David Roth, Workmatters founder and CEO, announces departure

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,502 views 

David Roth

David Roth, founder and CEO of Fayetteville nonprofit Workmatters, is resigning effective Dec. 31, 2023. Roth announced details of a leadership transition via email Wednesday (April 26).

According to the email, the Workmatters board has started a formal search for Roth’s replacement. The board is not naming an interim leader. Roth will continue as CEO until his replacement is hired later this year and then remain a consultant through the end of the year.

“I speak on behalf of the board and the millions of lives and workplaces positively impacted by the Workmatters ministry in recognizing the immeasurable impact of David’s vision, leadership and selfless sacrifice in service of his calling from the Lord in 2003,” board chair Steve Blair said in a statement. “His passion for closing the gap between faith and work is only matched by his passion for his family. The board is excited to support David as he embarks on the next chapter of his story, focusing on his family and individually coaching executive leaders that yearn to integrate their faith into their work.”

Workmatters is a non-denominational Christian ministry aimed at finding purpose in work. It began at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville in 2002, and after just one year, it became a non-denominational nonprofit.

Roth, WorkMatters’ founding board member, left his job as vice president of sales and marketing at J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. to lead Workmatters as president in 2003.

Before J.B. Hunt and WorkMatters, he worked at Manugistics, American Software and McKesson Corp.

“On October 13, 2003, with my wife Theresa cheering me on, I worked my first day as the founder of the newly launched nonprofit, Workmatters Inc.,” Roth wrote in Wednesday’s email. “I sat in a cramped office, behind an old desk, with no salary — full of excitement, hope, and fear.

“Almost 20 years later, it’s beyond words to consider the millions of lives God has impacted through Workmatters’ mission to close the gap between faith and work.

“So, it is with pure joy, hope, and enthusiasm that I communicate to you — our valued faith and work community — my decision to transition from my role as the president and CEO of Workmatters.”

Roth is a leadership coach and personal resource for many past and current Northwest Arkansas executives, including former Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith, former Walmart CFO Brett Biggs and J.B. Hunt Transport Services President Shelley Simpson.

“David has been a good friend and wise counselor for many years,” said Simpson, who is a Workmatters advisory board member. “The impact he has made to Northwest Arkansas and the nation on integrating faith at work is long-lasting and leaves a great legacy.”

Ross Cully, founder and CEO of omnichannel retail agency Harvest Group in Rogers, is also a Workmatters advisory board member.

“David Roth and Workmatters have significantly impacted many lives and companies worldwide,” Cully said. “He was a pioneer and early thought leader who helped many integrate their faith and work. It is becoming more broadly understood that people want to bring their whole selves to work, including who they are spiritually, and they flourish when they do.

“His life’s work leaves an enduring legacy, including in my life and our company culture.”