Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the Aug. 31 issue of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “Then & Now” is a profile of a past member of the Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
Mandy Bohannan has worked in the retail industry for more than 20 years. Over the past decade, she has pursued a career as a consultant and educator.
“My career has moved from being in the corporate world to training and developing and consulting,” she said.
Bohannan, 46, started a consulting business three years ago and has been a college instructor for about nine years.
Before the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named her to the Forty Under 40 class in 2011, she wrote a supply chain and replenishment course for NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC). The course was for NWACC’s Certified Retail Analyst Program.
She taught the course for about six years, and this led her to other teaching roles. Over the past five years, she’s worked as an online adjunct instructor in the logistics management program at Arkansas Tech University. She’s taught project management, business communications and other business-related courses. She remains on-call with NWACC as a substitute instructor; however, she’s focused on her role with Arkansas Tech and is teaching online courses for the university this fall.
Career highlights include earning her MBA and discovering a passion for teaching.
“I still have it 10 years later,” she said. “It’s still something that I’m pursuing. It’s something that gives me fulfillment and purpose. And it’s not just university teaching. It’s also working with other suppliers on a one-on-one basis who need some help with learning certain aspects of Retail Link or learning certain aspects of how to analyze their business with Excel.”
Some of her goals include broadening her teaching and training experience. She not only wants to teach online courses but also teach in the classroom again.
“I enjoy the interaction with the students — the discussions, the activities and the things that we do,” she said. “I’ve had 20 years of experience in the Walmart supplier community. I’d like to stay aligned with that and train on the things I know in that field.”
When she was named to the Forty Under 40 class, Bohannan was a senior replenishment manager for Dorel Industries. She was in charge of Dorel Juvenile’s replenishment and supply chain function for Walmart.
Bohannan worked at Dorel for nearly seven years before joining the FRAM Group in 2012. She was a supply chain team leader and oversaw various functions of the Walmart supply chain, including replenishment, supply chain analysis and forecasting. The move to FRAM took her from a front-line management role to a mid-level department head position.
She joined FRAM to continue to grow her management experience. She added additional management experience in 2014 when she joined Rogers-based retail analytics firm Shiloh Technologies as director of customer solutions. In 2015, she accepted a position for food broker Savino Sales and Marketing and was director of operations.
In 2019, she started as a retail project analyst with John Soules Foods to allow her time to focus on earning an MBA. She had been working from home with Savino Sales and Marketing, and the role with John Soules Foods allows her to work from home as well.
“It allowed me to step back and focus on those other things,” she said. “I had every intention of picking back up on my career. Then COVID-19 hit. I haven’t pursued it because there’s not a lot of people that are hiring right now. Everything is up in the air.”
In December, Bohannan earned an MBA from John Brown University. The MBA program was focused on market research and consumer insights. She wanted to earn an MBA because it would allow her to teach more college-level business classes, and market research and consumer insights weren’t aspects of her career in which she had focused. Until then, her career had primarily included supply chain work.
She married Terry Bohannan in 2015 and has a 26-year-old daughter and one grandson. She looks to become involved with the Literacy Council of Benton County and teach people how to read. She enjoys photography, gardening and acrylic painting.