Johnelle Hunt






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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.
 In 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.    
 Mrs. 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.
 In 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.
 Since 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.