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“My mentor, Bill Jett, told me years ago, when I was just a pup, that if there is a turd in the bowl, it’s best to flush it right away. And as descriptive and vulgar as that is, it should be taught in all business schools, because the problem never gets any better.”
— Tom Harding, who with business partner Bob East completed in October the 10-year sale of East Harding Construction of Little Rock to CEO Van Tilbury.
“Sales were pretty good, so good that every time I’d call over there, they’d say, ‘Bailey, dang it, we’re busy. Please let us work, we don’t have time to give reports to you.’ ”
— Bailey Moll of JPH Consulting of Little Rock and spokesman for Doctors Orders Rx, the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in Arkansas. The business has since been renamed Suite 443.
“The defendants’ claims are just not credible. The defendants have failed to explain satisfactorily how they can be plaintiffs in a lawsuit that results in a $9,750,000 settlement payment and receive nothing.”
— Brian Ferguson, creditor of Bill and Carolyn Schwyhart, in a counterclaim challenging the couple’s professed ignorance regarding a 2013 legal settlement.
“And it will always be known that it was done on my watch, which grieves me. I’m probably the last person who would choose to do this.”
— Bruce McLarty, president of Church of Christ-affiliated Harding University in Searcy, on this fall’s dress code change allowing students to wear shorts to class and even to chapel, the mandatory daily devotional period.
“This almost is the equivalent of having 1,000 jobs dropping out of the sky on us,”
— Caleb McMahon, ex-director of economic development for Jefferson County, on the employment boost of the Quapaws’ Saracen Casino Resort, now rising in Pine Bluff.
“I’ve never had to look for a job before; my dad always had one for me. I’ll be 62 in November, and for the first time in my life I’m in the job market. In fact, both my wife and I will be in the job market.”
— John Bland, former publisher of the Times Dispatch of Lawrence County, the Walnut Ridge newspaper he and his wife, Renee, sold in September to Paxton Media Group of Paducah, Kentucky, after a century of family ownership.
“In the back of my mind, I always knew and thought I would fix it.”
— Former insurance agent Berry Bishop of Hot Springs, acknowledging to U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey his years of fraudulent borrowing that totaled more than $4.1 million and resulted in a five-year prison sentence.
“Solar cuts power bills, and it creates jobs. I haven’t found anybody who doesn’t want those things.”
— Mark Cayce, GM and CEO of Ouachita Electric Cooperative in Camden, the first Arkansas utility to seek a rate decrease attributed to lower costs from solar power generation.
“I was turned down by a lot of different banks. Basically, I felt like I was on ‘Shark Tank’ about 100 different times.”
— Texarkana real estate developer David Peavy on the challenges he faced in getting financing to renovate the 1894 City Market downtown.
“Is ‘jillion’ a word? A jillion dollars, maybe. But if you go back to the building of the arena, you’re talking about probably $500 million.”
— North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith on the value of development projects that have transformed Argenta in the 20 years since Simmons Bank Arena made its debut as Alltel Arena.
“If you want to break your bones, northwest Arkansas has something for you. We can set your bones, too.”
— Mervin Jebaraj, director of the Center for Business & Economic Research in the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, on the fast-growing leisure and health care industries in northwest Arkansas.
“There is no alternative market to China. It’s just too big a chunk of the market.”
— Howell Cox with Ralph Taylor Lumber Co., owner of the T&S Sawmill in Clarendon, discussing the U.S.-China trade war and its toll on the hardwood timber industry.
“I think you have to be assertive. You’re never given your place at the table. You have to take your place at the table.”
— Former restaurateur Kathy Webb discussing her friend Capi Peck, founder of popular Little Rock restaurant Trio’s and a Little Rock city director.
“I am not a horrible person, but I did make a horrible mistake, and it was a crime.”
— Donna Herring, a former Camden real estate agent sentenced in November to 41 months in prison for creating a fake will benefiting her daughter after Matthew Seth Jacobs, a survivor of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion, subsequently died in a car crash.
“I don’t know all the reasons. Amazon gets thrown out as part of the reason. Whatever the reason is, all malls in general, and retailers that operate mainly in malls, all of us are having difficult times.”
— Dillard’s Inc. CEO William Dillard II, responding to recent sales trends.
“Martin and I liked the name Bud because it has several levels. We’re your buddy, we’re cultivating something new in a growing industry, and ‘bud’ has a meaning, I think, that’s related to cannabis.”
— Elizabeth Michael, partner in Little Rock’s Bud Agency, a communications firm she and Martin Thoma started for the medical marijuana industry.
“Fraud can be so confusing. But the jury hung in there — it’s evident they took their oath seriously, even working on Saturday to finish this thing, and they exposed Dale Bartlett for what he really is — a fraud and a crook.”