1. The Telephone Hall of Fame was founded in 1965 by a group of Pioneers who envisioned a special way of recognizing individuals in the industry who contribute not only to their company, but to the industry at large; a forum where excellence is rewarded by colleagues, employers and the leaders in telecommunications.

    By establishing the Hall of Fame, they accomplished their goals. This entity now exists, and is more vibrant than ever. By meeting the criteria set forth by the Committee, individuals are considered by the Hall of Fame Honors Court.

    The accomplishments of those inducted into the Telephone Hall of Fame truly represent an unmatched insight into the development and growth of telephony. This industry has made a significant contribution to the nation's private and public sectors and the lifestyle of its people, especially in the rural areas. These successes also serve as a standard to which present and future generations can aspire.

    Nominations to the Hall of Fame are made from among those persons who have made positive and substantial contributions to the development, growth, and public perception of the telephone industry, on a national scale, over a period of many years.

    To be eligible, an individual must have reached age 70, be retired from the industry for at least three years, or be deceased.

  2. 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee

  3. Joe T. FordAnother of telecommunications' outstanding senior executives has been elected to the Telephone Hall of Fame of the Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association. Joe T. Ford of Little Rock, AR will be inducted on April 23, 2017 at the Association's annual assembly to be held in Jacksonville, FL.

    The 96-year old association numbering some 7000 dues-paying members with headquarters in Hinesville, GA began in 1965 to recognize individuals who had made "outstanding contribution to the Independent (non-Bell) telecommunications industry." ITPA has now honored 100 as Hall of Famers, most recently Edwin L. Barnes and Robert E. Stoffels in 2016.

    Ford's retirement as chairman culminated 48 years of distinguished service in telecommunications while building Alltel Corporation's value in 2008 to $29 billion.

    As is often the case with trailblazers, this journey began modestly in 1959. Ford was seen by his future father-in-law, the late Hugh Wilbourn Jr. (also an ITPA Hall of Famer) as a man with true business acumen, a supremely confident risk­ taker who saw opportunities everywhere to build a business that could bring modem communications to the lives of millions, not just thousands, of citizens, as described by those who nominated Ford for the ITPA recognition.

    So Wilbourn, the president and co-owner of tiny holding company Allied Telephone Company with only 65 employees operating a dozen rural Arkansas telcos at the time, hired the promising 22-year old as a junior manager. A year later the service provider turned a profit as Ford was named a director and, by 1963, vice president and treasurer. In 1974, Allied had 142,000 telephones as the eleventh largest Independent in the country with stock selling at an earnings multiple nearly twice that of AT&T. Ford was elected president in 1977 as Allied beca.me one of the first phone companies in the U.S. to offer local digital telephone service.

    In subsequent decades Joe lead Allied through more than 250 mergers and acquisitions far beyond the state's borders while expanding into wireless communications and information technology. The 1983 merger with Mid­ Continent Telephone Company of Ohio--four times Allied's size--saw Ford become president of the new firm and altered the Little Rock skyline with a tree­ lined tier of office buildings along the southern vista of the Arkansas River.

    Following the government-ordered breakup of the Bell System and deregulation of the communications market, Ford was one of the first to see the potential of wireless and entered bidding for cellular markets. From 70% ownership of a system in Charlotte, NC in 1985, through its first wireless retail store in 1993 the spectacular round of growth continued after 1996 when son, Scott T. Ford, joined the company as executive vice president. Together over ten years the two acquired firms that ran the company to annual revenues to nearly $10 billion with EBITDA of $3.3 billion when Verizon Wireless bought Alltel in June 2008.

    Over the years Ford was unique in having served as a public servant not only in business but also as a state of Arkansas state senator for 16 years under five governors. He helped push through many of the reforms his father Archie--an Arkansas commissioner of education--espoused: the first funding of public kindergartens, free high school textbooks, public school education for physically and mentally disabled children and a host of other long-sought benefits.

    A former director of the U.S. Telephone Association where he chaired the Government Relations Committee and the Legislative Committee, Ford was also a director of the strategic National Exchange Carriers Association and a past president of the Arkansas Telephone Association. He served as president of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, the Baptist Medical System, The City Education Trust, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and as a trustee of the development group Fifty for the Future. Joe's been a director of some eleven companies, including Duke Power Co., Textron, the Stephens Group, Eltek ASA, the Dial Corporation, First Commercial Bank of Little Rock.

