 distinguished members of the Hall of Fame:
Claiborne P. Deming, retired president and chief executive officer and current chairman of the board, Murphy Oil Corporation
The late Joe M. Steele, founder, Steele Canning Company and the Springdale Canning Company
Warren A. Stephens, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Stephens Inc.
The late John W. Tyson, founder and former chief executive officer, Tyson Foods
“These leaders have shaped Arkansas with their sense of community and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Matt Waller, Walton College dean. “Their contributions reach beyond our state’s borders, while creating lucrative opportunities for Arkansans.”
The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is permanently housed in the atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development at the Walton College on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
Ann Bordelon, Walton College alumna and chief financial officer of Mitchell Communications Group, chaired the selection committee of nine business and community leaders who reviewed nominations from throughout the state and chose the inductees. Criteria for selection included: the significance of the impact made as a business leader, the concern demonstrated for improving the community and the display of ethics in all business dealings. In addition, living inductees must be over the age of 60.
A list of previous inductees into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and brief videos highlighting their lives and careers are available at walton.uark.edu/abhf.
Tickets to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a black-tie optional event, are $150 per person. For more information about tickets and event sponsorships, please mail the Walton College Office of External Relations at Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development, Room 217, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201; call 479-575-6146; email email@example.com; or visit walton.uark.edu/abhf.
About the University of Arkansas:The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Just a few of the words friends and colleagues used to describe Thomas “Tom” Roy McKinnon, emeritus university professor of economics, who died August 10.
Former colleagues at the Walton College describe McKinnon – known to many as TMac – in glowing terms as they reminisced about their friendship with him and his impact on the college.
“He was just Tom,” said Bill Curington, emeritus university professor of economics and former chair of the Department of Economics. “He always cooperated. If there was a controversy in the department, he looked for solutions. Everybody valued his input.”
“He was the Pied Piper of economics,” said David Gay, retired university professor of economics who worked with McKinnon. “He had a way of getting people to feel comfortable and relax and have a better understanding of economics, to expand their boundaries as teachers or as students.”
McKinnon earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Southern State College (now known as Southern Arkansas University) in 1956. He met his wife Frances there. After a stint in the U.S. Army, McKinnon began his professional career teaching history and social studies in 1959 to high school students in El Dorado. He completed his master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arkansas in 1960. Within a few years, he became an assistant principal at the high school in El Dorado.
In 1968, McKinnon completed his master’s degree in economics at the University of Illinois. He then moved his family to Oxford, Miss., to earn his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Mississippi in 1972. After earning his doctorate, McKinnon moved back to Fayetteville and began work as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Arkansas. In the process, he made lifelong friends at the School of Business Administration, now known as the Walton College.
A Lasting Legacy In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, McKinnon worked with Bessie B. Moore, an influential educator and the first executive director of the Arkansas Council on Economic Education, the predecessor to Economics Arkansas. Moore asked McKinnon to assist with economic workshops for teachers and encouraged him to acquire his doctorate.
With his background in secondary education, both as a teacher and an administrator, and his new position as an assistant professor in economics, Moore felt McKinnon would be a strong director for a new economic education center at the university. With that position in mind, Moore recruited McKinnon, who help to found the Center for Economic Education in 1978. He served as the director of the center from 1979 through 2004.
Since 1979, the Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education has been training Arkansas teachers to teach primary and secondary students economics through innovative, hands-on workshops, creative curriculums and interactive projects. Countless Arkansans have learned basic economics through the center’s programs.
Now “every kid has to have economics in high school,” Curington said.
“He created a large contingency of informed decision makers,” said Rita Littrell, current director of the Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education. “Every student was important.”
In addition to his duties as an economics professor and center director, McKinnon served as the interim dean of the college from 1992 to 1993, prior to Doyle Z. Williams being hired. McKinnon also served as co-director of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, chair of the re-accreditation team and participated and led numerous college and departmental committees.
McKinnon’s influence reached beyond the college to the university. He served as chair of the Campus Council, co-director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Support, president of the Teaching Academy and helped to establish the Faculty Senate for the university.
On a national level, McKinnon had an impact on economics through various journals and associations. He served on editorial boards for the Journal of Economics and Finance, Journal of Business Leadership andJournal of the International Associations of Children’s Social and Economic Education. He also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Economic Education, Southwest Economic Review and theForum of the Association of Arid Lands Studies.
People and Places
McKinnon’s life outside the university was just as full with travel, athletics, family, friends and fun. He enjoyed traveling to countries to learn new cultures and meet new people.
McKinnon, often accompanied by his wife Frances, traveled with study abroad and exchange programs to Lithuania, Croatia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Turkey and more. Twice he taught a semester at sea, traveling around the globe.
For several years in the early 1990s, he would join fellow Walton professors for a rim-to-rim hiking excursion in the Grand Canyon the day after commencement.
“He was the strongest hiker among us,” Curington said.
Outside the U.S., McKinnon – at age 76 – hiked Machu Pichu, a 27-mile hike in Peru with a maximum height of 13,776 feet. At age 78, he also hiked sections of the Camino De Santiago pilgrimage, a 500-mile trek in Spain.
