Hope native Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III, has been selected as one of the members of the 2014 class of inductees to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.
The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville announced the class of inductees Monday, who will be honored in ceremonies Feb. 7, 2014.
In addition to McLarty, the college announced the pending induction of James H. Faulkner, of Little Rock, founder of Faulkner and Associates, a longtime public relations and advertising leader; Stanley E. Reed, of Marianna, attorney, farmer and longtime head of the Arkansas Farm Bureau; and Mark C. Simmons, of Siloam Springs, chairman of Simmons Foods, Inc., and Affiliates.
“We are pleased to welcome these four outstanding business leaders to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, Eli Jones, dean of the Walton College, said Monday. “They are being recognized among the best and brightest in Arkansas business, joining the distinguished list of members of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. All the hall of fame members continue to inspire the future global business leaders with their outstanding achievements.”
McLarty is chairman of McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory group which the former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton formed with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1998.
McLarty has served in advisory capacities to three former U. S. presidents, including Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.
During the Clinton administration McLarty served as White House chief of staff and later as special envoy to the Americas. He was a member of the cabinet during his entire time in the White House.
Prior to his government service, McLarty was chairman and chief executive officer of Arkla, a Fortune 500 natural gas company located in Little Rock. During his tenure, Arkla grew into the nation's largest natural gas distributor, with customers in 11 states.
He served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in 1989-1992.
He is currently chairman of McLarty Companies, a fourth-generation family transportation company, and he is a director of the automotive businesses in Mexico and Brazil founded by his oldest son Mark, who also led the McLarty auto operations in China. He is vice chairman of RML Automotive, an Arkansas-based automotive company, where his younger son Franklin serves as chief executive officer.
In addition to his leadership at McLarty Associates, he is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Born in Hope, McLarty graduated from Hope High School, and went on to graduate summa cum laude from the University of Arkansas with a degree in business administration. He was awarded an honorary degree from the university in 2000.
In 2007 he was inducted into the Arkansas chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the most prestigious national academic honor society for business students. He is a past recipient of the J. William Fulbright Sigma Chi Award. Together with his wife Donna, McLarty founded McLarty Global Fellows, a program to support international study for college and graduate students.