When Candice Hunter Corby was in her junior year at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, her successful internship at BKD CPAs and Advisors in Little Rock helped launch her financial career.
Now the 1994 UA Little Rock graduate, named one of the top female CEOs in the country in 2016, is the recipient of the UA Little Rock Alumni Association’s highest honor.
“I am certainly very honored and humbled by the recognition,” Corby said. “When I reflect on who has been honored in the past, I am pleased to be included with such accomplished individuals who truly represent the character and carry the foundation of UA Little Rock’s mission in all that they do.”
Corby will be recognized during the UA Little Rock Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration, presented by Baptist Health, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 12, in the Great Hall of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.
Corby was named one of the Top 10 Female CEOs of 2016 by dotCEO. Additionally, the Austin Business Journal recognized her as a 2015 Profiles in Power – Women of Influence in Central Texas finalist.
Road to success
A native of Massachusetts, Corby found herself in Arkansas when a family member, a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed in Little Rock. At first, she majored in education at UA Little Rock. After doing incredibly well in some accounting classes, her career path changed.
“The professor came up to me and asked me if I had ever thought of going into accounting,” Corby said. “He said I could do very well, and it would be a good base for a business career. It was literally my professor who steered me into business and accounting.”
After completing an internship at BKD CPAs and Advisors during her junior year at UA Little Rock, Corby began her career as a senior auditor at BKD. At 26, she then became the youngest chief financial officer of the Times Record News, an E.W. Scripps Company.
After a transition to law firms, Corby served as chief financial officer of Godwin Gruber, LLP, chief operating officer of Baker & McKenzie, LLP, in Dallas, and chief operating officer of Mayer Brown in New York City. She is now the CEO, president, and one of two female board members of Cobra Legal Solutions, LLC.
Based in Austin, Texas, with offices domestically and abroad, Corby leads an incredible staff of legal experts and technologists to help corporate legal departments and law firms manage their information management needs consistently and cost-effectively.
When she became a CEO, Corby looked forward to emails she would receive from her father, Ralph Hunter, who passed away in 2012. He was so proud of his daughter that he took pleasure in writing emails with the subject line “Notes to the CEO.”
“He would give me business advice, and I saved all his emails,” Corby said. “Last year when I ran my first marathon, I carried my father’s silver dollar in my pocket so we could run it together in a way.”
In addition to her father, Corby’s husband has also been an incredible source of support and strength.
“Throughout your life and career, there are many ups and downs,” she said. “Without the love and unwavering support of my husband, Ken Corby, I would not be where I am today. He is my rock.”
Corby is a frequent speaker and mentor, having been interviewed by the Harvard Business School Executive MBA program on “How Key Women Succeed.” She also moderated panel discussions at The University of Texas McCombs Executive MBA Program on “Championing Women in the Workplace” and participated on a panel for the Four Seasons Hotel – Austin’s program on “Women in Leadership.”
To be successful in today’s environment, Corby advises students to remain positive in a world that seems filled with negative attitudes.
“My advice to students would be to persevere,” she said. “In this sort of turbulent environment, both politically, economically, and socially, stay with your beliefs and focus on them. Do not let them interfere with your ability to be a patriot and to move forward and be a positive beacon.”
Corby is an advocate for many causes that are near to her heart, including the arts, health, women’s initiatives, diversity, and eradicating homelessness. She serves on the boards of Zach Theatre, Austin Opera, University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music Directors’ Council, and Ellevate Network. She was also co-chair of the 2016 “I Am Waters Supermodel Luncheon,” a national movement that provides water bottles and inspiration messages to the homeless.
Corby is an avid runner who has recently started competing in marathons. She also enjoys travel, skiing, wine and cheese, and spending time with her husband, Ken, and “furry child,” Tiberius.