Johnelle Hunt was recently named to the Forbes List of America’s Self Made Women for 2016. The daughter of an Arkansas poultry business owner, Johnelle Hunt studied elementary education at University of Central Arkansas before leaving early to marry her high school sweetheart, J.B. Hunt (d.2006). The couple sold their home to kickstart a rice hull packaging business in 1961; Johnelle, then a stay-at-home mom, began working part time on office duties such as bookkeeping and taking customers’ orders. The burgeoning business soon required her to turn full time. In 1969, the Hunts bought five used trucks and seven trailers, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services was born.
Today, the company boasts $6.2 billion in sales and employs nearly 16,000 drivers; Hunt, who retired from the board in 2008, remains the biggest individual shareholder.