TBQ Magazine: Arkansas' Only Bsiness Magazine


About Us

TBQ is Arkansas' only business magazine that reaches affluent decision makers. Each issue provides uncompromising commentary, in-depth analysis and provocative features. The magazine is an essential resource guide for new entrepreneurs and existing businesses.

TBQ has almost double the circulation of any other business publication in Arkansas. Our readers are CEOs, presidents and controllers of companies as well as new business owners. TBQ also reaches Arkansas’ influential political establishment, including elected officials at all levels, public policy leaders, and trade association executives.

With trusted resources, quality information and opinions, TBQ is Arkansas' smart talk on business. TBQ is produced by Vowell Inc., in association with Roby Brock.


Featured Articles

Business: New Kids On The Block

By TBQ Staff


Some of Arkansas’ top organizations have welcomed new executives to their ranks this year. Meet seven new kids on the block and see what’s on their agendas.

They are the new kids on the block, so to speak. Every year, Arkansas sees executive turnover in a way that brings newcomers to Arkansas. How do these C-suite executives navigate their new terrain? What triggers their trust levels for assessing their work environments? And what adjustments are made to account for their vision of improving the bottom line?

Talk Business Quarterly profiled seven executives who have been in their new roles for less than a year. Their emergence on the business scene in Arkansas will lead to transformative approaches to traditional business models in state and abroad.....


Politics: Will Rockefeller And The Next Generation

By Steve Brawner


A new generation of the Rockefeller family in Arkansas is coming into his own. On the 100th anniversary of his grandfather’s birth, Will Rockefeller opens up on the legacy of his birthright and the example set by those who preceded him.

TBQ: This is the 100-year anniversary of your grandfather’s birth. Is it weird to talk so much about a guy you never met?

Will Rockefeller: A little bit. Of course, my grandfather died years before I was born, and while I didn’t really know him personally, I know him from listening to my father and various family members recount their memories of him. People out around the state who upon learning who I am all have a story to tell about him, whether it was meeting him on a campaign stop or a child who went to Morrilton Elementary when he built it, just all sorts of things. And so as I’ve begun my professional career, I’ve read more about him and his impact on the state and the citizens of Arkansas. … It’s interesting because though I didn’t know him as a person, I feel a connection. I know there’s a connection there that can be traced directly through my father back to him.

TBQ: Are there any specific parts of his story that you have found instructional or inspiring — an example to follow?

Rockefeller: Both he and Dad, I guess, were very personal individuals in that they weren’t quite comfortable in the public sphere even though the family’s a very public family, even though they were both very public figures whether they were actually in the public arena in government or outside of it. Just the mere fact that he was a Rockefeller in Arkansas, he was a very public figure, but Dad taught me that life is all about relationships, and the reason everyone has a story about him and Dad was because of the personal relationships that they developed. I’ve heard stories about how Winthrop was very uncomfortable giving speeches and being in large crowds, but when he talked to someone one-on-one, that it was really great, they had all his time and his attention, and that he was really devoted to [that conversation]. And I think that personal connection and the personal relationships they built really made a difference in the

lives of individuals, great and small.

TBQ: When your grandfather came to Arkansas, there was no Republican Party to speak of. This year, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, it might become the majority party. Have you thought about that?

Rockefeller: Well, one of the biggest things holding Arkansas back, my grandfather noted, was the lack of a two-party system, and there’s been a lot of talk over the course of the last year [centered around the questions:] Would Winthrop Rockefeller fit into today’s Republican Party? Would he be considered a Republican today? And both sides of the aisle, both Republicans and Democrats, have really tried to hammer out that issue. I’m not going to talk about that.

But what Winthrop saw when he moved to the state was the lack of a two-party system, the competition of ideas, the marketplace of ideas. The lack of that marketplace was a detriment to Arkansas. He could have easily run as a Democrat in the state and won by a landslide. His platform didn’t have to change. His thought process didn’t have to change, or his way of thinking wouldn’t have changed. His ideas wouldn’t have changed. But he didn’t. He ran as a Republican because he recognized that the competition of a two-party system and one set of ideas competing with another to create the best outcome, or if not the best outcome, to create an arena where competing ideas could be debated, discussed, hashed out and hammered out creates the best solution available; that was his intent. And so it’s interesting to see that there have been great strides, since Winthrop was governor, to achieve an equal two-party system in Arkansas. I think we’re starting to see that occur. I know a lot of the Democratic governors after him attributed some of their success to him, that he laid the foundation for a lot of the reforms that they were able to implement that probably wouldn’t have been able to be implemented without his, I guess, visionary leadership. I think this is just another manifestation of that, that what he envisioned for Arkansas is finally coming true.”....


From chemist to CEO, Rosalind Brewer knows a thing or two about hard work

By Mille Alderman


As the first woman and the first African-American to hold a CEO position at one of Wal-mart’s business units, Brewer, 49, replaced Brian Cornell as president and CEO of Sam’s Club in February.

Rosalind Brewer, CEO, Sam’s Club

Brewer joined Wal-mart as regional vice president in 2006, overseeing operations in Georgia. From 2007 to January 2012, she was division president of the southeast. Most recently, she was executive vice president and president of Wal-mart East, a territory that includes nearly 1,600 stores in six regions — spanning from Maine to Puerto Rico.

Now, she’s head of a company with locations worldwide. Sam’s Club, which accounts for about 12 percent of Wal-mart’s annual sales with a revenue of $50 billion, has outperformed its namesake stores. As Brewer took the stage at the 50th annual Wal-mart Shareholders meeting in June, she celebrated the company’s seven quarters of consecutive increases and announced the first quarter this year was the highest in eight years.

