Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Announced

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame class of 2024 includes (left-right) John Conner Jr., Gary George, Eric Jackson and Dhu Thompson.
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The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame class of 2024 includes (left-right) John Conner Jr., Gary George, Eric Jackson and Dhu Thompson.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board have selected four exceptional business leaders into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2024:

  • John L. Conner Jr., president, Holden-Conner Company
  • Gary C. George, chairman, George’s Inc.
  • Eric Jackson, senior vice president, Oaklawn
  • Dhu C. Thompson, owner, US Irrigation; former owner/president, Delta Plastics and Revolution Bag

“These four individuals represent the best of Arkansas business, and their contributions have had a profound impact on our state and their own industries," said Brent D. Williams, interim dean of the Walton College. “They are visionary leaders and dedicated advocates for their communities. I am confident that their stories will inspire current Walton College students and generations of Arkansas business leaders to come.” 

The honorees will be recognized for their contributions to the agriculture, poultry, sustainability and entertainment industries in Arkansas and the region in an induction ceremony at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock on Feb. 16, 2024.

Jason LaFrance, Walton College alumnus and president of Dale Capital Partners, chaired the selection committee of 11 business leaders who reviewed nominations and selected the inductees. Criteria for selection includes 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. Living inductees must be over the age of 60. 

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is housed in the atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development at the Walton College on the U of A campus in Fayetteville.

For information about tables, tickets and event sponsorships for the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a black-tie optional event, contact the Walton College Office of External Relations, Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development #217, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201; call 479-575-6146; or email  

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.


Leslie Manthei, manager of donor engagement
Sam M. Walton College of Business

Lori McLemore, assistant director of PR and media relations
Sam M. Walton College of Business


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