All posts by mclemore

Walton College Partners With Thaden School on Executive Education

Executive Education at the Sam M. Walton College of Business recently launched a customized business foundations program for the leadership at Thaden School, a new independent school in Bentonville that will serve grades six through 12. The program provides leadership, strategy and design-thinking knowledge to the Thaden leadership team as they prepare for a new academic year. Continue reading Walton College Partners With Thaden School on Executive Education

Walton College Executive Education Offers Summer Technology Series

Join the Sam M. Walton College of Business for the Summer Lunch and Learn Technology Series. Courses will take place in Little Rock at Walton College at 2nd and Main. From digital currency strategy to artificial program development, there are a variety of executive-education courses available to learn the latest business-related technological advancements. Continue reading Walton College Executive Education Offers Summer Technology Series

Salty Snacks – It’s All Academic

Hmmm. What to pick … pretzels, potato chips, corn chips, energy bars or popcorn?

For marketing seniors and juniors in the Marketing Category Management class at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, walking through the snack aisle in the grocery store is more than a shopping trip, it’s an academic study.

Bob Bachtel, an instructor for the Department of Marketing and a principal for IRI Worldwide in Bentonville, leads this class and challenges students to research the salty snack category, devise a plan to drive sales and then present their solutions to the class and industry experts. The competitive exercise was the culmination of the class, which focused on data analysis using shopper and sales trends, product placement, shelving/modular and product placement design software and presentation skills.

The class is designed to provide students a strong skill set to get a job in the growing field of category management.  Students can get certified in category management and Kantar Virtual Reality and learn to use shopper and sales data in category and business analysis. 

Throughout the spring 2019 semester, category management students benefitted from corporate mentors and speakers from Walmart, Sam’s Club, IRI Worldwide, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, 8th& Walton, General Mills, PepsiCo, Harvest Group, Keurig/Dr. Pepper and Smuckers.

In addition, companies such as IRI Worldwide, the Category Management Association and Kantar Retail provided data sets and computer-aided design software to assist in researching shopper trends and placing products on shelves digitally.

Teamwork
For the final class project, the students formed six teams and began to research the overall category, find areas of growth in product development and target markets. From there, teams devised new or improved product lines, such as:

  • Dos Cara 2019
    Team One: Dos Caras 2019

    Team One – Dos Caras, Spice It Up, a new plain corn chip with flavor packets to add according to the spiciness level of the consumer’s choice. Target market: millennials and young adults.

  • Team Two – Simply, a new product line of organic corn chips with guacamole and Sriracha hot sauce flavors. Target market: millennials through flavor and older adults through pricing.
  • Team Three – New packaging and flavors for KIND bars, an existing product line. Target market: older millennials and baby boomers.
  • Team Four: Pop Fuego
    Team Four: Pop Fuego

    Team Four – Pop Fuego, a new line of popcorn with new flavors. Target market: middle class millennials

  • Team Five – Marley’s Seaweed Chips, a new veggie chip. Target market: health conscious adults.
  • Team Six – New flavors for Tostitos, expanding an existing product with new flavors. Target market: Asian and Hispanic markets in west coast, Texas and southern states.

Industry professionals judged the six presentations on:

  • Thesis statement or the strength of the idea presented.
  • Supporting documentation or evidence.
  • Creativity in solution.
  • Presentation skills.
  • Wow factor.

Several teams noted the increasing Hispanic population and one team noted the increasing Asian population for their target market. Students also researched trends of Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers and more. From there, they researched product flavors and spokespersons that might appeal to those ages and markets.

Some targeted consumers interested in healthy snacks, while other teams targeted cost conscious consumers.  The target audience would shape how each team promoted its product. Those focused on cost cutting would use coupons as a marketing tool, while products focused on the Hispanic market might launch the new product line before Cinco de Mayo (May 5) or during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). 

With the research done, consumer audience identified, products designed, and presentations created, teams were ready to present their work to judges Cole Dodson from IRI, and Steve Meehan, a retired industry executive, and Bob Bachtel.  

The winning team of Dos Caras consisted of students Bobbi Thompson, Chase Punko, De’stani Clark, Mohamad Abutaleb and Ashley Grizzle.
The winning team of Dos Caras consisted of students Bobbi Thompson, Chase Punko, De’stani Clark, Mohamad Abutaleb and Ashley Grizzle.

And the Winner Is …
The Dos Caras, Spice It Up! team won the class competition due to its proposed unique spice packet that comes with each bag of unflavored tortilla chips. The consumer adds the amount of spice they like to plain chips and then shakes the clear, re-sealable bag to distribute the flavors. If the consumer wants more spice, they add more.

