BENTONVILLE, AR – The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce has named James Bell as the Vice President of Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Bell is an accomplished senior executive leader with more than 25 years of diverse business experience in a variety of corporate and non-profit environments. He brings to the table a proven track record in entrepreneurial ecosystem growth and direct industry recruitment. His passion for economic development, entrepreneurship, innovation, and 21st-century economic growth led him to return to his native state to contribute and build on Bentonville’s storied success.
“Purposeful business attraction, creation, and retention are crucial elements for fueling Bentonville’s 21st-century economy. I’m thrilled to join the Chamber’s talented team and our community partners to fully focus on this effort. Bentonville’s distinct sense of place and global business reach make it an exceptional destination for businesses and workers who are seeking to maximize their opportunities and lives,” says Bell.
Immediately prior to his role at the Chamber, James was Founder and President of Medical Device Guru LLC, an Adjunct Professor in the MBA and entrepreneurship programs at Christian Brothers University in Memphis and International Business Executive-in-Residence at The University of Memphis Research Foundation Research Park. He graduated from Christian Brothers University with an MBA and an Executive Certificate in Project Management. He also earned undergraduate degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
“James’ unique background and skillset will guide our region forward as we work to recruit global businesses, the talent needed to fuel them and remote workers. I’m also excited to see James draw on his entrepreneurial experiences to help connect early-stage firms to the myriad of resources offered in Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas,” stated Graham Cobb, President & CEO of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce.
James joined the Chamber in November of 2020. This capacity focused on strategic economic development is made possible through the continued support from the Walton Family Foundation. The Chamber’s economic development team directs a robust course of action. They act as a trusted resource for providing programming to build an inclusive and equitable business community, give a unified voice to more than 1,000 of Bentonville’s businesses and drive economic sustainability and growth at the main street level, using robust feedback loops with more than 800 small businesses to provide tools and resources to meet their self-defined challenges. The Chamber’s outbound scope of work helps to increase brand awareness through innovative marketing strategies as well as recruit established and pre-scale industry, remote workers, capital, and talent to Bentonville.