Mr. Speaker, today more than ever, we must recognize commitments made by Americans who realize the best way to grow an economy is through continued investment infrastructure. I rise today to pay tribute to a great business and civic leader and a great Arkansan; I am honored to recognize Doyle Rogers in the Congress.
In a day and age when the presiding belief is in order to grow up and succeed you must escape Rural America, Doyle Rogers and his family lived in Batesville, Arkansas for more than 50 years, proving success comes with hard work, not a change of zip code.
His commitment to local business development is unparalleled. Mr. Rogers has started many businesses in Batesville--including the one which bares his name, the Doyle Rogers Company, a commercial real estate development firm. It was with that company in 1982 he developed and opened the Excelsior Hotel, now the Peabody Hotel, and the adjoining Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
The opening of the Peabody--one of the finest hotels in the country--would suffice as anyone's crowning achievement, but Mr. Rogers did so much more. He bought Metropolitan National Bank, headquartered in Little Rock, in 1983. Today, it is Central Arkansas' largest independently-owned bank employing more than 350 people. In 1985, he developed the 25-story Rogers Building, now the Stephens Building, in downtown Little Rock.
He holds honorary doctorates from Lyon College in Batesville and Philander Smith College in Little Rock. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Hendrix College and has served on the Advisory Board of the School of Business at the University of Arkansas. He has served as the President of the Batesville Chamber of Commerce.
In 2001, he was named Business and Professional Person of the Year by the Rotary Club in Little Rock and was presented the William F. Rector Memorial Award by Fifty For the Future, a group of business and professional leaders in Greater Little Rock.
Doyle Rogers and his wife Josephine Raye Rogers have proved like-minded people tend to attract each other. In 2001, the White River Medical Center in Batesville received a unique Valentine's Day gift when Doyle Rogers and his wife Raye announced a gift of $1 million to the hospital. It is the largest gift in the hospital's 25-year history. The gift was used as seed money for the Josephine Raye Rogers Center for Women and Imaging.
Raye, as she's known to her friends, complements Doyle well, proving her commitment to the community is as strong as her love for her husband. The Rogers' are truly a perfect match--and a shining example of the compassion our country occasionally lacks.
Mr. Rogers knows the people of Rural America will move this country ahead. He is a great business man, an impassioned community leader and a devoted family man. On behalf of the Congress, I extend a deep sense of appreciation for all he did to drive Arkansas and this nation forward.
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