Category Archives: Business

State of Northwest Arkansas Region, Business Analysis Set for Nov. 5

The Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Northwest Arkansas Council, will release the eighth yearly State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report on Nov. 5.

The State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report, first published in 2011, will be shared at a luncheon, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors Event Center at 314 N. Goad Springs Road in Lowell. Attendees can arrive at 10:45 a.m. for networking.

Greg Pogue, left, and Mervin Jebaraj, right.
Greg Pogue, left, and Mervin Jebaraj, right.

Speakers will include Greg Pogue of the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas, which is a “think-and-do tank” that explores factors that promote economic development and creates programs to promote good business practices around the world, and economist Mervin Jebaraj, director of the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

Pogue and his team at the IC2 Institute spent more than a year studying entrepreneurship in Northwest Arkansas. Pogue will share his final report, called “Innovate Again, Innovate Here,” at the luncheon. His Northwest Arkansas research and assessment was funded by the Walton Family Foundation.

Jebaraj will outline the economic highlights in the State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report as well as economic data and statistics from the Center for Business and Economic Research’s Quarterly Business Analysis. The report is widely viewed as one of the best measures of performances compared to peer regions such as Madison, Wisconsin; Raleigh, North Carolina; Provo, Utah; Des Moines, Iowa; and Austin, Texas.

The cost for the program and luncheon is $45. Preregistration is required, and the deadline is Friday, Nov. 1. Reservations can be made for the luncheon at cber.uark.edu or by calling 479-575-4151.

Walton College Executive Education Fall Courses Announced

The Sam M. Walton College of Business Executive Education’s upcoming Fall 2019 programs are specifically designed to accelerate leadership objectives and hone business skills. Led by Walton College faculty and industry experts, the programs empower participants with skills and experiences to advance their career and enable them to make valuable contributions within the organization. Courses will take place in Little Rock at Walton College at 2nd & Main.

Fall executive educations courses include:

Innovative Supplier Relationship Management Practices
August 21, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
$750

Supplier relationship management (SRM) and supplier enabled innovation (SEI) can enable your organization to maximize the value of your organization’s interaction with its key suppliers. SRM is a procurement approach that challenges you to manage your key suppliers to unlock value and stay competitive. Based on our research and experience, we have developed a roadmap and a toolkit for moving to best in class. This course unpacks the toolkit and supports participants in the development of a roadmap towards the frontier of best practices.
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The Power of Leadership
October 3, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$325

Leaders are expected to be both leaders and managers, which means they need to understand the difference between management authority and leadership influence. Based on the West Point model of leader development, we’ve seen how great leaders develop influence based on their character, their competence and their behavior as a leader. These inputs create organizational outcomes such as trust, positive emotional energy and extraordinary performance – all of which are hallmarks of a great organization.
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Leading with Emotional Intelligence
October 10, 2019
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
$225

Emotional Intelligence (EI) and a strong commitment to personal values are integral to effective leadership. Leaders with these skills are keenly aware of their emotions and the emotions of others, and they use those insights to lead, engage and empower those around them. This course will aid in developing EI skills to make a more significant impact on the participant’s organization and create a stronger leader.
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Introduction to Continuous Improvement
October 17, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$325

This course will introduce you to continuous improvement practices and teach you how to manage the process using the following tools: strategy development and deployment, loss identification, value stream mapping, process improvement, problem-solving, action planning, score carding and monthly results reviews.
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The Power of Effective Storytelling
October 30, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$325

Whether you’re trying to communicate a vision, sell an idea or inspire commitment, storytelling is a powerful business tool that can mean the difference between lackluster enthusiasm and a rallying cry. This course will teach participants the art and science of utilizing compelling storytelling as a strategic benefit for the organization and a leadership technique in business and personal conversations and presentations.
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Creating Value-Based Healthcare in a Patient-Centered World
November 6, 2019
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
$75

