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Jack Shewmaker posthumously inducted into U of A Hall of Fame

Former Walmart senior executive and longtime board member Jack Shewmaker is among a group of four business leaders slated for induction into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.

Other inductees include: John Ed Anthony, chairman of Anthony Timberlands Inc. of Bearden, president of Shortleaf Stable, and former president of Loblolly Stable, one of the premier thoroughbred horse racing and breeding operations in the United States; Wayne Cranford, chairman emeritus of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, the largest advertising agency in a three-state area; and Walter E. Hussman Jr., publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and president and CEO of WEHCO Media Inc.

“Once again, we have a very distinguished group of inductees that represent the best of our state. They have excelled in a wide range of business fields — media, advertising and marketing, timber production and retailing — and have each made significant contributions to the state of Arkansas,” Walton College Dean Dan L. Worrell said. “It is our hope that by honoring these four inductees we can enable their accomplishments to continue to be an inspiration to the future business leaders of Arkansas and the nation.”

According to Shewmaker’s bio, in 1970, he was living in La Porte, Ind., but looking for a new challenge in the crowded world of small discount chain stores. Through a meeting with Sam Walton, he became one of two district managers at that time for Walmart. Shewmaker, who in 1974 created Walmart’s “Everyday Low Prices” pricing strategy that contributed to the company’s skyrocketing growth, rose to become president and COO in 1978. He was instrumental in shaping the “Walmart Culture” by developing the company’s first policies and procedures manual and personally setting a standard of ethics within the operation. Shewmaker also was an innovator within Walmart and the retail industry. He coined the company’s well-known term “Rollback.” He spurred Walmart to invest heavily in its first satellite communications system and implemented bar code standards for products, both industry firsts and both of which set the stage for Walmart’s growth into a new century. After retiring in 1988, Shewmaker remained on the Walmart board for 20 years. He also started JAC’s Ranch, a purebred Angus cattle operation, and was an executive retail consultant for Woolworths Limited of Australia. He supported education in Northwest Arkansas as a benefactor and booster for Bentonville High School and Northwest Arkansas Community College. Shewmaker also was instrumental in the growth of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) to the point that it now is active on 1,500 college and university campuses in 39 countries. He was on the board of directors for Sisters of Mercy Health System starting in 2008. Shewmaker was born and graduated from high school in Buffalo, Mo. After his retirement from Walmart, he continued to live and be active in the Northwest Arkansas community until his death in November 2010.

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, contact the office of external relations at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Business Building 117, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark., 72701-1201, 479-575-6146, by email at abhf@walton.uark.edu, or on the Web at http://waltoncollege.uark.edu/abhf/.

A list of previous inductees into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is available at http://waltoncollege.uark.edu/abhf/.