In addition to hiking, McKinnon ran three marathons, played baseball and basketball and led Walton College Dead Day Float trips with colleagues on the Buffalo River.
In 1988, McKinnon was chosen to appear on the game show “The Price Is Right,” alongside celebrity Bob Barker, and won a 2-door Subaru coupe. His experience was highlighted in the local paper.
In Tom’s later years, he wrote a book, Footprints in the Sand, for his children and grandchildren about his life as a child. He took art classes so that he could illustrate the book.
“Tom embraced everything,” Littrell said. “Whatever the experience, Tom was going to be part of it. He lived life to the fullest.”
Paying It Forward Littrell met McKinnon through workshops he held for Arkansas teachers. Working in nearby Springdale, Littrell often assisted him with workshops and seminars, training teachers how to integrate economics into their curriculums.
“I’d been a school administrator four years – I was ready for a change,” Littrell said.
During Doyle Williams’ tenure as dean, McKinnon created a part-time center position for Littrell. He encouraged her to attain her doctorate, just as Bessie Moore had encouraged him to do the same. In 1997, Littrell became the assistant director for the economic education center.
In June 2004, McKinnon retired and Littrell was named his successor as center director in August.
“If you measured your pedigree by your mentors, I would have the highest pedigree,” Littrell said.
McKinnon is survived by his wife of 60 years, Frances, daughters Laura Harrison and Lisa Wilson, son Alex McKinnon and their spouses and children.
“People like Tom are difficult to find,” Gay said. “Find someone like Tom McKinnon. Find them. Get to know them. Treasure them.”
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Walton Career Services at the Sam M. Walton College of Business are hosting a picnic and networking event, panel discussion, recruiting information session and doughnut giveaway Oct. 8-11 to promote diversity in the workplace.
Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.
A Diversity in the Workplace discussion will take place in the Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 4-5 p.m. with senior leaders from Walmart, General Mills, Academy Sports + Outdoors and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Panelists will discuss diversity and inclusion, thought processes and perceptions, and changes in mindset. Pre-registration is required.
Other activities include:
Picnic on the Plaza– Find free food and corporate recruiters Monday, Oct. 8, on Shollmier Plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Bring your resume and your appetite!
Women’s Leadership in Business Coffee Chat— Join a small group discussion about women’s leadership in the business world and career development on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 9:30-10:30 a.m., in WJWH 501. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.
Pitched Perfect– Deliver an elevator pitch to corporate recruiters and get their feedback on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 3-5 p.m., in WJWH 203. Pre-registration is required.
Company of the Day: Academy Sports + Outdoors– Talk with corporate recruiters about career opportunities and diversity hiring on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the WCOB second floor atrium 9 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3 p.m. Info sessions will also be held in WJWH 203 starting at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
Diversity Doughnut Day– Grab a doughnut on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 8:30 a.m. until they are gone!
Pop-Up Shop on Global Intercultural Fluency– Join Walton career coaches on Thursday, Oct. 11, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in the WJWH atrium for career advice on the go. Multicultural partners will share global engagement opportunities.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a press release from Movista Inc., a company founded by April Seggebruch (Walton College B.S.B.A. 2005) and Walton MBA 2008 and Stan Zylowski (Walton MBA 2008).)
Bentonville, Ark. September 26, 2018 – Movista Inc., the leader in cloud-based labor and workforce management software for retailers, manufacturers, and service providers, announced its $12 million Series A growth equity investment. Funds will be used to deliver new product features, enhance technology innovation, expand sales and marketing, bolster talent development, and evaluate strategic opportunities. The investment, among the largest ever in an Arkansas based software firm, is led by New York based Level Equity, a software focused growth specialist with $1.65 billion in assets under management.
Movista, which turned eight years old in May, pioneered the use of smart device applications for managing mobile workforces. Demand for smart device software in the workplace has more than doubled for three consecutive years, with Movista’s recurring revenues up more than 300% since 2015. More than forty retail-focused enterprise clients leverage their smart platform to manage employees and contractors. Movista expects over 200,000 retail workers to be working on a daily basis, via their software, by 2020.
“Our goal is to have one million daily users within five years,” said CEO and Co-Founder, Stan Zylowski, “We will leverage the capital from this investment to expand and augment our product set, build a best-in-class business development team and share our story nationally.” April Seggebruch, COO and Co-Founder, further explained how having fresh capital changes dynamics inside the firm. “For the first time since our inception as a bootstrapped business, we now have the freedom to push every technical limit and innovate dramatically. We have plans in place and within twelve months will be installing solutions that were unimaginable even a few years ago.”
“We have closely tracked the explosive growth of BYOD and dedicated smart device usage within the enterprise for years and proactively identified Movista early on as a leader in the space” said Ben Levin, Founder and Co-CEO of Level Equity, who has joined Movista’s board of directors as part of the financing. “Their history in the retail market, exceptional and capital efficient growth and passionate commitment to client success sets them apart. We share their vision for continuing to build a world class workforce and labor management software business for retailers, manufacturers, and service providers.”
