The richest woman in Arkansas

Luay Rahil
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The rich are not getting richer.

Earlier this year, Forbes announced its annual list of Forbes 400, which ranks the richest Americans by their net worths. The 400 richest Americans saw their combined wealth decrease by $500 billion from last year to $4 trillion.

Today, I will uncover the richest woman in Arkansas.

According to Forbes Magazine, the richest woman in Arkansas is Johnelle Hunt. Her net worth exceeds $4.2 billion, making her the 252nd richest individual in the country.

Who is Johnelle Terria Hunt?

Johnelle Terria Hunt is an American billionaire, the widow of Johnnie Bryan Hunt, and co-founder of J.B. Hunt Transport Services. Johnelle Terria Hunt was born on January 4, 1932, in Heber Springs, Arkansas. She attended the University of Central Arkansas in Conway but never graduated.

She and her late husband, Johnnie Bryan Hunt, incorporated the company in Arkansas on August 10, 1961, specializing in the sale and transport of rice hulls. In the beginning, Johnelle worked part-time to support her husband get started in the business. However, the company grew quickly, and she had to work full-time.

A few later, they shifted from rice hauling to surface transportation.

In 1969, the couple shifted their focus and created J.B. Hunt Transport Services. Today, J.B. Hunt Transport Services is one of the largest surface transportation, delivery, and logistics companies in North America. It provides safe and reliable transportation and delivery services throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Throughout her career, Johnelle Hunt held various positions at the company, including credit manager, secretary-treasurer, and corporate secretary until 2008. At her retirement from the Board of Directors of the company in 2008, Johnelle was recognized for her role in the company's development and success.

She always placed people before profit.

She cared about her people more than profit. In her interview with Arkansas Business, she said, "I really didn't care if they had a degree or if they had a 4.0 grade-point average. I've hired people because of how much they needed a job."

She retired from J.B. Hunt Transport Services, but she is still very active in Arkansas. She serves on many non-profit organization boards, such as The Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute Advisory Board. She also has served on the Board of Directors for The Beau Foundation, benefiting prenatal care in Arkansas since 2003, and many more.

She retired but never stopped serving people in Arkansas.

In 2015, she was inducted into the Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame with former first lady Hillary Clinton, American civil rights activists Daisy Bates, the First woman elected to serve in the United States Senate, Hattie Caraway, and a few others.

She continues to give money to different causes and support people in Arkansas. In 2020, she donated $5 million to the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Ozark Highland Center, which opened in Springdale, Arkansas.

If you had her money, what causes would you support?

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Writing on leadership, business, and culture.

Fort Worth, TX

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