Graham Cobb is stepping down as president and CEO of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce at the end of the year, the group announced Monday.
Since Cobb took the reins in 2017, the nonprofit business organization has seen expanded membership and increased revenue. It also helped to pass the 2021 Bentonville City Bond Extension and won the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives' 2019 Best in Show Award for Communication Excellence.
Cobb, a former chief operating officer at the Little Rock Regional Chamber, said in a news release that he's focusing 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," he said. "I get to remain in Bentonville, a city that has been quick to find a foothold in my heart. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of building something truly special.”
The chamber modernized its facilities and services under Cobb, leaning into technology and digital platforms to serve existing Bentonville-based businesses and recruiting new industry to the area, the release says. The chamber engages approximately 6,500 registered attendees of 35 key events annually.
Incoming 2022 Chairwoman Monica Kumar will immediately lead a search for the chamber's next CEO. The process is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
Chief Operating Officer Travis Stephens, Executive Vice President Ashley Wardlow and Vice President of Member Engagement & Events Sherry Rolsma will handle the group's daily operations until the next CEO is found.
Kumar praised Cobb for building a "bright and innovative future" for the chamber and said members are thrilled that the Little Rock native is staying in northwest Arkansas.
“I am excited to work with the team and the Board as we move forward with considering the next phase of leadership," she said.