Former Walmart strategist named director of Center for Retailing Excellence at UA’s Walton College

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 634 views 

Jessica Salmon is now director of the Center for Retailing Excellence (CRE) for the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, the school announced Friday (Sept. 8). Salmon’s appointment took effect July 17. Salmon previously served as director of finance and strategy for Walmart U.S. and before that was senior manager and project manager for the Sam’s Club innovations team. At Sam’s Club, she worked on the “club of the future” and “developed front-end technology roadmaps and process enhancements,” according to the UA.

Also at Sam’s Club, Salmon worked on mobile strategy and multimedia marketing plans, according to the UA.

“My tenure at Walmart gave me a varied experience in the retail industry and its many facets,” Salmon said in a statement. “I hope to use these skills to create a strong strategy and value proposition for the Center for Retailing Excellence. I am looking forward to partnering with students, staff and faculty at Walton, as well as our members.”

Salmon holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Taylor University in Indiana and an MBA from Penn State University. While at Walmart, she served on the Women’s Resource Council, according to the UA.

Jessica Salmon

“I am excited to have Jessica lead the CRE team,” Brent Williams, associate dean for executive education and outreach, said in a statement. “While at Walmart, she focused on growth initiatives, strategy and financial plans. She is a natural to expand our role in retail, connect students and faculty to industry leaders and serve as an ambassador for Walton.”

When Williams took on the role last year of associate dean, he vowed to help CRE, founded in 1998, “craft its vision for its future.”

“The CRE has always provided a bridge between academics and industry and worked to identify and cultivate students who could be future leaders in the retail industry,” Williams said at the time. “I look forward to seeing the CRE go to the next level.”

CRE’s founding director Claudia Mobley retired last year.