BeNext Bentonville Launched Center of Excellence to Develop Region as Global Supply Chain Capital

June 15, 2023    10:30 AM

Bentonville, AR (June 15, 2022) - BeNext Bentonville, a new development initiative from Respada, has launched a Center of Excellence with the goal of facilitating the making of Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas as the supply chain management capital of the world. Through multi-stakeholder collaboration and responsible economic growth, BeNext Bentonville aims to capitalize on the region's existing supply chain assets and expertise to attract talent, investment, and innovation.

A key component of the initiative is the new Respada Center of Excellence (CoE) on Global Supply Chain and Logistics. Respada’s Centers of Excellence (CoEs) bring together industry experts, companies from the sector and investors to facilitate greater collaboration in the specific industry sector. It hosts webinars with industry leaders, publishes thought leadership reports, and conducts research on industry trends. Fritz Steiger, Chairman of BeNext Bentonville, said: "Northwest Arkansas has all the right ingredients to become the epicenter for supply chain innovation and best practices. We look forward to catalyzing the region's evolution through collaboration."

BeNext Bentonville Launched Center of Excellence

Dr. Matt Waller, a named Fellow of the Center, said: "The Respada CoE will serve as a platform to amplify the region's supply chain expertise and connect the ecosystem of businesses, academia, and entrepreneurs that calls Northwest Arkansas home."

Why Bentonville? As the headquarters of Walmart, with 1,500 suppliers and logistics giants like J.B. Hunt and ArcBest, along with leading food businesses Tyson and Simmons Foods, Northwest Arkansas already has deep roots in supply chain management. The region is also home to the #1 ranked undergraduate supply chain management program in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the CSCMP Supply Chain Hall of Fame.

Respada is an invitation-only global platform that serves family offices by providing high-quality deal origination and philanthropic opportunities. The platform enables members to collaborate on private deals and philanthropy with a global community of fellow family offices, participate in virtual roadshows to showcase investment opportunities to other members, leverage Respada's network of expert professionals for deal sourcing and due diligence, and define portfolio goals and risk tolerance through Respada's robust structure.

Dr. Matthew A. Waller is Dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business. He is a leading researcher in supply chain management and business logistics with research that has over 12,000 citations. Dr. Waller has co-authored five books, including “Purple on the Inside: How J.B. Hunt Transport Set Itself Apart in a Field Full of Brown Cows” with Kirk Thompson, Chairman of J.B. Hunt Transport Services. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Business Logistics and on several editorial boards.

Dr. Waller is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He received the 2018 Whitney M. Young Award for his work to improve the lives of underserved Arkansans. He was appointed by the Governor of Arkansas to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Transformation Advisory Board. Arkansas Business Publishing Group recognized him as one of the 250 Most Influential Leaders in Arkansas.

As Dean, he has launched several new programs, received top rankings, led two successful AACSB reaccreditations, established master of science programs in healthcare, analytics, entrepreneurship and more. Dr. Waller has entrepreneurial experience as a co-founder of Mercari Technologies and Bentonville Associates Ventures. He has provided consulting for Hewlett Packard, Pillsbury, General Mills, Accenture, Walmart, J.B. Hunt, and many others.

Dr. Waller is also Operating Partner at NewRoad Capital Partners and an Advisory Board member of Natural Capital. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Rockefeller Institute.

Dr. Waller received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from Penn State, an M.S. in Business Administration from Penn State, and a B.S. in Business Administration, summa cum laude, from the University of Missouri.



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