Forty Under 40: Ashley Wardlow

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,907 views 

Class of 2022 Forty Under 40 Ashley Wardlow Interim President & CEO Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce

Ashley Wardlow seamlessly stepped into the role vacated by Graham Cobb earlier this year. Wardlow attributed the smooth transition to her colleagues.

“Complex problems require collaboration,” she said. “You may own a piece of the puzzle, but lasting success for your organization depends on your ability to convene and collaborate with others in your community who have their own pieces.”

In her role, she managed the chamber’s 2021 audit, will oversee the development of the organization’s first strategic plan since 2017 and meets community members. She oversees nine employees.

Wardlow joined the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2020 as executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit. Shortly before starting in her current position, the chamber board promoted her to executive vice president in late 2021.

Before joining the chamber, Wardlow was a development officer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for about four years. She developed and implemented the Bentonville museum’s inaugural corporate engagement strategy, instituted an annual corporate dinner co-hosted by Alice Walton and Doug McMillon and cultivated philanthropic relationships in the Northwest Arkansas and Dallas areas.

In 2013, she started as a donor relations manager at United Way of Northwest Arkansas. She was promoted to senior manager of donor relations before leading the organization’s five-county workplace campaign.

About 10 years ago, she relocated to Northwest Arkansas from Waco, Texas, to help her mother build her business.

In 2006, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. She’s a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Northwest Arkansas chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She loves to read.