Obituary: James “Jim” Harold Hoskinson

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James “Jim” Hoskinson, 91, of Batesville passed away Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019.

James H. Hoskinson started with CMI as a controller in April of 1982. He was elected to the Board of Directors in July 1983 and served as the Secretary of the corporation when Jimmy V. Pruett, President of Century Marketing, Inc. then announced his election to the Corporate Office of Vice President of Finance.

His responsibilities there included both short term and long-range financial planning for their multi-faceted company operations. This varied from daily cash flow planning to plan for future expansion including acquisitions and investments. He also had the responsibility of preparing monthly financial statements and interim cost analysis. In addition to his duties involved finances, James assisted the President in corporate planning and operations.

James designed and installed a profit-sharing plan for CMI employees which was adopted and put into operation in June 1985. He was instrumental in developing many of the benefits that their employees enjoyed. He even wrote company policy and employee benefits manual.

James assisted in establishing a Credit Group specifically designed to serve the needs of their industry and served on the Board of Directors for that group.

Hoskinson served in the U.S. Navy and had degrees in Business Administration and Christian Education from Mercer University and Bob Jones University. His graduate work was at Bob Jones University and the University of Arkansas.

James spent 10 years with the Monsanto Corporation (Textiles Division) in their Management Information Center in South Carolina. His title was Systems Analyst. For 18 months his special project was the coordination of efforts to integrate all products into computer systems. His involvement included groundwork analysis with programmers, accountants, department managers and plants to ensure that computer output would be acceptable and accurate. The output included such reports as inventory availability, sales and cost reports, financial tables, profit analysis, etc. Besides writing and implementing new and existent operating procedures, he was in charge of various accounting responsibilities. During his evenings, he taught Accounting and Economics at Greenville Tech (an extension of Clemson University.)

He came to Little Rock in 1967 to open a Burger King franchise. Once there, he purchased one-third of Standard Office Systems, an office machine, and equipment dealership. James managed operations while his partners concentrated on sales. This combination of sales ability and sound financial management provided a broader product base with new serving techniques that produced rapid growth. James started a leasing company for the purpose of leasing their office machines but also services other businesses.

During this period James also began working with the University of Arkansas as a Business Management Specialist working with small business firms. His role was assisting them with their management problems. These problems included marketing, finance, management, etc. His duties also consisted of conducting feasibility studies and assisting potential entrepreneurs with decisions involving potential business ventures.

Hoskinson transferred to Batesville in 1974 to open a field office for U of A to provide counseling, advisory and technical assistance to the North Central Arkansas area. His responsibilities expanded to including initiating and conducting seminars and workshops designed to assist in the development of management skills. These classes were tailored to meet the specific needs of the business owner or manager. These needs encompassed cash flow analysis and other pertinent professional vocation training.

His professional organization experience helped him serve as Program Director and Treasurer of the National Association of Accountants. He was a key man in the Industrial Management Club. In May 1985, he was invited to Washington, D.C. for a special briefing at the White House on proposed taxes and economic matters. He has made numerous talks before professional and educational groups. He also addressed the Arkansas College business majors’ graduating class on several occasions.

James was born on April 6, 1928, in Louisville, Kentucky to Robert Winfield Gustovia and Katherine Harned (Vandiver) Hoskinson. On Aug. 17, 1971, he married the former Melba Bostian of Overcup, Arkansas and together were both members of the First Baptist Church of Batesville.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Melba (Bostian) Hoskinson; three sons, Bruce Powell of North Little Rock, Michael Hoskinson of South Carolina and Steven Hoskinson of South Carolina; two daughters, Debbie Luker of Batesville and Brenda Seibring of South Carolina; four grandchildren, Michelle Haley, Eddie Luker, Brian Luker, and Jason Powell; and three great-grandchildren, Abbigail Luker, Brayden Luker, and Hannah Haley.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Marvin Powell; and one brother, Robert Hoskinson.

Pallbearers are Paul Barrett, Buford Grady, Norman Terrell, Lewis Hirschy, Bill Gatlin, and John David Morgan.

Funeral services will begin at 2:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, at Roller-Crouch Funeral Home with Bro. Stacy Reed and Gene Tulberg officiating. Burial will take place on Friday, Dec. 13 at 1:00 p.m. at Campground Cemetery in Overcup, Arkansas.

Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m. Monday at the funeral home just prior to service.

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