Fayetteville businessman and executive coach Terrell “Terry” Bowen, Vistage Chair for the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Vistage International, has died in a motorcycle accident while on vacation in Colorado. He was 61.
Bowen’s business partner at Vistage, Chuck Hyde, said Bowen was killed in the wreck Tuesday (Aug. 27). Hyde said Bowen was airlifted to a hospital in Grand Junction but did not have additional details of the accident.
Along with Bowen, Hyde is one of two Vistage Chairs for the Northwest Arkansas chapter.
“[Bowen] contributed to our community in many ways,” Hyde said. “From our work, I had a guy once describe Vistage as doing the most important work with people who care. And I think Terry embodied that better than anybody. With our membership and people that we were in partnership with.”
Bowen was recruited to be the founding chair of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Vistage. It launched in 2016, joining Little Rock as the only two chapters in Arkansas.
Vistage International, a global peer advisory organization, dates back to 1957. It is the oldest organization of its kind in the world, providing executive coaching while building and facilitating private advisory boards for CEOs, senior executives and business owners. There are chapters in 16 countries with more than 20,000 members.
There are two classes of Vistage peer groups in Northwest Arkansas. Bowen and Hyde each lead a CE (chief executives) group for business owners or chief executives of companies that have more than $5 million in revenue and more than 25 employees.
Brock Gearhart, president and owner of Fayetteville investment advisory firm Greenwood Gearhart Inc., was a member of Bowen’s CE group.
“He brought an incredible zest for life and for helping others,” Greenwood said. “He genuinely wanted to see members of Vistage grow as people. Both professionally and personally. He wanted to see us thrive in our businesses and wanted to be a part of that. He was invested in all of us”
Gearhart said there are many examples of successful Northwest Arkansas business owners who Bowen led to even greater success through Vistage.
“For me, it was transformative,” he said. “Terry became a very close advisor of mine. There were very few decisions that I made that I wouldn’t want his perspective. I know that was the case for many in our group. [Bowen’s death] will leave a big void for a lot of people.”
Bowen spent the bulk of his professional career in his native Missouri. For 24 years, he was corporate vice president of the Fortune 500 company Leggett & Platt Inc. in Carthage, Mo. During that time, he co-founded and led the consumer products unit and was part of a sustained growth period that saw the company’s revenue increase by more than 30%, reaching $5.5 billion in 2004.
After that, Bowen served in a variety of executive roles and board positions for branding agency Noble Communications Corp. in Springfield, Mo.; Christian apparel company Kerusso Inc. in Berryville; and food supplier 3D Corporate Solutions LLC in Monett, Mo.
Bowen has also been an entrepreneur. He was a founding investor of OakStar Bank in Springfield, Mo., and he and his wife have owned a retail sewing products store in Fayetteville, Sew in Heaven, for the past 13 years.
Bowen is survived by his wife Suzette and four grown children.