A veteran team with experience in your business as well as settlement services.
The Capstone Pioneer team includes not only veterans of the title insurance and settlement services industry, but also a former bank president, a former bank auditor, a former mortgage originator, a timberland owner and manager, and three lawyers. With a dedicated full-time staff of title and settlement professionals, the Capstone Pioneer team has proven invaluable to mortgage lenders and real estate professionals throughout Arkansas.
Meet the Capstone Pioneer Management Team.
Board of Directors
Erica Hughes – Chairman
Following law school Erica started working in the title services industry, building an extensive professional network across the country and the state. She earned her J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1995 and began serving as corporate counsel and operations manager for large regional and national title companies for several years. In 2006 she established a solo practice providing counsel to real estate and title insurance clients nationwide. Erica formed Capstone Title Services, Inc. in 2007, and later acquired Pioneer Abstract & Title Co., Inc., and merged the two companies in 2011. Erica serves as chairman of Capstone Pioneer.
Tom is a native of Lewisville, Arkansas, where he was introduced to the world of real estate transactions at an early age as the son and frequent helper of the Lafayette County Surveyor. Tom graduated from Ouachita Baptist University and Southern Methodist University Graduate School of Banking. He is also licensed as an insurance agent and abstractor by the State of Arkansas. His first career after graduation was to span over 30 years as a commercial banker, in which he specialized in real estate lending. Tom has served as president of three banks: Merchants & Planters, Horizon Bank, and Mercantile Bank. Tom and his wife, Nina, purchased Pioneer Abstract & Title Co., Inc. in 1999, which they operated until June 2011 when the company merged with Capstone Title Services to form Capstone Pioneer. He continues to work with Capstone Pioneer as a member of the Board of Directors. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the business school at Ouachita Baptist University.
J.L. offers Capstone Pioneer an important perspective on settlement services based on his strong background in timber transactions, banking and business operations. In 1971 he began hauling lumber for logging contractors with only one log truck. He formed his first company, Griffin Logging, Inc., in 1972 and went to work for Cabe Lumber Company. After doing contract work with large paper and timber companies for several years, he decided to go independent, buying his own timber in 1992. He and his brothers bought a chip mill in Woodville, Texas, in 1998 to start Griffin Chipping, later starting Griffin Trucking, Inc., in 1999 to deliver the chips to facilities owned by Griffin Chipping customers Temple Inlands, Inc., Meadwestvaco, and Boise Cascade. Over the years, he worked with his five brothers to build up their businesses, eventually selling Griffin Chipping, Inc. in 2007, but he continues to run his first business, Griffin Logging, Inc. In addition to his background in timber transactions and operating a large chipping mill in Texas, J.L. served 14 years on the Board of Directors of First State Bank, headquartered in Lonoke, Arkansas. J.L. knows the timber industry inside and out and now lends that knowledge to Capstone Pioneer as a member of its Board of Directors.
Eric Hughes – President and CEO
Eric brings to Capstone Pioneer 20 years of legal experience in civil litigation and commercial and real estate transactions. In addition to a strong background in insurance law, Eric has extensive experience representing clients buying or selling businesses, including a chain of wireless stores, a sports marketing firm, a chipping mill and trucking company, and a travel agency, among other transactions. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1992 and his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1995. After 15 years of working as a litigator and partner for another law firm, Eric and his wife, Erica, founded Hughes & Hughes Law Firm in 2009. Eric serves as Capstone Pioneer’s president and CEO, lending his expertise in law to help clients have the most beneficial closing experience.
Euodias Goza – Chief Operating Officer
Euodias began his career with Twin City Bank in North Little Rock, Arkansas, after graduating from Ouachita Baptist University. His banking career spans over 40 years, and includes stops at Mercantile Bank and Southern Bancorp Bank. He attended the Arkansas School of Banking and graduated from the University of Wisconsin’s Bank Administration Institute of Bank Auditing. He also obtained a master’s degree in Banking from Mercy College in Dobb Ferry, New York. Euodias serves as a Board Member of the W.P. Sturgis Foundation and the Clark County Industrial Commission. He served as chairman of the Clark County Economic Development Commission and presently serves as president of the Ouachita Baptist University Alumni Advisory Board. Euodias also holds a Certification in Bank Compliance. He currently works as the chief operating officer of Capstone Pioneer.
Michelle Thornton – Vice President for Closing and Escrow
Michelle’s background is deep in the mortgage business. Prior to joining Capstone Pioneer she worked as a mortgage broker and was a member of the National Association of Brokers and the Arkansas Association of Mortgage Professionals. Her experience in the mortgage business gives her a unique perspective on the needs of mortgage professional for settlement services. After attending Ouachita Baptist University, Michelle and her husband operated retail and mail order business for 15 years, so she understands the importance of quality customer service. In 2011 Michelle joined Capstone Pioneer Settlement Services, where she now serves as manager of the closing department.
Buckley Bridges – Vice President for Title Operations
Buckley grew up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and attended Lyon College, graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English in 2005. He worked in the secondary financing industry before starting law school in 2007. Buckley graduated magna cum laude in 2010 from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. While in law school he was a member of the Arkansas Law Review and won the Trial Advocacy Prize. He also had the honor of serving as a Civil Procedure teaching assistant to Professor Emeritus John Watkins. Buckley began his legal career with Hughes & Hughes Law Firm in 2010, where his experience includes insurance litigation, various real estate and business transactions, and serving as general counsel for Capstone Pioneer. Buckley now serves as the company’s vice president for title operations.
Tammy Northcutt White – Sales Representative
Tammy graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She taught choral music in the Hot Springs Public School District for four years and then taught elementary music in the Arkadelphia Public School District for 9 1/2 years. She started in the field of marketing with Aerocare Home Medical, Inc. as a marketing representative, where she worked for five years. She joined Capstone Pioneer in May 2013.