Bill H. Stovall III (1960–)
Bill H. Stovall III was a leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives in the early part of the twenty-first century. After term limits restricted his time in office, he served on the staff of the House Speaker for almost a decade.
Bill H. Stovall III was born on February 21, 1960, in Blytheville (Mississippi County) to Bill H. Stovall Jr. and Vivian Lee Stovall. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from Pulaski Technical College, a BA in political science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Stovall later settled in Quitman (Cleburne and Faulkner counties). In 1992, he won the first of four two-year terms on the Cleburne County Quorum Court. From there, he set his sights on the state legislature. A Democrat, Stovall was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2000, and his subsequent six-year stint was capped by two years as House Speaker in 2005 and 2006.
Upon arriving in the Arkansas General Assembly, Stovall quickly worked his way up the leadership ladder while developing a wide-ranging expertise. Over the course of his tenure in the House, Stovall served on committees that addressed a broad cross-section of issues. He served as chair of the ALC/JBC Information Technology Committee as well as the Legislative Finance Committee. He served as vice chair of the Joint Performance Review Committee and the Game and Fish Commission Oversight Committee, as well as the City, County and Local Affairs House Planning Subcommittee. He also served on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee to the Joint Budget Committee, from the House Judiciary Committee to Joint Committee on Educational Facilities. In 2005, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette named him a “Top Ten Best Legislator.”
Stovall’s term as speaker ended in January 2007, when he was forced by term limits to end his House career. At that time, he was a convenience-store owner, but he did not end his association with the House. Rather, he opted to stay in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and began working for the legislature in a variety of capacities, including director of constituency services as well as chief of staff and chief operating officer for House Speakers from both parties. When he left these roles after seven years, he moved into lobbying, becoming head of the Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) association on October 1, 2013.
In October 2018, Stovall resigned as executive director of the ACCA. Stovall’s resignation caught the ACCA board by surprise, and the board members were further taken aback when, just days later, it was announced that he was forming a lobbying partnership with fellow former Democratic speaker Robbie Wills. The firm, WSG Consulting LLC, also counted as partners Wills’s wife, Dana Wills, who was a certified public accountant, and former legislator Rick Green, who was a Republican and former chief legislative liaison for Governor Asa Hutchinson.
In launching the bi-partisan firm, they announced that they would be “serving clients with government affairs services, strategy, and management solutions.” WSG Consulting’s client list includes Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Assisted Living Council of Arkansas, the Arkansas Press Association, and Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County).
Stovall, whose marriage to his first wife, Lisa, ended in divorce, remarried. Bill and Jeanne Stovall live with their two sons in Little Rock.
For additional information:
Bill H. Stovall, III. WSG Consulting, LLC. https://www.wsgarkansas.com/new-blog/bill-stovall (accessed September 25, 2020).
Hale-Shelton, Debra. “Former Speakers of House Form Consulting Firm.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 4, 2018. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/oct/04/former-speakers-of-house-form-consultin/ (accessed September 25, 2020).
———. “Head of Arkansas College Association Resigns after Five Years on Job.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 2, 2018. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/oct/02/head-of-college-association-resigns-aft-1/ (accessed September 25, 2020).
William H. Pruden III
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