    While too numerous to list totally, Ford's awards include Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Arkansas (1987), Little Rock Rotary Club's Business Leader of the Year (1992), the William F. Rector Memorial Award for Distinguished Civic Achievement from Fifty for the Future for his contributions to the development of Central Arkansas. And, in 2014, the Economics Arkansas Leadership in Free Enterprise Award. He retired as a captain in the Arkansas National Guard.

    Today, approaching 80, Joe Ford with his son run a new company they formed, Westrock Coffee Company (see Google), with production facilities and trading operations in Africa, Europe and the U.S. and retail presence in stores across America.

  1. Telephone Hall of Fame Honor Roll

    Below is a list of the members of the Telephone Hall of Fame, followed by the year of their induction.

    Hall of Fame Nomination Form

    • Adams, Arthur F, 1965
    • Agee, John H, 1966
    • Alden, Raymond M, 1994
    • Atherton, J.Ballard, 1969
    • Bailey, Carl F, 1998
    • Bailey, Clyde S, 1972
    • Balch, John A, 1976
    • Barnes, Edwin L., 2016
    • Barnes, Frank S,Sr, 1980
    • Barnes, Frank S,Jr, 1996
    • Barnes, John M, 1999
    • Barnhart, Henry A, 1969
    • Barnhart, Hugh A, 1982
    • Bell, Alexander G, 1999
    • Berry, Loren M, 1982
    • Blain, Ray, 1981
    • Blakeslee, Edwin M, 1965
    • Blomeyer, Edward C, 1965
    • Bohn, Frank F, 1966
    • Boylan, John P, 1965
    • Bozell, Harold V, 1970
    • Brorein, Carl D, Sr, 1976
    • Brorein, William G, 1968
    • Brown, Clyson I, 1967
    • Bryant, Glenn E, 2015
    • Bunke, Robert W, 1995
    • Burfiend Raymond H, 1967
    • Cadwell, Charles S, 1970
    • Carlson, LeRoy T, 2014
    • Case, Weldon W, 1991
    • Clerkin, James J, Jr, 1988
    • Cook, John Brown, 1981
    • Cook, Wallace I, 1969
    • Corman, William F, 1989
    • Densmore, Leonard D, 1983
    • Fargo, Harm D, 1974
    • Ferguson, Peter M, 1969
    • Fisher, Burgie L, 1966
    • French, Warren B, Jr, 1993
    • Galloway, Josey K, 1984
    • Garnett, Wilson B, 1995
    • Gary, Theodore, 1965
    • Geist, James E, 1996
    • Guild, Douglas S, 1984
    • Hageman, Herman E, 1965
    • Harris Joseph, 1967
    • Hart, Adlen L, 1969
    • Henry, William C, 1973
    • Henson, Paul H, 1992
    • Hill, Luther W, 1970
    • Hirsch, Gustav, 1965
    • Hirt, Donald, 2001
    • Holderness, H. Dail, 1985
    • Johnston, John K, 1967
    • Keen, Jack C, 2000
    • Kellogg, Milo G, 1965
    • Loomis, Wesley H, III, 1981
    • Loveland, Chester H, 1976
    • Lucier, Phillip J, 1994
    • Lucier, Ralph F, 1972
    • Lumpkin, Richard A, 1990
    • MacKinnon, F.S., 1965
    • McHenry, Houck, 1965
    • Mahoney, Harry P, 1967
    • Martin, Talbot, G, 1976
    • Mason, Charles F, 1966
    • McClelland Robert S, 1997
    • McBerty Frank R, 1965
    • McGraw, Max, 1968
    • Nehring, Roland, 2001
    • North, Charles H, 1969
    • O'Connell, John F, 1993
    • Odegard, Sigurd L, 1993
    • Ostline, John E, 1977
    • Payne, Harold G, 1987
    • Pirnie, Robert M, Jr, 1991
    • Porter, John R, 1967
    • Power, Donald C, 1975
    • Quatman, George B, 1977
    • Reese, Frank D, 1997
    • Reno, Ralph C, 1971
    • Reynolds, John G, 1980
    • Scupin, Carl A, 1973
    • Smith, Ray H, 2013
    • Stewart, H Milton, Sr, 1983
    • Stocker, C. Paul, 1985
    • Stoffels, Robert E, 2016
    • Stromberg, Alfred, 1965
    • Strowger, Almon B, 1965
    • Sullivan, R Parker, 1983
    • Thomas, James M, 1966
    • Warner, Leslie H, 1980
    • Welch, Francis X, 1981
    • Wettstein, Otto, Jr, 1977
    • Wilburn, High R, Jr, 1986
    • Williams, Clarke McRae, 2014
    • Woods, Frank H, 1965
    • Workman, Mayme, 1965
    • Wright, John H, 1965