Ron Mayer was Wal-Mart’s chairman and CEO from 1974 to 1976. And although founder Sam Walton had served previously as de facto CEO, Mayer was the first to hold the title. Mayer, now 77, worked for Wal-Mart from July 1, 1969, to June 30, 1976.
The Walton International Scholarship Program is an Arkansas-specific program available to South American students. Participants get a full ride, paid for entirely by the program, to either Harding in Searcy, John Brown University in Siloam Springs or the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville. Sam Walton himself started it 26 years ago.
Because Wal-Mart is a master of logistics it got those items and more to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit this country. And Wal-Mart got those goods to the people of the devastated Gulf Coast faster than did the government of the United States.
From highways to airports, from homes to banks, from dining to the arts, the Wal-Mart presence is felt mightily in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area anchored by the three cities plus Wal-Mart’s home in Bentonville.
In preparation for the IPO, a hodge-podge of ownership interests in different stores was consolidated under one corporate banner: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The corporation represented the merger of 78 partners that owned pieces of 32 stores, with the Walton family owning a majority stake in each. The stores also were a mixed bag of Wal-Mart Discount City, Ben Franklin, Walton’s Family Center and Ben Franklin Family Center.
The lessons Sam Walton learned during those early, successful years of Wal-Mart allowed him to build the most successful retail chain in history. And just like the times that he took his planes up to search for potential Wal-Mart sites, it was Mr. Sam himself who was behind the stick, deciding which direction to go.
Alice Walton told journalists at a media tour Monday that her greatest surprise in the journey toward completion of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art had been the public reaction to her brainchild. "I never expected people to be so excited," the Wal-Mart heiress said.
Part of the dynamic growth Bentonville has experienced over the past decade revolves around downtown revitalization. Many new businesses have opened around the downtown square. That emphasis on keeping downtown vibrant as the city grows has earned it recognition as a 2011 Arkansas Business City of Distinction in the category of Main Street Preservation.
Articles about Alice Walton and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art have tended to focus on big numbers: an $800 million endowment, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of artwork, 200,000 square feet of museum space, 250,000 people expected to visit the Bentonville showplace yearly. Alice Walton loves art; she finds it transformative, spiritual. She loves American history, and American art tells the American story. She wants to share these loves.
Ryan Mallett, the former Arkansas quarterback is taking a break from training for the NFL Draft and is making several promotional stops, including four autograph signings at local Wal-Mart stores on Friday and Saturday. Mallett’s schedule: