BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce announced that President and CEO Graham Cobb will step down at the end of the year in a Monday, Nov. 22 press release.
During his tenure, Cobb led the organization in evolving its brand and its value to members. He has also helped modernize their services, taking advantage of digital technology to serve Bentonville-based businesses and attract new industries to the area, the release said.
The press release also noted that the chamber was recognized in 2019 by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) for the top marketing project in the U.S. regardless of budget or size of the organization.
The Bentonville Chamber has also evolved and advanced its own signature events, such as the NWA Tech Summit, which reached 30 states in 10 countries last year.
“I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last four years at the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber,” says Cobb. “The vision of the organization, the program of work, and the professional staff we have assembled is precisely what this dynamic community needs.”
Since 2017, Cobb has helped realize several great successes, including:
- Increasing its number of members as well as budgeted revenue each year.
- Launching the #BecauseBentonville hashtag, which has over 35,000 uses on Instagram since 2018.
- Being awarded 2019 Best in Show Award for Communication Excellence by The Association of Chamber
of Commerce Executives (ACCE) for its “Because Bentonville” Economic Development business
- In 2021 chamber had an average membership NPS of 9.3
- Helping to pass the 2021 Bentonville City Bond Extension
In 2019 he was named the Outstanding Chamber Executive by the Arkansas Economic Development and Chamber Executives Association and served on the ACCE board of directors the last two years.
“My mission has the whole of Arkansas as its purview. I’m excited to focus my energy on future endeavors that will help the state of Arkansas be the best it can be for business. This path will coalesce in the next few weeks, and the work will begin in earnest in 2022,” Cobb said.
Monica Kumar will become chairwoman in 2022, after Cobb’s departure and help identify a new CEO for the chamber.
According to the press release, she will work with Cobb and senior leaders to “facilitate a thoughtful transition, continue to serve our members, and search for a new leader to help us focus on maintaining the incredible momentum that has been generated under Cobb’s leadership and expects the process to be completed in Q1 of 2022.”