RD Hopper: Fighting for Small Business
Passionate about small business, politics, and the next generation transition, RD Hopper is ready to
lead ARA in 2016-17 as the incoming President. BY JIM JENNINGS
es survive, both in Arkansas and the country as a whole. It is something he is passionate about and what he brings to his year as the 2016-17 ARA President.
G 44 Automotive Recycling | September-October 2016
rowing up in a family struc- ture focused on small busi- ness emboldened RD Hopper to do whatever he could to insure that small and independent business-
“As ARA President I want to make sure that the small auto recycler and the small independent yards have access to whatever they need to remain compet- itive in an industry that is consolidating, and in a country where the overhead and cost of doing busi- ness is going up yearly,” said Hopper, who will take the office at ARA’s 73rd Annual Convention & Expo in Baltimore, October 26-29. Hopper is the owner of Sonny’s Auto Salvage in Jacksonville, AR, the company he and his wife Jennifer bought in 1998. The firm has 15 employees. Sonny’s has been serving Central Arkansas for over 38 years as a family-owned and operated organization. In 1976, Sonny Taylor purchased the business and renamed it Sonny’s. The Taylor family operated the business for 22 years before selling it to the Hoppers. He learned from the ground up. His father owned an auto parts store, Hopper Auto Parts in Mountain View, AR, and his grandfather was a mechanic and District Manager for the Arkansas State Highway Department. But, as he learned when he graduated from Mountain View High School in 1985, “If you get too many people eating off the same cookie there’s not enough to go around,” so he moved to Little Rock to work at Mid-State Automotive Parts Warehouse, a huge distribution plant that provided parts to about 100 stores statewide.