Johnelle Hunt was born in Heber Springs, Arkansas. She attended the University
of Central Arkansas in Conway where she majored in elementary education. She met
Johnnie B. Hunt when she was a junior in high school and four years later they
were married. She and J. B. were married 55 years and blessed with two children,
Jane Hunt Meade and Bryan Hunt, as well as seven grandchildren.
1962, the J. B. Hunt Company, a rice hull packaging company, opened its doors in
Stuttgart, Arkansas. Mrs. Hunt worked part-time to help her husband get started
in the business. As the company grew, she found herself working more and more -
helping with correspondence, financial statements and doing bookkeeping. Before
long she was working full time. In 1969 the couple co-founded J.B. Hunt
Transport. Its success is a tribute to the Huntís entrepreneurial spirit and
hard work. J.B. Hunt Transport is one of the largest transportation logistics
providers encompassing Intermodal, Dedicated, Truckload, LTL, Final Mile,
Refrigerated, Flatbed and Expedited services. Among her jobs were the position
of credit manager and the board position of Corporate
Secretary which she held until 2008. At her retirement from the Board of
Directors of the company in 2008, Johnelle was recognized as being an active and
important partner contributing to the companyís development and success.
Hunt currently holds a seat on The Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute
Advisory Board. She is the founding Chairman of the United Way Alexis de
Tocqueville Society for Washington County as well as a founding Executive Board
Member of the Ozark Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen. In May of 2000, she
accepted the position of Campaign Treasurer for the University of Arkansasí
Leadership Team entitled Campaign for the 21st Century, a major fundraising
drive that raised over one billion dollars. Following the Campaign for the 21st
Century, an Advisory Board was formed of which Mrs. Hunt served on the Executive
Committee. She is currently Co-Chair of the Universityís Campaign Arkansas
Steering Committee. In 2003 she accepted the invitation to serve on the Board
of Directors for The Beau Foundation benefiting prenatal care in Northwest
Arkansas. She previously served on the UAMS Foundation Board.
1990, she and Mr. Hunt were chosen as the Arkansas Easter Seal Arkansans of the
Year, the first couple to receive this award. In 1992 she was one of four women
to receive the Worthen Professional Women of Distinction Award and has been
included in "The Top 100 Women" list for Arkansas from 1994-1998. In 1996 the
March of Dimes honored the Hunts as Citizens of the Year. In 2001 she and Mr.
Hunt were inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.
the passing of her husband in December of 2006, Mrs. Hunt has taken a very
active role in projects developed and managed by Hunt Ventures. The group is
primarily responsible for the conception and development of the more than 600
acre project in western Rogers known as Pinnacle Hills. Johnelle is also
actively involved with many other ongoing projects and companies started by Mr.
Hunt including The Central Group, Northwest Arkansas Quarries, Haskell
(Oklahoma) Sand and Gravel, Central Mortar and Grout (Muskogee, Oklahoma), J.B.
Hunt Gas and Oil Drilling and a new rock quarry project in Honduras, Central
America. Other companies she is associated with include BioBased Technologies
and Mountain Valley Spring Water. She has also developed and constructed
Northwest Arkansasí newest cemetery, Pinnacle Memorial Gardens, along with the
accompanying 3000 square foot Hunt Chapel.