Bentonville chamber hires Jordan Carlisle as VP of economic development, entrepreneurship

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 1,619 views 

The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday (June 4) the hiring of Jordan Carlisle of Little Rock as its new vice president of economic development and entrepreneurship.

Carlisle will split time between Little Rock and Bentonville starting July 1, according to a news release. He will transition full time to Bentonville later this year.

Chamber president and CEO Graham Cobb said Carlisle’s hiring is tied to the organization’s “new approaches, new tools and new projects” to attract talent and industry to the city. Last month, the chamber announced a Walton Family Foundation grant from brothers Steuart and Tom Walton to fund projects it hopes will attract entrepreneurs to the city.

“Jordan brings a sharp and diverse skillset, a collaborative spirit and an entrepreneurial approach,” Cobb said in a statement. “He embraces both the digital and the analog world.  His commitment to a lifetime of learning will be valuable in our rapidly evolving economic landscape.”

Described as a serial entrepreneur and an active mentor and advisor to small businesses and blockchain technology startups, Carlisle launched a startup in 2015 called Strengthen Labs, a human performance company that uses evidence based practices to build behavioral change software.  In 2016, Strengthen Labs partnered with Arkansas Fitness and Athletics to launch a product testing lab.

Prior to that, between 2012 and 2014, Carlisle launched Arkansas Startup Weekend, 1 Million Cups Little Rock and early-stage programming for the Arkansas Venture Center.  In May of 2014, he joined the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce as its first director of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Carlisle graduated from the University of Missouri in 2012. He later spent a little more than a year working for Walmart Global Shared Financial Services in Bentonville.