Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Inductee
Judy R. McReynolds is a highly esteemed leader, motivator and logistics professional. As the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at ArcBest, she is the driving force behind the company’s record-breaking success. Since becoming CEO in 2010, Judy has built a legacy while helping strengthen the ArcBest brand in the transportation industry.
Her most recent honor reinforces these truths. As announced in October, Judy is one of four outstanding business leaders inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame class of 2023 at a ceremony held in Little Rock on February 17, 2023. Each year, inductees are chosen for this prestigious honor based on their respective impact in their industry, the steps they’ve taken toward community enhancement and the ethical business practices they display as leaders.
Each aspect of Judy’s career — from her leadership approach to strategic planning — is a testament to how deserving she is of this induction. Her vision enables the company to evolve to meet our customers’ needs and sets an example in the transportation industry. Her people-first focus empowers employees to grow and make a lasting impact, both within our business and in their communities.
A Forward-Thinking Leadership Model
Judy’s career in the logistics industry spans over 30 years, highlighting her love for the work, the people and the industry. As ArcBest steps into our 100th year of business, she continues to lead boldly, achieving solid results — an outcome resulting from her strategic approach, commitment to meeting our customers’ supply chain needs and creation of a culture where people can thrive and do their best work.
For Judy, challenges are opportunities for innovation. When she became president and CEO in January 2010, we were coming off a year in which we lost over $100 million during the Great Recession. She guided the company through expansion and diversification, including numerous acquisitions. As a result, she has led ArcBest’s transformation into a logistics powerhouse with a full suite of logistics solutions.
We have also combined multiple operations of our organization under the ArcBest umbrella, clearing the path for us to offer more reliable, flexible and sustainable solutions, and enabling us to better respond to the ever-fluctuating market and our customers’ changing supply chain needs. This differentiates ArcBest from our competitors by our ability to leverage our supply chain solution set for customers in an integrated way. That mindset is now part of who we are. Our customers know we have the means to effortlessly connect them with multiple transportation methods regardless of their shipment size, product type or deadline.
In the 13-plus years Judy has led ArcBest, we have experienced substantial growth. The company’s revenue has increased by 140%, and we now employ more than 15,000 people across over 250 locations. Judy’s financial expertise is a cornerstone of this growth. It sets the groundwork for making critical decisions in varying economic cycles — recognizing trends and changes at a global level and reacting to them in a quick, constructive manner.
The Past and the Present
Judy attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1985 with a bachelor’s in accounting and marrying her husband, Lance, shortly after. An Oklahoma native, she began her career as a public accountant with Arthur Andersen in Oklahoma City. Following that, she took a position with EY as a Tax Manager in Little Rock, where she and her husband started a family.
Meanwhile, her client portfolio grew to include companies from the transportation industry. Working closely with trucking entrepreneurs and executives, she began to identify many of the same characteristics her family instilled in her from a young age. They were hardworking, dedicated people, and Judy quickly developed a kinship with them as they always kept their word.
The connections she built at EY led her to take her first position at ArcBest — Director of Financial Reporting. A few years after joining ArcBest, Judy became the company’s Controller and then CFO in 2006. Today, she is a tried-and-true leader, refusing to allow our organization to stumble during economic upheaval and guiding us into a year of celebration. Our confidence in our strategy to successfully navigate the future is stronger than ever.
In addition to leading ArcBest, Judy has established herself as a pillar in the community. She sits on several outside boards, including OGE Energy Corp., First Bank Corp. and First National Bank. She also serves as a member of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. Judy recently retired from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) after serving as chair for eight years, as well as from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) Board and Executive Committee. She contributes to education in Arkansas as a member of the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and as a director of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Foundation Board.
2023 has just begun, but we're confident in our future and proud of Judy as our leader. We will continue growing as a leading logistics company. As we look ahead, we are confident that the strategies Judy has implemented will allow us to reach our long-term goal of seven to eight billion dollars in total revenue by 2025.
Thank you, Judy, for all you’ve done and will continue to do. Congratulations on your induction into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.