Bell Moves to Bentonville Chamber (NWA Movers & Shakers)


James Bell of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce
James Bell of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce

James Bell has joined the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce as vice president of economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation.

In his 25-year career, Bell 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.


John William Blue of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
John William Blue of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith

John William Blue became the first executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith effective last week.

Blue was formerly director of student life and multicultural affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Jackson State University in Mississippi and a master’s degree in leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He expects to complete his Doctor of Education in Higher Education from the University of Mississippi in 2022.


Alain Monkam and Kenny Wasson of Arvest Wealth Management
Alain Monkam and Kenny Wasson of Arvest Wealth Management (Composite photo)

Alain Monkam and Kenny Wasson, associates of Arvest Wealth Management, were among the honorees of the American Bankers Association’s inaugural 40 Under 40 in Wealth Management Award.

Monkam works in Lowell, where he manages individual and institutional fixed income portfolios for Arvest’s Trust Division and Arvest Investment Management Group. He is president of the Chartered Financial Analysts Society in Arkansas.

Wasson is a client adviser for Arvest Wealth Management in Little Rock and a member of the Financial Planning Association.


Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson has been appointed executive director of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, a job that for the first time is posted at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station in Fayetteville. The SAAESD is the association of experiment station directors from 13 Southern states plus the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Thompson was previously associate dean for research and graduate education at Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station. Before that, he was a professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University.


See more of this week's Movers & Shakers, and submit your own announcement at ArkansasBusiness.com/Movers.