Channing Barker, Benton County’s communications director since 2017, resigned recently. Her final day was Nov. 30. Barker has started a new job in Bentonville working for Walmart Inc. in the company’s culture, diversity, equity and inclusion division.
“This was an extremely tough decision to make,” she said. “I love serving county residents and working with Judge [Barry] Moehring and the team he’s put together.”
Barker earned degrees in broadcast journalism and political science from the University of Arkansas in 2012. She spent five years working for NBC affiliate KNWA-TV in Fayetteville before accepting a job as the county’s first communications director, working closely with Moehring and other administrators on better communicating information to constituents. That includes government employees and the public.
“She has done a fabulous job over the past four years,” said Moehring, the county’s top government official since January 2017. He is seeking re-election in 2022. “Benton County’s outreach to the public has never been stronger, more transparent or more interactive with our citizens. We will certainly miss her and wish her the best in her new role.”
Moehring said the job is posted, and the county is seeking candidates.
A Tulsa, Okla., native, Barker was part of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s 2020 Forty Under 40 class.
“The opportunity to serve Benton county residents is one I hold as a high honor in my career,” Barker said. “As the one of only two communications directors within county government in Arkansas, I’m proud of how we’ve grown our outreach and established fruitful relationships for communication with the community. I will forever be thankful for the leadership and collaboration from Judge Moehring, his team and Benton County elected officials.”