The Dos Caras (Two Faces) product targeted Gen X and Baby Boomer population and the growing Hispanic market in the mid-Atlantic states and key markets in the western United States. It would launch with three flavors:  hot sauce/jalapeno, chili/lime and mango/chili.

Dos Caras presentation included sales profit of $1.7 million for 450 Walmart stores at a sales price of $2.48 per bag.

The team tackled a 2% loss in the unflavored chip market with this interactive product. Its main competitors are the Juanita’s, Tostitos and Old Dutch brands. 

The salty snack industry is a $19 billion industry with 4% annual growth.

 

 

Nominate a Business Leader for the 2020 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame board is accepting nominations for the 2020 class of business leaders who have made a lasting contribution to business and their communities. The nomination deadline is July 31.

Arkansas Business Hall of Fame
Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

Specific criteria for selection and a list of past honorees can be found at walton.uark.edu/abhf. Nominations can be made by completing and submitting the form found on the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame website or sending a letter of nomination including information that illustrates to the selection committee why the nominee deserves recognition.

Nominations also may be emailed to abhf@walton.uark.edu or by mail to the Office of External Relations at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development, Office of External Relations, Room 217, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201.

The 2020 class will be inducted at a gala dinner Feb. 7, 2020, in Little Rock.

In selecting inductees, the committee considers outstanding leadership in establishing, building or running a business; improving his or her community; and displaying the highest level of ethics.

Equal consideration is given to Arkansans – by birth or by choice – whose business achievements have been inside or outside of the state. Living inductees must be at least 60 years of age. Nominations are not limited to graduates of the Sam M. Walton College of Business or the University of Arkansas.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Kids Sell Lemonade Like a Boss on Saturday

On Saturday, May 4, Northwest Arkansas youth will learn how to become an entrepreneur through Lemonade Day, an educational activity that teaches children how to operate a business.

That day pop-up lemonade stands will blanket the region — from Gentry to Farmington and Bentonville to Fayetteville — as students compete to raise the most money. Afterschool programs such as Boys & Girls Clubs will also participate. 

To launch their businesses, students will:

  • Design their product and stand.
  • Select a location.
  • Borrow startup capital.
  • Determine a price.
  • Payoff their loan.
  • Create their marketing.
  • Make a profit.
2018 Lemonade Day Stand
2018 Lemonade Day

Projects usually support a charitable organization as well as reward the students for their entrepreneurial spirit.  

Under the direction of J.R. Hinkson, associate director for Undergraduate Programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, students in Leadership Walton, a professional development program at Walton College, are teaching the curriculum to kids in grades 3-8. Rita Littrell, director of the Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education at Walton College, provided support to the Leadership Walton students as they developed lessons on product development, pitching the investor, marketing, stand location and budgeting.

Partnering with Startup Junkie, an entrepreneurial consulting company that is managing the Lemonade Day program, Leadership Walton students served as mentors for elementary school classes.

Show these budding entrepreneurs your support and purchase lemonade in your neighborhood! Most stands can be found near your favorite retail outlet or downtown community.

Leadership Walton students participating in the program are:

Bailey Bennett

Chloe Brammell

Isabelle Brammell

Alexis Byrd

Sean Calhoun

Jordan Carr

Diane Charles

Brooke Dollar

Violet Duffy

Hagan Fromme

Katie Games

Sara Gardner

Faith Heller

Tess Iler

Kirsten James

Anna Justice

Kate Lynn

Andrea Mann

Ben Martin

Juliann Phillips

Destiny Posey

Abbie Rhodes

Alyson Schutte (Team Leader)

Sara Scott

Prudhvi Tavva

Corey Vance

Evan Waicberg

Helen Woodham

 

Meehan Receives Supply Chain Scholarship

McKenzie Meehan, a junior majoring in supply chain management at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, at the University of Arkansas, was awarded an Excellence in Education Scholarship by AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education). Meehan is one of five recipients nationally to receive the award.

AWESOME is comprised of women in executive roles in the supply chain industry. Each year the organization invites 22 universities with top supply chain programs to nominate one student to compete for the scholarship. Faculty members nominate young women currently enrolled in supply chain programs who demonstrate supply chain leadership.

“I am excited that McKenzie received this award because I believe that she embodies the characteristics that make for a successful supply chain leader,” said Stephanie Thomas, clinical assistant professor at the Walton College. “She is highly motivated, willing to work hard, equally comfortable in a leadership or supporting role, dependable and coachable. The connections she will make through this scholarship award will be invaluable to her future supply chain career.”

The AWESOME Excellence in Education scholarship will allow Meehan to participate in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals EDGE Conference in Anaheim, California, in September 2019 and the AWESOME Symposium in May 2020.

