Suppliers Episode to Highlight Walmart Giving

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The Jan. 23 episode of “Focus on Suppliers” takes a look at giving, technology and innovation in Northwest Arkansas.

Host Neile Jones will welcome numerous guests from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and also the supplier community.

While the entire business community of Northwest Arkansas plays a part in giving, Bentonville-based Walmart, as the world’s largest retailer, sets the tone.

In fact, Walmart recently released its 2015 Giving Report, documenting its extensive commitment to charity through both Walmart and its charitable component, the Walmart Foundation.

During fiscal year 2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation made donations totaling $1.47 billion in cash and in-kind donations. In addition, Walmart associates donated more than 1.5 million hours of their time in support of community projects.

For some time now, “Focus on Suppliers” has featured charitable efforts in its “Heart of Business” segments. In this episode, “Focus On Suppliers” producers go directly to the senior director at the Walmart Foundation, Kabir Kumar, to get his views on how businesses can be effective in providing charitable support.

Kumar will discuss how Hurricane Katrina inspired then-CEO Lee Scott to look more closely at how Walmart could serve communities in times of disaster.

In the “Focus on Suppliers” interview, Kumar notes that Walmart not only actively provides assistance in disasters, it also has a disaster-management team in place to monitor events in order to catch disasters before they become a problem. As a result, when a situation develops, Walmart has a head start on providing community assistance.

The rest of the upcoming episode is devoted to discussions with Jeff Amerine, founding principal of Startup Junkie Consulting in Fayetteville, and Matt Crampton, founder and chief technology officer of Gigwalk of San Francisco, who will speak on the importance of technology and innovation in business.

Upcoming shows will feature some important “Heart of Business” segments, including a spotlight on the American Heart Association, and an interview with Little Rock native and former NFL tight end Keith Jackson, who in 1993 formed the Little Rock-based nonprofit P.A.R.K. (Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids) to provide at-risk students an opportunity to further their education by completing high school so they can attend college.

“Focus on Suppliers,” produced by Bentonville-based supplier-education company 8th & Walton, airs at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and 5 a.m. Sundays on KNWA-TV, the local NBC affiliate. The shows are also available online on YouTube and Vimeo.