Bentonville chamber announces guests, new location for 2020 event

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,338 views 

In one of her first major community appearances, Walton Family Foundation executive director Caryl Stern will participate in a panel discussion later this month in Bentonville.

The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual luncheon Feb. 24 at the Tiger Athletic Complex (TAC) at Bentonville High School.

The event will feature a conversation with Stern, Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman, Bentonville School District superintendent Dr. Debbie Jones, Visit Bentonville executive director Kalene Griffith and Kourtney Barrett, founder of Junk Brands, co-founder of Women of OZ and 2020 chairwoman of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce’s executive board.

Stern was announced in September as the Walton Family Foundation’s new executive director. She started the job last month. Stern has more than 30 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector as a child advocate and civil rights activist. Before relocating to Bentonville, she had been president and CEO of UNICEF USA for the past 12 years. According to the organization, which is headquartered downtown New York City, Stern helped double its fundraising intake to $600 million.

Graham Cobb, president and CEO of the Greater Bentonville chamber, said the annual event will highlight economic trends, investments and direction, as well as celebrate chamber members for leadership and community service.

“As with the last couple of years, you can expect to see art, music, education and cycling well represented,” Cobb said. “You will also experience a bit of the unexpected. We want to showcase what makes Bentonville unique and continue to embrace and celebrate our dynamic and diverse community and economy.”

Tickets are available through the chamber website.

Cobb also announced several new members to the chamber’s executive board and board of directors for 2020.

Neil Greenhaw, owner of Haxton Road Studios, is a new member of the executive board as an at-large member. He joins Barrett (chair), Jeff Charlson of Bike Rack Brewing Co. (immediate past chair), Monica Kumar of Endeavor Foundation (treasurer) and Bill Akins of Walmart Labs.

New members to the chamber board of directors in 2020 include Rahul Jalali (Walmart), Meredith Lowry (Wright Lindsey Jennings) and Joe Saumweber (RevUnit). They join Bea Apple (Hillfolk), John Cowgur (Sam’s Club), Ben Hasan (Walmart), Steve Keith (Northwest Arkansas National Airport), Mike Malone (Runway Group), Martine Pollard (Mercy Health), Bart Smith (Jun Group), Cameron Smith (Cameron Smith & Associates) and Rick Webb (Grit Studios).

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