The healthcare delivery system is a large, complex and sophisticated value creation chain. Successfully changing this highly interconnected system is difficult and time-consuming because the underlying problems are challenging to comprehend, the root causes are many, the solution is unclear and the relationships among issues, objectives and resolution are multifaceted. The terms patient-centered and value-based have become buzz words for payment and delivery reform in health care. The process of healthcare measures and patient safety indicators can be challenging, given the unique nuances of the healthcare delivery system. This course will examine the underlying healthcare problems using information, data and logic. Participants will become aware of critical challenges in streamlining healthcare and will be provided with tools to improve outcomes in business performance for their healthcare organizations.
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Captivating Audiences
November 14, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$325

Your professional reputation is reflected in your communications. This course will improve your interpersonal communications, business writing and public speaking skills and is designed for managers, directors and rising leaders who want to polish communication abilities to showcase leadership skills.
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Ethical Leadership
December 5, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$325

We expect leaders to do things right, but we also expect them to do the right thing. This is an expectation held by employees as well as customers and other stakeholders. Instructor Michael Hennelly uses his West Point ethical leadership teaching experience to highlight leaders who show ethical awareness, understand ethical reasoning and display ethical courage, creating stronger, more effective leaders. The course concludes with examples of real-world ethical challenges that attendees are invited to discuss, debate and resolve.
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Strategic Leadership
January 30, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$325

Strategic leadership is a unique model of leadership. Strategic leaders of organizations have different jobs than team leaders in organizations. We expect team leaders to win the day-to-day battles, but we hope strategic leaders will win the long-term war. Strategic leaders need to understand leadership, but they also need to understand strategy. The strategic leadership course uses examples from the world of military and corporate strategy to identify the essential tasks of strategic leaders. We have seen how great leaders develop influence based on their character, their competence, and their behavior. These inputs, in turn, generate organizational outcomes such as trust, positive emotional energy, and extraordinary performance, all of which are hallmarks of great organizations.
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Walton College Engages Students Through Summer Programs

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted four residential summer camps in June to introduce high school students to the University of Arkansas and Walton College.

The four camps introduce high ability minority students to career options, campus resources and campus life.

“Introducing college life to high school kids who may not otherwise have this opportunity is life changing,” said Barbara Lofton, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for Walton College. “Through our summer camp programs, these students meet faculty and staff, stay in dorm rooms and eat meals on campus, participate in research and learn about academic and career opportunities available to them.

“It changes their perception of college and makes them feel at home here.”

The Business Leadership Academy, held June 9-13, introduced newly admitted freshmen to campus life. The students enhanced leadership skills through team projects and met Walton staff and faculty. The program also told students about career opportunities in retail and marketing.

The Fleischer Scholars Program, held June 16-21, hosted two camps for low income high school juniors and seniors whose parents did not attend college. Fleischer Scholars Program I was for students new to the program. Fleischer Scholars Program II welcomed back students who attended the camp previously.

The weeklong camps taught students how to research, develop and present a business plan and helped them transition from high school to college. The Fleischer Scholars Program provides a four-year partial college scholarship to participants.

The Accounting Career Awareness Program was held June 23-28 for underrepresented high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers in accounting. Students attended undergraduate classes and networked with accouting professionals. Workshops focused on basic skills needed for accounting careers, business etiquette and requirements for certified public accountants.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established in 1994 to support, advocate and assist Walton College in developing plans for diversity and supporting students throughout the college. It is the oldest office of diversity at an Southeastern Conference business school and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. For more information regarding the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit walton.uark.edu/diversity.

 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.

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.

Lofton Receives National Public Service Award

The American Association of Blacks in Higher Education presented Barbara Lofton, director of Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, with the AABHE Exemplary Public Service Award on Monday, March 25, for her work to improve the lives of African Americans. Lofton received the award in Indianapolis at the AABHE’s annual national conference.

“I am so proud of Barbara and the work she does for Walton College and for higher education throughout the SEC,” said Matt Waller, dean for the Walton College. “She works tirelessly on behalf of the University of Arkansas to recruit and retain students here on campus through a variety of programs, scholarships and activities. She is a true gem.”

