Fifty for the Future

From FranaWiki

Fifty for the Future is an organization of prominent Little Rock-area businesspeople. The group is affiliated with the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Fifty for the Future began as an idea offered up by real estate developer William F. "Billy" Rector in 1962. Members would contribute $2,500 in each of three years to attract new businesses and fund business expansion. The group offered its first private grant to Jacuzzi Brothers in 1963 for purchase of a plant site. Another early grant went to the University of Arkansas Graduate Institute of Technology.

Founders of Fifty for the Future were W. J. Smith, Richard C. Butler, Edward M. Penick, W. P. Gulley Jr., Raymond Rebsamen, R. A. "Brick" Lile, John Harvey Baird, Edwin B. Cromwell Jr., J. Wythe Walker, Dave Grundfest Sr., Jack Pickens, Dabbs Sullivan, B. Finley Vinson, and Everett Tucker Jr. Many of the founders were former members of the Committee of 100 formed to attract the Little Rock Air Force Base to central Arkansas in the 1950s.

Past Presidents

Rector Memorial Award

Fifty for the Future gives out the William F. Rector Memorial Award for "distinguished civic achievement." Past winners are:


  • "Rector: 'It's Strictly a Business Deal,'" Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 22, 1991.
  • Scott Van Laningham, "LR Business Groups Support Vote on 2 1/2-Cent Tax Increases," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 7, 1991.

External links