UALR MBA alums Hamilton, Duke get honors at luncheon
Posted: October 3, 2013 at 3:22 a.m.
Only months after earning his master’s of business administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1979, Lynn Hamilton got a job offer and planned to resign from his position with the Arkansas Democrat.
But when he told Walter Hussman, publisher of the newspaper, Hussman asked Hamilton, “Why are you leaving?”
Hamilton had worked for Hussman for five years as a data processing manager at Hussman’s corporate organization, WEHCO Media, Inc.
“I had been working days, nights and weekends trying to keep Walter’s cheap computer system going, and I was a happy man leaving all that behind,” Hamilton said Wednesday while being honored as the UALR College of Business’ Distinguished Alumnus of the Year at UALR’s distinguished alumni luncheon.
UALR’s College of Business also honored Troy Duke,chief executive officer of the Bank of Rison, giving him its Dean’s Award for Excellence. Duke has had a career in banking for 30 years. He received a master’s of business administration from UALR in 2003.
In 1979, Hamilton had been offered a management position with a large Little Rock firm, a job that would have given him a 20 percent raise.
When Hamilton announced his plans to leave, Hussman offered to make Hamilton the Arkansas Democrat’s business manager and match the 20 percent raise.
“The Arkansas Democrat wasn’t a good place to work in those days,” said Hamilton, who was a member of UALR’s first MBA graduate class. “Hours were long, pay was low, turnover was high and people were poorly trained and unmotivated. Equipment was old and cheap.”
But Hamilton decided to take Hussman’s offer.
“I had no idea that Walter would offer to keep me on,” Hamilton said in an interview after the luncheon. “We were in a mode where for five years we had been saving money and cutting back. No one was being promoted, no one was getting large pay raises, so I was really surprised.”
In 1982, Hamilton was promoted to vice president of operations, his current position.
“With Lynn at the helm, we never had to worry whether things were going to operate well,” Hussman said. “With Lynn’s reliability, capability and competence, he was promoted to vice president of operations in 1982. Over the last three decades, he’s really done a great job in that position.”
Hamilton is a “very good manager” of projects, time and people, Hussman said.
Hamilton has “not only made the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette a really good newspaper but has made the community he lives in better for all of us.”
Hamilton volunteers with several nonprofit organizations, including stints as board president of Our House, the Quapaw Quarter Association and the North Little Rock School Board. He also has written a book, The Secrets of School Board Success, based on his 15 years with the North Little Rock district’s board.
Business, Pages 25 on 10/03/2013