UA Little Rock to honor business leaders

October 2-8, 2023

By Angelita Faller


The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has recognized two talented business leaders in Arkansas as the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for the UA Little Rock School of Business.


Rodney Abston, senior vice president and market executive for Regions Bank and a 2001 graduate of UA Little Rock with an MBA, has been named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.


The Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor granted by the UA Little Rock School of Business, is given to a graduate who has made a significant impact in business or a nonprofit organization and has served the Little Rock community and UA Little Rock.


Joining Abston is Wesley Bland, a double alumnus of UA Little Rock and manager of data engineering for Priority 1, who will receive the Dean’s Award for Excellence. The award is granted to a graduate of the past 10 years who has shown promise as a leader in business or nonprofit work and who is actively involved in serving Little Rock and the university.


“The School of Business is extremely honored to recognize Rodney Abston and Wesley Bland for their successful and distinguished careers,” said Dr. Robert Mitchell, director of the School of Business at UA Little Rock. “These deserving alumni represent our missions to make a difference in the lives of our students and to impact our community partners. I thank them for their support to the UA Little Rock School of Business and their commitment to quality business education and community impact.”


UA Little Rock will honor Abston and Bland during an awards luncheon from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Little Rock Marriott.


For more information on tickets and sponsorships, contact Shannon Gwinn at 501-916-5788 or or visit  



  • 1. Rodney Abston
    1. Rodney Abston
  • 2. Wesley Bland
    2. Wesley Bland