William E. Clark

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William E. "Bill" Clark (d. May 15, 2007) was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of CDI Contractors LLC in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was known for constructing department stores, hospitals, hotels, and office buildings.

Clark spent 37 years in the field of engineering; he began in the trades at age 14 as an electrician's helper to his brother Russell Clark, who was an electrical subcontractor for Dillard's stores. William and Russell Clark together owned C&C Electric Construction Company. William then became a general subcontractor for Dillard's in his purchase of Bragg's Electric Construction Company. He co-established CDI Contractors in 1987 with Dillard's Department Stores on a 50-50 basis after the failure of the Pickens-Bond Construction Company. The "C" and "D" in the company name stand for "Clark" and "Dillard."

Clark's company CDI Contractors served as general contractor for the Clinton Presidential Library, the Heifer International headquarters, the new four-building Fellowship Bible Church, the UAMS Patient Tower, the Arkansas State Police Headquarters, the Little Rock Embassy Suites, and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System headquarters. Beyond Little Rock CDI contracted on the office building complex for Arkansas Nuclear One, Conway Regional CARTI, the Rebsamen Regional Medical Center Doctor's Office Building, and the Beverly Enterprises headquarters. CDI has also served as general contractor on several malls: Orlando's Oviedo Mall, Austin's Lakeline Mall, Albuquerque's Cottonwood Mall, Grapevine's (TX) Embassy Suites, and Richardson's (TX) Marriott Renaissance Hotel.

The idea behind the design of the Heifer International H.Q. (concentric rings) is that a gift (like a drop of water) at the center has a broader and broader impact on society (ripples). It is a 4-story, semi-circular office building. The roof is inverted in the middle, forming a kind of valley that collects and recycles rainwater. Stability of the building is provided by the floor, which acts as a diaphragm. The use of columns was minimized, and the building is distinctly open.

When it opens the UAMS Patient Tower will include more rooms, a new emergency department, a clinical lab and radiology department, an intensive care unit, and an immediate care unit among other features.

Clark was a past chairman of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and the Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees, former president of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, and 1998 chairman of Fifty for the Future. He also chaired the board of the St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center.

Clark was a 1961 graduate of Central High School and a 1965 graduate of the electrical engineering program at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Clark was married to Margaret Windsor, the daughter of former state representative Gayle Windsor. They have a son, William Edward Clark II, and a daughter Mary Catherine Clark Conner.


  • "Arkansas Construction Hall of Fame," Arkansas Business, April 2, 2001.

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