About Movista: Based in Bentonville, AR, Movista is a provider of mobile-first, real-time, enterprise-grade technical solutions to the retail market. The company, founded in 2010, employs nearly sixty employees across six states and serves more than forty clients including retailers, manufacturers and service providers. To learn more about Movista, visit www.movista.com.
“Walton College is committed to providing the best academic environment for Arkansans, no matter where they live or work,” said Matthew Waller, dean of the Walton College. “With our online programs, we provide opportunities for students to pursue a degree whether they are new to college, completing a degree they may have started years ago, or seeking an additional degree to enhance their skillset.”
The online program is open to any student who is eligible for admission to the University of Arkansas. It provides a more flexible schedule for those seeking a non-traditional path to higher education.
“Online degree programs provide the flexibility needed by some students to overcome barriers of time, distance and life demands,” said Don Judges, vice provost for Distance Education. “The new online accounting degree is the perfect complement to the U of A’s growing list of online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.”
Coursework includes pre-business core, business core and upper-division business classes and will be taught by the same Walton College faculty who teach the traditional semesters as offered by the University of Arkansas.
“Adding the online accounting degree program reflects our ongoing efforts to advance the college’s vision for being a catalyst for transforming lives,” said Gary Peters, chair of the Department of Accounting.
Walton College is one of the Top 30 Public Business Schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Through the online degree program, Walton College students may enter or advance in the workplace with strong knowledge of accounting principles and skills, taught by an AACSB-accredited institution. To learn more about this and other online U of A programs, visit online.uark.edu.
Now through Nov. 5, the Information Technology Research Institute at the Sam M. Walton College of Business on the University of Arkansas campus is accepting applications from Arkansan female high school students for the 2018-2019 National Center for Women & Information Technology Aspirations in Computing Award.
The award recognizes high school women who have demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, leadership and academics and who plan to pursue a post-secondary education.
The Information Technology Research Institute will host a dinner to recognize the winners in April 2019 as part of the Women in Information Technology Conference. Winning students will receive an award for themselves and their school and will have the opportunity to receive scholarships, internships and access to a peer network. To apply, students should visit the program’s website.
The program is also accepting applications to recognize high school educators, counselors, mentors and influencers who support high school women’s computing and technology programs. Applications for educators will be accepted at through Nov. 12.
Kim Miller, facilities coordinator at the Walton Conference Hub, has been named the 2018 Employee of the Year for the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
Anyone in the college may nominate colleagues for the award, which is given to employees who show superior customer service that enhances the image of the college above and beyond the scope of that employee’s job description.
Nominees were Miller, Pamela Heinzel of the Department of Marketing, Sheree Smith of the Department of Information Systems and Casey Spatz of the Department of Supply Chain Management.
The winner of the award receives a certificate of appreciation and a cash prize. Winners are chosen by Walton College Dean Matt Waller, the associate deans, assistant deans and the Walton College Staff Council.
Mary Lacity has been named to the Walton College Professorship in Information Systems and director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence effective July 1. Previously, Lacity served as Curators’ Distinguished Professor and International Business Fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“I am thrilled Mary is bringing her extensive knowledge of blockchain and information systems to Walton College,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Walton College. “Walton is committed to discovering and supporting innovation surrounding blockchain, a secure online ledger which touches retail, data analytics and entrepreneurship, Walton’s primary strategic endeavors. Mary will be a huge asset to our students, faculty, college and our state.”
Lacity’s research focuses on the delivery of business and information technology services through global sourcing and automation using robotic process automation, cognitive automation and blockchains. She has conducted case studies and surveys of hundreds of organizations on their outsourcing and management practices.
“I am excited to join the Department of Information Systems as director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence. The faculty, staff, administrators and industry advisers have built something extremely relevant for our students, for Arkansas and beyond,” Lacity said. “Based on interviews in more than 30 organizations, two surveys and participant observation in a blockchain corsortium, I am convinced that blockchain technologies could generate trillions of dollars of value, but there are technical and managerial challenges that need to be addressed first. I hope that the Center of Excellence helps our students and industry partners address these issues to deliver real business and social value.”
Lacity has held visiting positions at MIT, the London School of Economics, Washington University and Oxford University. She is a Certified Outsourcing Professional®, industry adviser for Symphony Ventures, and senior editor for MIS Quarterly Executive.
Lacity has given keynote speeches and executive seminars worldwide and has served as an expert witness for the U.S. Congress. She was inducted into the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ Outsourcing Hall of Fame in 2014, one of only three academics ever to be inducted. She was the recipient of the 2008 Gateway to Innovation Award sponsored by the IT Coalition, Society for Information Management and St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association. She has published 28 books, most recently A Manager’s Guide to Blockchains for Business from SB Publishing, UK. Her publications have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, MIS Quarterly, MIS Quarterly Executive, IEEE Computer, Communications of the ACM and many other academic and practitioner outlets.
Lacity holds a Ph.D. in business administration, with a focus on management information systems and quantitative management science, from the University of Houston. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a focus on quantitative business analysis and economics, from Pennsylvania State University.
News from the College of Business at the University of Arkansas