The Arkansas Waterways Commission has seven commissioners; five members represent the five navigable rivers in Arkansas and two members are "at-large."
Harvey Joe Sanner
Harvey Joe Sanner, of Des Arc, serves at-large; his term expires 2019. Mr. Sanner is a third generation farmer who has been involved in farm policy since 1977. he is passionate about issues that affect rural economies. Mr. Sanner is the former president of the Arkansas Waterways Association, former board member of the National Waterways Conference, and currently serves on the White River Coalition. “I truly believe that much of America’s greatness is due to our waterway infrastructure’s ability to move vast amounts of goods around the world marketplace at a cost that deserves the appreciation of all Americans.”
Joe Harris, of Osceola, represents the Mississippi River; his term expires 2021. Mr. Harris is a consultant/lobbyist on national, state and local levels for counties, cities and organizations. He serves on The Arkansas Delta Commission. He has served three terms as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Mr. Harris was Assistant Speaker Pro Tem. He served as chairman of Public Transportation and was a member of House Rules, House Management Committee, and The Tobacco Settlement Task Force. He served as an alternate member on the committee of Joint Energy.
William Varner, of Texarkana, represents the Red River and his term expires 2022. Mr. Varner has been heavily involved in efforts to expand navigation along the Red River from Shreveport, LA to near Texarkana, AR. The Vicksburg District of the US Army Corps of Engineers is currently studying extending navigation along the Red River. Mr. Varner is co-owner of Fulton Farms. He has served as chairman of the Miller County Levee Board #2, president and board member of the Miller County Farm Bureau and is active in the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association.
Matthew King, of Little Rock, serves at-large and his term expires 2023. Mr. King is the Director of Market Information and Economics with the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. He has a degree in agribusiness from Arkansas State University and a Masters in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arkansas. Mr. King is a member of the University of Arkansas College of Agriculture Deans Advisory Board and serves as administrator for the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Prior to coming to Farm Bureau, Mr. King was an economist with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Washington, D.C.
Jeff Rutledge, of Newport, represents the White River and his term expires in 2024. Mr. Rutledge, a native of Newport, graduated from Newport High School and earned a B.S. in Plant Science from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and a Masters in Agronomy (Weed Science) from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Mr. Rutledge has been farming full time since 1999 in Newport along the White River producing rice, wheat, corn, soybeans and milo. Mr. Rutledge serves on the Newport School Board, Levee Commission, several industry organizations and is President of the White River Coalition.
Ouachita River representative Craig Mobley of El Dorado has recently been appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas Waterways Commission. An avid outdoorsman and a native of Warren, Craig and his wife J.P. moved to El Dorado in 2013. They have two children, Millee (13) and Max (9). Craig is the Executive Vice President of First Financial Bank. He serves locally on the South Arkansas Community College Foundation Board, the El Dorado Works Board, as well as the Agape House Board. He is also an active member of First Baptist Church where he serves on the Finance Committee. On a state level, Craig is a past Chairman of Group 4 for the Arkansas Bankers Association where he also served on the Arkansas Bankers Association Board.
Representing for the Arkansas River, Marty Shell of Fort Smith has also been appointed to the commission. A second generation port terminal operator, Shell has been employed by Five Rivers Distribution for the past 24 years being able to work with his father Buck Shell, the founder of Five Rivers Distribution for 15 of those years. Marty is active with both the Fort Smith and Van Buren chambers serving as President for the Van Buren Chamber and Political affairs for the Fort Smith Chamber. He also serves as a Civil Service Commissioner for the City of Fort Smith police and fire departments, and is the current Arkansas Oklahoma Port Operators Association president. Marty and his wife Shannon have been married for 20 years and have three children, Mackenzie, Avery, and Nathan Shell.