Arkansas Best names new officers

Arkansas Best Corp. announced the appointment of J. Lavon Morton to the position of senior vice president, Tax and Chief Audit Executive; Donald W. Pearson, vice president, Treasurer; and R. David Humphrey, vice president, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. All of these promotions will be effective on Jan. 1, 2010.

“I have worked closely with Lavon, Don and David throughout my career at Arkansas Best,” says Judy R. McReynolds, who will become president and chief executive officer of the Fort Smith, Ark.-based company on Jan. 1, 2010. “Each of them has been a key contributor to the long-term success of Arkansas Best. As we face the ongoing challenges of the current business environment, I look forward to continuing to work with them, and all of our outstanding officers and employees, to build toward the future success of Arkansas Best and ABF.”

Morton will continue to have responsibility for the company’s tax and audit functions. In addition, he will oversee administration of the company’s executive compensation and retirement services functions. Morton, who has 13 years of experience with the company, has served as vice president — Tax and Chief Internal Auditor since January 2000.

Pearson will be responsible for the traditional treasury functions of the company, including oversight of banking relationships. Pearson, who has been employed at Arkansas Best for 24 years, has been director of Cash Management since February 1996. He also will have responsibility for corporate purchasing at Arkansas Best.

Humphrey will continue to oversee Arkansas Best’s investor relations program. In addition, he will be responsible for Arkansas Best’s corporate media and public relations activities. Humphrey, who has 26 years of experience with the company, began his current position, as director of Investor Relations, in February 1998.

“Arkansas Best is currently working with an outside firm in a search for our company’s new chief financial officer,” McReynolds says. “During this process, we will be evaluating both internal and external candidates. As we carefully look for the best person to fill this important position, the search process could take about four to six months.”