NWA Tech Summit expands to Bentonville, Fayetteville

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 758 views 

(from left) Sarah Nassauer, Wall Street Journal reporter, moderator; Jeremy King, chief technology officer at Walmart; Dawn Drewry, vice president at Tyson Foods IT Center for Excellence; and Gary Dowdy, vice president of engineering and technology at J.B. Hunt, discussed how each company is embracing new technologies. The panel discussion was held at the closing session of the 5th Annual Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit held in Rogers on Tuesday (Oct. 23).

The sixth annual Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit will be an opportunity for those new to technology, young professionals learning about it or those working in the field to connect with and learn from leaders who are on the cutting edge of technology on a global scale, said Jordan Carlisle, vice president of economic development and entrepreneurship at the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Carlisle said nearly 2,000 people are expected to attend the two-day summit organized by the chamber. It will take place Oct. 21-22 throughout Northwest Arkansas. The first day of the event will include keynote speakers at John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, and the second day will allow attendees to learn about technology through various tracks at locations in downtown Bentonville. Also, an after-party to celebrate women in technology will take place in Fayetteville.

“At the summit this year, you can expect that diversity, equity and inclusion, and women in technology will be at the forefront of the event,” Carlisle said. “The event has grown year over year, and it’s done a fantastic job of highlighting what’s happening in the amazing technology community that is in Northwest Arkansas. This year, one of our goals is to inspire our community to look what’s next after next. So that’s the theme of our event this year.”

The event will emphasize business research and development, corporate ventures, retail, supply chain and logistics, e-commerce and data analytics. Carlisle declined to release names of the speakers but said to expect big names in technology startups and venture capital, and speakers one might find as a keynote in Silicon Valley or New York.

Admission to attend the two-day summit, the state’s largest gathering focused on technology, is $189 per person. Attendees can expect the same value at the summit as they would at a larger technology conference in Dallas or San Francisco, Carlisle said.

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