Keynote Speakers

Ben Johns '78 

President, SCOUT by Bungalow

Ben has managed and owned seven different companies, managed up to 500 employees and has sold into every channel of trade in the US and internationally. In 1981, he purchased The Bacova Guild Ltd., which became the largest home textile supplier of printed rugs in the US. The company was listed in INC Magazines "Fastest Growing Companies" and recognized as Target Stores "Vendor of the Year" in 1986 and 1987. Ben was able to create 500 jobs in rural Virginia before selling the company to the largest textile company in the world in 1996. He continued to lead The Bacova Guild until 1999.

Ben also co-founded Whereoware, the first online marketplace in the gift and home industry to create a new solution to bring buyers and sellers together. He raised $21 million with the coalition of three strategic industry investors. The company transitioned into a leading technology and digital marketing agency in the gift industry and was a recent recipient of the IBM "Beacon Award."

Currently, Ben is co-owner and president of SCOUT Ltd., a company formed by a merger of Park Designs (importer of textiles) and Bungalow (importer of rugs and home accents). The company was formed by Ben and his wife, Deb, to create a line of tote bags that blended fashion and function. Since its inception, the SCOUT collection has grown to include accessories, coolers, storage, and rugs.

Warren Stephens '79 

Chairman, President, and CEO, Stephens Inc.

Warren began his career as an associate in the corporate finance department at Stephens Inc. Later, he was named president and chief executive officer in 1986. Under his direction, Stephens has grown its footprint from one corporate office, based in Little Rock, AR, to 25 locations across the U.S. and with offices in London and Frankfurt.

Warren is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Washington and Lee University and was co-chair of the successful Capital Campaign that concluded in June of 2015. He received his BA in economics from W&L and his MBA from Wake Forest University.

Born on February 18, 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Warren and his wife, Harriet C. Stephens, have three children, Miles Stephens, John Stephens and Laura Stephens.