Category Archives: Business

Walton College Executive Education Hosts Insight to Strategy Event

Sam M. Walton College of Business Executive Education will host a conversation and lecture exploring strategic planning with Graham Cobb, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce, on Dec. 3 in Bentonville.

Graham Cobb, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Graham Cobb, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce.

This program provides a roadmap for strategy, from vision to concept and eventually a living product. Cobb will share the strategic implications of the #BecauseBentonville campaign. Walton College Executive Education instructor Blake Woolsey will break down techniques and approaches of strategic conversations.

The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Live Room at Haxton Road Studios located at 222 SE 2nd St., #100, in Bentonville. Pre-registration is required. Registration costs $75 and includes appetizers with beverages.

Register now.

For more information about this and other offerings, contact Walton College Executive Education at ExecEd@walton.uark.edu or visit ExecEd.uark.edu/upcoming-programs.

Razorbacks: The Spice of Life

“Woooo Pigs Soey! Great game for the hogs. This copy of the paper came out after I had you a copy of the quilter program. I will bore you with another copy of events in Ruston.”

The Razorbacks were on the mind of 98-year-old Lundy E. Cavender as he wrote a quick note to accompany a newspaper article he sent to his two great nieces Lisa and Cara of Harrison, Arkansas.

Although he has lived in Ruston, Louisiana, since 1961, Lundy is a proud graduate of the University of Arkansas and several generations of Cavenders have followed in his footsteps to the university.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business recently solicited stories of multi-generational Razorbacks to learn why Walton College and the University of Arkansas is a way of life for many families. With four generations of graduates, the Cavender family of the Cavender Greek Seasoning fame shows how allegiance to the U of A is often a family affair.

Lundy Cavender
Lundy Cavender

“I got my degree on June 3, 1950, in business administration,” Lundy said. “All of my time at the university was just great. At that time, Fayetteville was filled up with veterans.”

Lundy, who was “almost 99” when he was interviewed, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a senior radioman. He supervised a team of 38 on the USS Louisville and directed gunfire for the ship. While doing so, he lost his hearing in his right ear due to the loud ammunition.

“I was awarded 10 battle stars.”

Originally from Idabel, Oklahoma, Lundy met and married a young woman from Little Rock after the war. He attended a community college in Little Rock and then moved to Fayetteville to complete his degree.

“The professors were so nice to me when I told them I had no hearing in my right ear,” Lundy said. “They’d put me on the front row. I was so thankful. They treated us like kings.”

His studies focused on marketing. His favorite subjects were sales and distribution. His least favorite class was accounting.

Due to a housing shortage, Lundy had to find accommodations off campus.

“For one year, I had to live in Prairie Grove. We arranged carpools to go to school. The last year I lived in Fayetteville in a little bitty apartment. The kitchen barely had enough room to get in it. But we survived it!”

“All the football games were on Saturday afternoons because Fayetteville didn’t have lights. I had a car and there would be only 10 or 15 cars on the north side of the stadium.”

The university built a special platform at Razorback Stadium on the 50-yard line for graduation, which was where Lundy received his diploma.

“I watch all the Razorback games I can,” said Lundy, the father of three daughters and one son. “But there’s a conflict at my house.”

Barbara Cavender Lewis
Barbara Cavender Lewis

While eldest daughter Barbara graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas, daughter Beverly graduated from Louisiana State University. The family calls Louisiana home now and he cheers for LSU … when they play anyone but the University of Arkansas.

“I still call for the Razorbacks! Remember when we beat Duke for the (NCAA basketball) championship?”

After completing his degree, he lived with his wife Mary Joan and 3-year-old daughter Barbara in California while working at the North American Aviation Company for only four months before being called back to active duty.

Lundy Cavender
Lundy Cavender

In his second stint with the Navy, Lundy traveled from Oakland, California, to the Panama Canal, up to Greenland and the Artic Circle on the USS Oakhill. At the end of his military service, he decided to visit friends in Fayetteville. One friend helped him get a job for the Chamber of Commerce in Helena, Arkansas, which was a stepping-stone for a job for the Chamber of Commerce in Shreveport, Louisiana, and then the Chamber of Commerce in Ruston in 1961.

Birds of a Feather

Like his great-great Uncle Lundy, Austin Price, who graduated from the Walton College in the spring of 2019 with a focus in marketing, has wonderful memories of the university.

“My dad has held the same football tickets since I was six years old,” Price said.  His family would attend football games and tailgate with friends. They would toss a football around and then walk to the stadium.

