Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club, officially was named presiding co-chair of the Northwest Arkansas Council during its annual meeting held Wednesday (Aug. 13) at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville.
Brewer was recognized earlier this year by Forbes magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. After 22 years with Kimberly-Clark, she joined Walmart in 2006 as a regional vice president. She was promoted multiple times, becoming the leader of the company’s Sam’s Club division in 2012.
She takes over for Mark Simmons, who has served as the council’s presiding co-chair since June 2013. Simmons, one of the Council’s founding members, is chairman of Simmons Foods in Siloam Springs.
The council, which was established in 1990, is a private, non-profit organization committed to sustaining and improving Northwest Arkansas as a great place to live and conduct business. The organization has a history of being led by Northwest Arkansas’ top business leaders and executives. Alice Walton was chair when the organization was first established and then John Paul Hammerschmidt took over in 1993.
Hammerschmidt, who was ending his 26 years in Congress, led the Council until 2006. In 2006, the Council announced that it would use a system of presiding co-chairs to serve as the organization’s top official, changing the presiding co-chair annually. Past presiding co-chairs are Simmons, Lee Scott, Jim Walton, John A. White, Kirk Thompson, David Gearhart and John Tyson.