The public service award recognizes recipients for their work to develop and implement community, political or business programs to encourage black Americans in those sectors. In addition, the award reflects the honoree’s commitment to the AABHE and its mission.

Barbara A. Lofton, Ph.D., is the director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
Barbara A. Lofton, Ph.D., is the director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Lofton served as past president of the AABHE from 2011 to 2013, served on its executive board from 2006 to 2106 and was a founding member of AABHE when it was formed in 2006.  As president, she increased the organization’s membership, built partnerships with outside organizations and added a service component to its annual conference. The service projects raised funds to provide books, technology or food for underserved communities. Lofton also raised $200,000 through sponsorships for the national conference.

In addition to her executive duties with AABHE, Lofton was co-author of the book Priorities of the Professoriate: Engaging Multiple Forms of Scholarship across Rural and Urban Institutions. She was co-editor for the National Journal of Urban Education & Practice, a journal for the AABHE in 2012.

At Walton College, Lofton oversees diversity programs and scholarships. As part of her position, she manages programs to recruit and retain minority students including summer camps and business competitions. Additionally, Lofton teaches classes in the Walton College and serves as a consultant to several Southeastern Conference business schools to establish and support their diversity programs.  

“I learned that leadership is not about you, but the people you serve,” Lofton said. “My reward comes when you have the opportunity to see the benefits of your work for those you serve and for yourself.”

Taking the RB Challenge

RB, a multinational consumer goods company, challenged students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business to think about the corporation’s product in totally new ways. While the challenge competition lasted only two days, the winning team continues to reap the benefits.

Last fall, Lindsey Wagaman, a junior at the University of Arkansas double-majoring in marketing and supply chain management, teamed up with fellow students — Sydney Brooks, a senior majoring in marketing, and Dylan Seelye, a senior majoring in finance — to accept the two-day RB business challenge: present a solution on how to increase market share of MegaRed Krill Oil, an omega-3 supplement.

On the first day, student teams reviewed sales and research on MegaRed, a Schiff Vitamin brand that is a subsidiary of RB, a multinational consumer goods company. RB executives coached teams and delivered feedback on presentation strategy and approach.

Wagaman, Brooks and Seelye gathered information, collaborated on ideas and developed a presentation.

“My team agreed that the majority of people who took krill oil pills were affluent middle-aged to elderly adults. We decided to position MegaRed products as a preventative measure for the whole family in order to expand the target market,” Wagaman said. “To do this, we proposed krill oil gummy vitamins for kids, biscuits and oil for dogs and subscription boxes. We highlighted different marketing aspects such as a heart mascot on the gummies and connections to popular nonprofit organizations like the American Heart Association.”

On the second day, student teams presented solutions to RB. While Wagaman, Brooks and Seelye’s team won the challenge, they received more than just bragging rights.

“Hands-on experience is one of the most valuable skills students can have. Having the opportunity to work on a real problem faced by a company helps students change their perspective and think about issues differently,” Wagaman said. “Many of the questions recruiters ask in interviews are about past experience in particular situations. Being able to draw on these experiences as answers to interview questions is a simple way to highlight hands-on experience and give students an upper hand when job hunting.”

Jordan Fry was the RB representative I gave my executive pitch to. As I was going through my involvement and experience he continually asked me why I do the things I do, and what I’m passionate about. I had never taken a step back to think about what I was really passionate about from a professional standpoint before. This question was asked throughout the two-day competition. Because of the push to connect the personal aspect to our professional careers, my group and I incorporated personal stories and experiences into our presentation.”

My group and I have remained in contact with RB representatives since the challenge,” Wagaman said. “We have been able to meet with them to further develop our solutions from the challenge and receive executive mentorship. I’m looking forward to maintaining my relationship with RB and continuing to work with them on our ideas.”