“This scholarship allows me the chance to acquire knowledge and experience from incredible women and industry leading companies and then extend that investment from myself to the other students here at Walton College,” Meehan said.

Recently the Chancellor’s Commission on Women named Meehan one of the University of Arkansas’ Extraordinary Women. She also serves as the president of Women Impacting Supply Chain Excellence, a registered student organization on campus, and is a student member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, a national professional organization. Meehan is personnel chair for the Chi Omega sorority and chairs the senior relations committee for the Student Alumni Board at the University of Arkansas. She interned with Academy Sports + Outdoors last summer and will intern with General Mills this summer. She hails from Overland Park, Kansas.

The additional student scholarship recipients for 2019 attend Michigan State University, Auburn University, Penn State and Syracuse University. Previous scholarship winners from the University of Arkansas are Kyani Alford, a 2016 recipient, and Monica Sewell, a 2018 recipient. 

Office of Diversity & Inclusion Celebrates 25 Years at Walton College

On Friday, April 5, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted an award ceremony and reception at the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville to mark its 25thanniversary at the University of Arkansas.

Jim Coleman, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas, recognized Barbara Lofton, Ed.D., for her 23 years of service as the director for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion – the oldest diversity office at a Southeastern Conference business school.

“Barbara is a beacon on the hill for us,” Coleman said.  “The fact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion has been here 25 years is a testament to Walton College’s commitment.”

“I’m proud of the work Barbara and her team have done to recruit and retain such excellent students over the years,” said Matt Waller, Walton College dean. “Barbara’s leadership and her attention to students has been life changing for many young people.”

(l-r) Matt Waller, Barbara Lofton and Ebony Wyatt ask attendees to toast the Office of Diversity & Inclusion in honor of its 25th anniversary.
(l-r) Matt Waller, Barbara Lofton and Ebony Wyatt ask attendees to toast the Office of Diversity & Inclusion in honor of its 25th anniversary.

Ebony Wyatt, director of sales at General Mills, emceed the event. Wyatt, a Walton College alumna, shared her own memories of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. She first learned about Walton College through the Accounting Career Awareness Program summer camp hosted by the diversity office when Wyatt was a junior in high school. She also credits Lofton with helping her secure her first professional job with General Mills. Wyatt now teams up with Lofton and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to host career workshops focused on helping students successfully secure a full-time job.

“She’s like a mother hen,” Wyatt said of Lofton. “She is always there to help support you, push you and encourage you to be your best!”

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion named two individuals Diversity Champions for their work to support minorities, students and entrepreneurs:  Lonnie R. Williams, Ed.D., special assistant to the chancellor at Arkansas State University and former assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Arkansas, and Oliver L. Sims III,

America’s technical sales leader for CA Technologies, a division of Broadcom, the managing partner of Oliver Sims Advisors and Investors and co-founder of Henry Health, a mental health and self care support digital platform.

Walton College students were also honored for their leadership in the National Association of Black Accountants and the Students of Retailing Excellence student organizations. Recognized were Eric Mays – accounting senior, Joe Bradley Jr. – accounting senior, Victoria Fields – management senior, De’Stani Clark – marketing senior, Malik Dedner – Master of Accountancy candidate, Fredrica Harris – MBA candidate and Jada Gaspard – marketing senior.

Keynote speaker student De’Stani Clark shared how the Office of Diversity & Inclusion had personally encouraged her as a student at the university. Before starting college, Clark’s mother was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, which left Clark with serious choices. Clark was not sure she should leave her family to attend college due to her mother’s illness but chose to attend with her mother’s encouragement.  At the end of her spring semester freshman year, Clark’s mother passed away. Clark struggled emotionally the following academic year and leaned on the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

“I felt the light of love and support of Dr. Lofton, Dr. Hughes, Mrs. Anne and Ryan,” Clark said. “I challenge you to find two students in need and let them know they have the power to choose.”

Keynote speaker De’Stani Clark, a marketing senior, hugs Barbara Lofton as she completes her speech.
Keynote speaker De’Stani Clark, a marketing senior, hugs Barbara Lofton as she completes her speech.

The Gerald and Candace Alley Foundation, Con-Real, LP, and Ernst & Young sponsored the 25thanniversary event.

About the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Created in 1994, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion supports, advocates and assists the Walton College in developing plans for diversity throughout the school to increase representation, integration and the fundamentals of equality among all faculty, staff and students.

The department manages four summer outreach programs to educate high school students about business careers and opportunities at Walton College. The office also oversees several scholarship programs and business competitions for Walton College students.