“Sam Walton made history by changing retail over the past 50 years,” she said, at the meeting, “but now it’s our turn for the next 50 years.”

Brewer, born the same year as Sam Walton opened his first store in Rogers, was raised in Michigan as the youngest of five. She and her siblings were the first generation to go to college; her parents funded her education with a combination of student loans and scholarships. Brewer earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Spelman College in Atlanta. Founded in 1924, Spelman has since held the distinction of being America’s oldest Historically Black College for women and is accredited as a global leader in the education of women of African descent.

Revenue:  $53.79 billion      
Profits:$1.86 billion

Brewer said she chose to serve as chair of the board of trustees at Spelman because of her genuine love for her alma mater and personal interest in investing in the education of African-American women. One of her most exciting duties as chair was presenting the Spelman National Community Service Award to Oprah Winfrey at the 2012 commencement ceremony.

Brewer continued her education by attending the advanced management program at The Wharton School and graduated from Director’s College at the University Of Chicago School of Business/Stanford School Of Law.

Straight out of school at the age of 22, Brewer worked for Kimberly-Clark Corp., starting as a scientist in Nonwoven Technology and Product Development before becoming president of the Global Nonwovens Sector in 2004. As vice president of the Nonwoven Fabrics Business, Rosalind revitalized an underperforming business unit and grew sales by more than 30 percent.

After 22 years at Kimberly Clark in Atlanta, she’s now settled in northwest Arkansas. Brewer is married to John, who she met while studying at Spelman, and he was at Morehouse. The couple has two children, and John is a former investment banker who became a stay-at-home dad.

Why were you interested in studying Chemistry?

I was convinced I wanted to be a physician, and I had always done well in math and science as a child. Once I learned that I am a weenie when it comes to blood and grieving, it changed my direction.

How has your education shaped your career?

My education shaped my career by teaching me discipline. College for me required focus, determination, independence and drive. My coursework at the end was grueling. Most importantly, my chemistry/science background has been key to my ability to problem solve.

What has been your greatest career achievement?

Joining Wal-mart after a 22-year career with my first and only company after graduating from college. My agility, dedication to be a student of the business and the success I achieved in the role surprised me. I loved my career at Kimberly Clark, and never thought I would leave.

What led you to Wal-mart and has made you want to stay?

Wal-mart is a phenomenon in my mind. It is a rare company that allows you to impact many lives and many issues. There is no other employer in the world like this today. We provide opportunities that maybe only the military can compete with.

What lessons have you brought from other positions into your new role as CEO?

How to lead change! I have learned how to problem identify, create the team and draw the roadmaps. As my career has progressed, I have taught others that I lead how to do this. It’s a successful formula and tool set for leaders.

What core belief of Sam Walton’s do you admire most, and why?

“If you take care of the associate, the associate will take care of the customer.”

I truly believe in treating people the way I want to be treated and that’s with respect and honest intentions. Whenever I am true to this, success happens for me, the business and the company.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received or you’ve ever given?

Be agile, but never compromise core values, no matter the immediate pressure for results. Strategies must change over time as a business conditions migrate. Keep your ego under control: you are not the business. You’re just the leader at the time.


Blogs Posts August 16-17 2012


Talk Business

Weekend Digest: Who Has Been Hardest Hit In The Recession

For our weekend business readers: WHO HAS BEEN HARDEST HIT IN THE RECESSION? Forbes analyzes a new Georgetown University study  .


Aug 17, 2012 02:54 pm

Turbulence In Jobs Report Leads To Uptick In Unemployment Rate

For the second straight month, Arkansas' labor force declined but in July the employed dropouts outpaced the unemployed dropouts.


Aug 17, 2012 07:45 am

Southland Park Donates $300,000 For Sports Hall of Fame Conference Center

On Thursday, Southland Park Gaming and Racing at West Memphis has pledged $300,000 for the completion of the Jimmie Lou and Floyd Sagely Conference Center adjacent to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum in the Verizon Arena at North Little Rock.


Aug 16, 2012 04:06 pm

America’s Car-Mart Sees Net Income Slip Slightly On Car Prices

America’s Car-Mart said its net income slipped slightly as the average retail price of a vehicle sold fell 2%.


Aug 16, 2012 03:40 pm

‘Momentum’ Carries Wal-Mart Q2 Revenue And Profits Higher

Wal-Mart officials are "pleased with the continued momentum" as the retail giant saw revenue and profits climbed higher in the second quarter.


Aug 16, 2012 04:58 am

Talk Politics

Weekend Digest: Presidential Politics Gets Personal

For our weekend political readers: WHY IS ARKANSAS SO POOR? The Washington Post’s Chris Cilliza has a good post referencing


Aug 17, 2012 03:03 pm

States Get Flexibility In Using Federal Highway Money

Arkansas should receive just short of $7 million in “unobligated” funds authorized in federal legislation dating back to 2003.


Aug 17, 2012 02:06 pm

Ellington Calls For Investigation Into Suspicious Petition Signatures

Scott Ellington -- the Jonesboro Prosecutor and First District Democratic Congressional nominee -- called for two law enforcement investigations into suspicions of fraudulent signatures on two separate ballot initiatives.


Aug 16, 2012 08:31 pm

Romney Coming To Arkansas For High-dollar Fundraisers

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in Little Rock on Wednesday, Aug. 22 for a high-dollar private dinner and several receptions.


Aug 16, 2012 04:14 pm

Medicaid Expansion Discussed By Lawmakers, Policy Chiefs

Three of the biggest advocates for expanding Arkansas' Medicaid program lobbied for their cause on Wednesday, while some of the biggest critics of expansion peppered them with questions and concerns.