RB Challenge Benefits
“The most impactful part about RB’s Challenge to me was the amount of direct feedback each student received. On the first day of the challenge we each gave our executive pitches to an RB representative. Students received one-on-one feedback including tips for interviews and professional advice. Direct feedback is not something most employers or representatives give to students seeking internships or careers,” Wagaman said. “I would recommend all students apply for the spring RB Challenge because it’s a valuable opportunity that not many students get.”

Students have the opportunity to take the RB Challenge on Thursday, Feb. 7, by registering on Handshake no later than Thursday, Jan. 31. 

Find out more about the RB Challenge through the Career Development Services at theSam M. Walton College of Business by emailing Catherine Beasley, corporate programs manager, at cbeasley@walton.uark.edu.

About RB 
RB — the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company — never tires of challenging the norm, and keeps giving people innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. Visit RB.com for more information on RB’s career opportunities and graduate programs.​

Walton College Offers Online Degree in Supply Chain Management

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas now offers an online bachelor’s degree in supply chain management. Through a partnership with the university’s Global Campus, Walton College now supports three online bachelor’s degree programs: supply chain management, general business and accounting.

“I am proud to add a supply chain management degree to our lineup of online degree offerings,” said Matthew Waller, dean of the Walton College. “It opens up a world of possibilities for nontraditional students, no matter where they live or work.”

The online program in supply chain management will prepare students for leadership roles in a fast growing, complex and demanding field. Supply chain talent must be able to excel with the emergence of analytical capabilities as the market expands globally. Therefore, companies are continuously seeking new talent to keep pace with the rapidly changing interface of the supply chain.

“Businesses are currently experiencing a shortage in supply chain talent, so adding the online supply chain degree program reflects our ongoing efforts to advance the college’s vision for being a catalyst for transforming the lives of our students, while contributing great talent to the industry,” said Brian Fugate, chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management.

Students can begin the supply chain management bachelor’s program and complete all four years of coursework online. Students with past college credit can also complete the rest of their bachelor’s degrees online. To graduate, scholars must complete at least 120 credit hours, including the university’s core requirements and select Supply Chain Management courses.

Walton College’s Department of Supply Chain Management is ranked 15th in the nation by the 2018 U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Colleges” and by leading research and advisory company Gartner in its biennial North American Supply Chain University Program Survey.

“Online degree programs provide the flexibility needed by some students to overcome barriers of time, distance and life demands,” said Don Judges, vice provost for Distance Education. “The new online supply chain degree is the perfect complement to the U of A’s growing list of online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.”

The new program is one of about 40 online programs offered completely or primarily online by U of A academic colleges and schools.

Online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree options are showcased on the University of Arkansas ONLINE website, as well as online certificate, licensure and endorsement programs. Online programs are administered by the Global Campus, which is a U of A support unit.

About the Department of Supply Chain Management: In addition to faculty expertise, our students benefit from the Walton College Supply Chain Management Research Center, which connects students to industry executives, internships and job opportunities. Recognizing the quality of the supply chain program faculty and graduates, U.S. News & World Report has rated the Walton College supply chain program among the best in the United States.

About the Global Campus: The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

Urban League Honors Dean Matthew Waller

Matthew A. Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, will receive the Whitney M. Young Award for his work to improve the lives of underserved Arkansans at a luncheon hosted by the Urban League of the State of Arkansas on Dec. 5 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.

“It is quite an honor for me to be a recognized by the Urban League,” said Waller. “An integral part of the Walton College mission is to serve all Arkansans, something I take seriously. To aid us in our mission, Walton College leans on our Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the oldest diversity office of any SEC business college. We also provide scholarships and academic support resources to assist and retain students. This support is important to our school, industry and state.”

The luncheon, chaired by Lottie Shackelford, former mayor of Little Rock, recognizes the contributions of individuals who help provide equal opportunities for all Arkansans.

Waller was chosen for the honor because of his commitment to diversity and inclusion at Walton College and within the state.  Annie Abrams, a longtime civil rights activist, will also be recognized at the event.

For additional information or to purchase tickets for the event, contact the Urban League at info@urbanleagueark.org