Forty Under 40: Nick Bartelt

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Though he was a pro water skier in his late teens, Nick Bartelt, 30, started his college career wanting to be an anesthesiologist. But during an internship he found he didn’t care for delivering bad news, so at the urging of his corporate-minded mom, he shifted to business.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2001 with a degree in marketing and an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and started with Kimberly-Clark as a customer logistics analyst, supporting the Wal-Mart replenishment platform. In 2004, he moved to Rogers as a category analyst for the company and in 2006 he was promoted to the position of retail operations manager, a job he describes as the “last 90 feet before a customer purchases the product.” Basically, he oversees the day-to-day execution of Kimberly-Clark’s features and programs at the Wal-Mart store level.

Bartelt’s not one to rest on his laurels. He will soon start the MBA program for working professionals at the University of Arkansas and he was recently named the executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Young Professionals group. He has also founded the Northwest Arkansas Water Ski Show Team.

Bartelt said he encourages up-and-comers to daily do something unique and to follow their passion because results come from people who are passionate.