“That’s what got me to love the Razorbacks.”

Price notes four marketing professors that he credits with making the subject interesting and relevant to a part-time job at PAM Transport in Tontitown, Arkansas, where he interned during his last semester at Walton College:  Dub Ashton, John Cole, Molly Rapert and Anne Velliquette. In class, he learned a lot about relationships, “the biggest thing in business.”

“I love the campus – the beauty of it,” Price said.  “I’ll really miss tailgating as a student. Students are the leaders of the stadium.”

One thing Price won’t miss is walking up the hills! He encourages all freshmen to learn how to hide the huffing and puffing incurred while walking across campus.

Austin Price
Austin Price

He also encourages incoming freshmen to:

  1. Go to class! Even if you are tired, just wake up and go. It is amazing how much better you do.
  2. Meet as many people as you can. Join organizations.
  3. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class.
  4. It is okay if you don’t know what your major is; just take care of classes.

Price comes by his love of the Razorbacks naturally. His mom Lisa Cavender and his aunt Cara Cavender Wohlgemuthare both U of A graduates. They own and operate, along with Cara’s husband Lance, S-C Seasoning Company – the maker of Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning – in Harrison, which is in north central Arkansas not far from the Missouri border.

(l-r) Lisa Cavender, Cara Cavender Wohlgemuth and Lance Wohlgemuth
(l-r) Lisa Cavender, Cara Cavender Wohlgemuth and Lance Wohlgemuth

Lisa and Cara grew up knowing they would attend the university because of their father Steve’s and grandfather Spike’s attitude. Spike, the co-founder of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, only had an 8thgrade education. Steve, also a co-founder, urged his daughters to get a college education.

“He (dad) was adamant that Cara and I go to college,” Lisa said. “I chose Walton because I wanted a business degree.”

Lisa traveled around the country with her granddad “Spike” Cavender in the mid-1970s when he sold Cavender’s spice out of his car. It is no surprise that she earned a B.S.B.A. in marketing. Her younger sister Cara earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education.

“I never thought of going anywhere else,” Cara said.  The two siblings lived together during Cara’s freshman year.

“That lasted about three months,” Cara said and laughed.

Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning
Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning

The two sisters began to work at S-C Seasoning Company in 1994 after their father Steve issued an invitation to both of them and their spouses to join him.

“We were fortunate to have 15 years with our dad,” Lisa said.

“It’s a family business,” Cara added. “We all respect each other.”

When Lisa took her son Austin to Walton College for a tour, she immediately sought counsel from one of her favorite marketing professors Dub Ashton.

“Dub laid out Austin’s four year plan,” Lisa said.

Cara’s two daughters Katherine and Emily also chose the university earning social work and human environment science degrees respectively.

“We have a super sense of pride,” Lisa said of the three cousins. “All three of them have done well.”

With children in Fayetteville and an ongoing love of Razorback sports, Lisa and Cara travel to Fayetteville frequently.

“We keep the road hot,” Cara said.

Walton College and TheatreSquared Host Change Management Lecture

Sam M. Walton College of Business Executive Education will host a conversation and lecture exploring change management with TheatreSquared executive director Martin Miller on Nov. 21.

Martin Miller, executive director of TheatreSquared, will share his change management experiences with instructor Chris Case on Nov. 21. The public is invited to attend. Photo courtesy of TheatreSquared.
Martin Miller, executive director of TheatreSquared, will share his change management experiences with instructor Chris Case on Nov. 21. The public is invited to attend. Photo courtesy of TheatreSquared.

As executive director, Miller assisted TheatreSquared, Northwest Arkansas’s regional theater company, in building a $160,000 annual budget to more than $4 million, growing from two full-time employees to more than 30 and expanding its audience from 3,000 to 60,000 over the past decade. In August, the company moved into a new 50,000 square-foot home in downtown Fayetteville, adjacent to the Walton Arts Center.

Walton College Executive Education instructor Chris Case and  Miller will discuss Miller’s experiences working with a team of artists and community members to expand the organization. Case will deconstruct  how to use proactive and creative practices to create positive change management within any organization.

The program will be from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Walker Rehearsal Room at TheatreSquared, located at 477 W. Spring Street in Fayetteville. Pre-registration is required. Registration costs $75 and includes appetizers, beverages and parking. Register now.

For more information about this and other offerings, contact Walton College Executive Education at ExecEd@walton.uark.edu or visit ExecEd.uark.edu/upcoming-programs.

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.
Learn More 

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.
Learn More

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.
Learn More

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.”