Dec. 4, 2020
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK – Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Bennie Westphal of Fort Smith to the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission today.
“Bennie Westphal brings to this position a love of the outdoors and years of experience as a businessman and community leader,” Hutchinson said. “I have known Bennie for over 30 years, and I have full confidence in his commitment to conservation and to serving the public in this key position.”
Westphal is chief executive officer of The Westphal Group, which is involved in commercial real estate development, oil and gas investments, and insurance sales. He sits on the board of directors for several companies and community organizations including the Fort Smith Mercy Foundation, BancorpSouth Advisory Board, Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club Inc., and the U.S. Marshals Museum.
Westphal holds a master’s degree in business administration and a juris doctor degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he was a two-year letterman on the football team. He and his wife, Landy have two daughters and four granddaughters.
“It is an honor to be appointed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission,” Westphal said. “Arkansas is so abundant in its natural beauty. I have been an avid hunter and fisherman most of my life and look forward to learning and working with the Commission.”
Born in Fayetteville, Westphal has been a member of the Fort Smith community for most of his life. He has enjoyed more than 50 years of deer and duck hunting since his introduction to Arkansas’s great outdoors at the age of 16. He is excited to pass that opportunity to his granddaughters.
Westphal replaces Vice Chairman Joe Morgan, who died Nov. 21 after serving on the Commission for five years. Morgan was Hutchinson’s first appointment to the Commission.
In announcing Morgan’s appointment years ago, Hutchinson said, “Joe understands that being on the Game and Fish Commission means being a steward of all The Natural State has to offer. It means protecting and improving our natural resources for this generation and for generations to come. We want to sustain and build our outdoor life, which makes Arkansas so very special.”