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Brandom Gengelbach Discusses Goals for Greater Bentonville Chamber

2 min read

Brandom Gengelbach became CEO of the Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce in October. He has more than 20 years of experience as an executive in chambers of commerce in Fort Worth, Texas; Indianapolis; and Maury County, Tennessee.

Gengelbach, a native of Houston, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and an MBA from the University of Southampton in England.

What attracted you to the Bentonville chamber job?

There is nothing like Bentonville and northwest Arkansas anywhere else in the country: the schools, arts, recreation, job market, restaurants — all wrapped up in a family-first environment. And did I mention how blessed we are to have XNA? When you combine our amenities with a community culture that supports continuous improvement and innovation, you have the right ingredients to create the best community in the world. I wanted to be a part of that effort.

Coming from Fort Worth, do you see similarities with Bentonville? What are the differences?

Fort Worth is a big city with a small-town feel. Bentonville is a small town that feels like a big city. Bentonville not only has the amenities of a big city, but it also feels like a big city when you meet residents from around the world. Our residents are talented and accomplished professionals who all have a passion for living and working in a small, tight-knit community. Fort Worth and the Dallas-Fort Worth area have market dynamics where growth happens organically. In Bentonville, there must be a strong, intentional effort to make this community and region relevant, where in DFW it just happens.

What are your top goals for the new year?

Small business: Conduct focus groups with both chamber members and nonmembers to gain deeper insights into the requirements of the local business community. Subsequently, tailor and refine new chamber membership benefits to address those needs. 2. Economic development: Enhance our economic development team to collaborate with community partners to attract new companies and talent to the Bentonville area. This team will also prioritize engagement with local businesses to identify growth barriers, guiding the creation, development and advocacy of solutions to overcome these challenges. 3. Advocacy: Expand our advocacy initiatives to formulate a comprehensive local legislative agenda. Engage at the municipal level to champion solutions that foster a robust, dynamic economy for both current and prospective businesses in the region.

What is the most surprising thing you have learned about Bentonville since taking the job?

I’ve always viewed riding bikes as an exercise, a way to stay fit and competitive. Riding in Bentonville is a way of life.

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