Then & Now: Politics may be calling for volunteer stalwart Tina Winham

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,886 views 

Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the Feb. 28 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.

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For nearly 25 years, Tina Winham has developed a strong business strategy and leadership skill set. As a result, she is uniquely positioned for continued success in the robust consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry in Northwest Arkansas.

Winham’s latest career move came on Jan. 31 when she started a new job with CPG powerhouse Conair. She’s the national account manager for the Walmart health and beauty accessories (HBA) team in Bentonville.

“I’m excited to see how we can continue to innovate and bring products that consumers are looking for,” Winham said. “Especially in this environment where everyone is working from home. Many people are looking for ways to bring health and beauty into their homes instead of leaving for those services.”

Winham’s resume is filled with examples of helping people and organizations increase their performance and effectiveness. She launched her career in 1997 at Cott Beverage while studying business at the University of Arkansas. She joined the company full-time and worked in various supply chain positions with increased responsibility. In 2010, she was the marketing manager when the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named her a Forty Under 40 honoree.

After the recognition, Winham transitioned from marketing to sales, where she’s worked ever since. She left Cott after 16 years to work for global CPG company Newell Brands, leading all business development efforts for the infant and toddler feeding category for Walmart.

In 2018, she went to work for Canadian toy company Spin Master, still focused on driving the company’s business with Walmart. She also completed the requirements for an MBA from the UA that year.

With Conair, among many responsibilities, Winham’s primary goal is to lead a three-person team to drive sales and profitability for Conair’s HBA portfolio of products for Walmart, Sam’s Club and walmart.com.

“Of course, I’m just a few weeks in [to the new job], so I am very much learning everything, but it’s interesting to see the trajectory of health and beauty, in general,” she said. “It’s evolved in a promising way for our Walmart business since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Winham is a Gravette native who has always been motivated to volunteer in the community. Empowering women and children to achieve their goals is especially top of mind, and that philosophy hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2019, Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Winham to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism.

“When I went to the [UA] and landed my first job, I realized I had an opportunity to help others see a positive woman role model and be able to help them in their career trajectory,” she said.

Winham has been a member of Junior League of Northwest Arkansas for more than 15 years and served in various leadership positions, including an at-large board member for the Association of Junior Leagues International. She’s also had leadership or board roles for several groups, including the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter, Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders and Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference.

Married with one daughter, Winham graduated from Leadership Arkansas in 2020. She said the program was a valuable experience, especially coupled with Hutchinson’s board appointment.

She’s also making moves that indicate a political purpose.

Winham was one of 50 women from eight states named to the inaugural cohort of the LBJ Women’s Campaign School in June 2020. It’s a nonpartisan, issue-neutral program at the University of Texas at Austin that trains women who want to run for elected office or become campaign managers, regardless of their political party. It brings together top political professionals from across the nation to lead an immersive training program on topics including media relations, public speaking, fundraising and grassroots organizing.

“I do have political aspirations,” Winham said. “Whether that’s running for office and working on policy work that improves the lives of women and children — I am open to that,” she said. “I’m also open to supporting other women who would like to do that. I’m looking for ways to become more involved. I haven’t quite figured out what that might look like.”