ARKADELPHIA - Jay Bradford, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner and former state senator, was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame at Henderson State University during an awards banquet on April 25. Bradford is a Henderson graduate with a bachelor's degree in economics and psychology. He has also been recognized by the university as a distinguished alumnus.
Bradford was appointed Arkansas Insurance Commissioner in 2009 by Gov. Mike Beebe. He has more than four decades of experience in the insurance industry, including 30 years as founder, chairman, and former shareholder of First Arkansas Insurance Group, a statewide network of independent property and casualty agencies. Prior to his appointment, Bradford served for two years as the director of the Division of Behavioral Health Services within the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
Serving in the Arkansas Legislature for 24 years, Bradford was chosen both Speaker Pro Tempore of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate. He also served as chair of the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee in both bodies.
Bradford was the chief sponsor of the Tobacco Settlement Funding Bill, which resulted in Arkansas being the only state in the nation to mandate all the settlement monies be used for health care. He also served as lead Senate sponsor of breast care legislation which resulted in millions of dollars being made available for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
Bradford has received numerous honors and awards during his service to the citizens of Arkansas, including the 2006 Arkansas Business Executive of the Year and the 2005 Libertarian of the Year from the American Civil Liberties Union.