Little Rock business leader Nick Brown earns prestigious international award

Nick Brown head shot

An influential Little Rock business leader is one of only three recipients of a prestigious annual award from a global organization.

During an upcoming ceremony, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business will honor Nick Brown for his 2016 Business Achievement Award from Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society.

“Wow, I’m humbled and owe a great deal of gratitude to our wonderful group of employees who are the foundation of our corporate success,” said Brown, president and CEO of Little Rock-based nonprofit corporation Southwest Power Pool.

Southwest Power Pool oversees the wholesale power market and bulk electric grid on behalf of utility and transmission companies in 14 states in the central part of the country, including Arkansas.

The UALR College of Business — which nominated Brown for the award — scheduled an invitation-only reception in his honor April 19 at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock.

“We are pleased to present Nick Brown with the 2016 Beta Gamma Sigma Business Achievement Award,” said Christina Carosella, CEO of Beta Gamma Sigma, who plans to participate in the ceremony.

The honor annually recognizes outstanding individuals for significant achievement in business and the community and for ethical leadership, Carosella said.

“Part of the honor society’s mission is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, to cultivate and celebrate leadership and professional excellence,”  said Dr. Jane Wayland, Stephen Harrow Smith Dean of the UALR College of Business. “The Business Achievement Award illustrates the importance of their mission to recognize individuals who exemplify the highest honor and integrity.”

Brown is a commendable leader at work and in the community, Wayland said.

“Nick Brown is the model of ethical business leadership,” she said. “He considers all employees leaders within the company and fosters leadership development within the company. He is involved in the local community through philanthropy and encourages his employees to volunteer or contribute to nonprofits and charities.”

Brown not only employs numerous UALR College of Business graduates, but he also served on the college’s advisory council. Through his association with the college, he sought ways to improve the business thinking of the corporation’s primarily technical staff.

He particularly enjoyed collaborating with Wayland, and he said his company benefited from the partnership.

“Adding a strong group of business analysts to our technical operating units has proven to be a great strategic move,” Brown said.

One of Brown’s big focuses has been on building a culture at the company that facilitates short- and long-term success.

“Culture is the ultimate business strategy,” he said.

Brown’s approach works, Wayland said.

“He has quadrupled the size and scope of the company during his tenure, illustrating that ethical leadership has a positive influence in building a company,” Wayland said.

In addition to his numerous integral business roles since joining Southwest Power Pool in 1985, Brown also is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu engineering honor societies and IEEE and NSPE technical and professional societies. He is a registered professional engineer, a master electrician — and a private pilot.

Brown earned Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and math from Ouachita Baptist University in 1981 and in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 1982.

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