Wayne Mays, president and CEO of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce, will retire after 13 years with the organization. Mays, 71, recently announced his retirement will be effective Dec. 31.
“Wayne has done great work for our community in his role at our chamber for the past 12 years,” said Tyler Dees, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors. “He and [his wife] Barbara are anchors in our community and are near the forefront of the many reasons that make Siloam Springs and Northwest Arkansas a desirable area in which to work and raise a family. We have been blessed to have Wayne providing leadership for our chamber.”
Mays has led the chamber since Nov. 6, 2006. The chamber’s executive committee will oversee the transition in leadership.
“Barbara and I chose Siloam Springs because we loved the people we met at chamber banquets, civic clubs and on the street while covering public relations in the area for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,” Mays said. “We have invested about 13 years in the community through the chamber, First Baptist Church, the Rotary Club and in our neighborhood. The return on our investment has been outstanding.”
Before Mays started with the chamber, he worked for five years at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Northwest Arkansas edition, in external affairs. He previously spent 23 years working for AT&T and Southwestern Bell Telephone and was assigned to areas across Arkansas, including El Dorado and Fayetteville. Before he retired from the company in 2001, he was vice president for external affairs for SBC Telecom in Philadelphia.
Mays is a U.S. Army veteran, serving in the Adjutant General’s Corps and attaining the rank of captain. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Henderson State University. He has served over 20 years on the board of directors of Arkansas Right to Life and is a board member for Arkansas Senior Olympics. He and Barbara have two children and seven grandchildren.