- BEST CITIZEN: Warren Stephens beats Mayor Stodola in best citizen category.
Warren Stephens, son of Jackson T. Stephens, one of the brothers who founded the Stephens financial empire in Little Rock, is only slightly more inclined to take turns on the public stage than his father and uncle, the late W. R. “Witt” Stephens.
But our readers take note of his impact all the same. We suspect, though we can’t be sure, that he won our Best Citizen category this year for a singular investment in the new minor league baseball stadium in North Little Rock, Dickey-Stephens Park. It’s enjoying universal acclaim in its first year.
Stephens is also putting a stamp on, among others, the Arkansas Arts Center, of which he’s a major supporter; the Episcopal Collegiate School, ditto; the totally renovated Capital Hotel, and the family’s wide-ranging business enterprises, from the namesake investment firm to a media company, based in Las Vegas but waging a newspaper war with Walter Hussman, publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, for Northwest Arkansas dominance.
Other nominees for best citizen include Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service; Heifer International leader Jo Luck; banker George Gleason; City Director Dean Kumpuris and Mayor Mark Stodola.