Bentonville chamber taps Little Rock chamber executive as president and CEO

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,488 views 

The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce has named Graham Cobb its new president and CEO. He will assume the role in late November, according to a press release from the chamber.

A Little Rock native, Cobb has a background in ad sales and publishing. Since 2013, he has served as chief operating officer of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, which underwent a full rebranding under his leadership last year, and saw “record event programming revenue and engagement, as well as record membership for two consecutive years,” according to the chamber.

The Bentonville chamber also underwent a rebranding in the past year.

“Innovation is crucial to being a forward-moving, successful chamber,” Cobb said in the press release. “Bentonville’s distinct quality of place makes it a magnet for top talent. The Chamber will be a leader in maximizing this asset for our current businesses as well as those that will fuel the workforce of our emerging economy.”

Leadership experience began at age 22 for Cobb, when he opened a pop-up pizza restaurant. By age 30 he ran operations at three Jim’s Razorback Pizza locations.

Cobb worked at Arkansas Business Publishing Group from 2007 to 2013, starting as an account executive and working his way to associate publisher for Little Rock Soiree magazine, according to his LinkedIn page.

Cobb was appointed by a 10-member selection committee of community leaders. The Bentonville chamber has about 1,000 members, according to vice president of communications Debbie Griffin.

Graham Cobb

Craig Rivaldo, president of Arvest Bank Benton County and chairman of the Bentonville chamber’s board of directors, said in the press release, “Over the course of his career, Graham has developed a deep understanding of the relationship between internal team performance, customer engagement and service to the stakeholder. He respects the importance and role of legacy members and also recognizes that involving the city’s entrepreneurs and engaging young professionals is critical to the future of our city.”

Cobb will relocate to Bentonville with his wife Lisa, a preschool teacher, and two young children.

The chamber’s former president and CEO, Dana Davis, retired in August after four years in the position.

Retired Wal-Mart Stores executive Debra Layton has served as part-time interim president and CEO since and will stay on during the transition, according to the chamber.