Debbie Griffin has been hired as the city of Bentonville’s interim community relations and economic development director. Her first day of employment was July 1.
Griffin has more than 30 years of experience in communication, marketing, project management and team building. She was most recently executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce, where she resigned in January after more than three years.
In her new job, Griffin will work with members of the media, develop a digital communication and marketing strategy, and serve as a liaison for Mayor Stephanie Orman for public and private partnerships with the city.
The position is a hybrid, Griffin said. On the economic development side, she is filling the role previously held by Troy Galloway for more than 20 years. Galloway, though, is also a citizen soldier and member of the Army National Guard. He was promoted in 2016 to brigadier general, and also assigned responsibility as deputy commanding general at the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He has been stationed there since the summer of 2017, and the assignment hasn’t ended.
“Troy may well come back to the city, but there’s just no timeline,” Griffin said. “The mayor had to activate that role.”
Griffin said the community relations side of her job is a new position that’s been reorganized since Orman was sworn into office in January.
While working at the chamber, Griffin grew the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit to a national event for the region and helped champion technology growth in Northwest Arkansas. Griffin began her career in television broadcasting and then worked for Walmart, Sam’s Club and Fellowship Bible Church.
“I am excited for this role with the city of Bentonville, and look forward to continuing and building on the economic growth of Bentonville,” she said. “Northwest Arkansas is my home, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the community.”