Madison Murphy Named Tourism Person of the Year


Madison Murphy was named Tourism Person of the Year during the 44th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism in West Memphis.

Murphy is Chairman of the Board for Murphy USA and was instrumental in the creation of the Murphy Arts District, known as MAD, in El Dorado. Highlights of this new arts and entertainment district include an outdoor amphitheater, farm-to-table restaurant, and music hall. He is also a founding member of El Dorado Festivals and Events, Inc., which gave rise to the project.

MAD aims to provide the city of El Dorado with creative outlets to explore music, dance, theater, art and food in fun and immersive ways. The outdoor amphitheater hosts large festivals and events for over 7,000 people with market pavilions for seasonal farmers markets, and the largest park in the city. The outdoor destination playscape and splash pad are for children and families to enjoy outdoor activities with programming that is both entertaining and enriching.

MAD’s second phase will bring the renovation of the much-loved Rialto Theater. Once a favorite meeting place for vaudeville performances and movies, the Rialto will live again with a variety of musical acts, plays, comedy shows, and movies. In addition, an art gallery with traveling exhibitions, art classes and events will also be part of this future phase.

Murphy, who was born in El Dorado, began his business career over 35 years ago pursuing an active participation in a wide variety of Murphy Oil Corporation positions. Along with his current role at Murphy USA, he is president of The Murphy Foundation, managing member of Murphy Family Management and on the boards of Murphy Oil Corporation and Deltic Timber Corporation. He is also on the boards of the National Council of Economic Education, the Arkansas Policy Foundation, and the Hendrix Board of Trustees.

Murphy and his wife Suzanne are both native Arkansans and graduates of Hendrix College. They have three children, Matt, Jonathan and Anna, and a granddaughter, Kate.

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