Be EPIC Podcast

Be EPIC Podcast

Welcome to the Be Epic Podcast featuring Brent Williams, interim dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. In each episode, you will hear from guests that will inspire you to be epic. As experts in their field, they will emphasize strategy, leadership, and entrepreneurship. This programming will highlight innovation and cutting-edge information that will leave you wanting more. Be sure to connect with Brent Williams on LinkedIn to join the conversation, access show notes and discover fantastic bonus content.

Episodes

May 1, 2024 27 mins

This week on the podcast, Brent connects with two remarkable Walton College seniors, Kennedy Blair and Jackson Walton. Both students are distinguished by their academic excellence and leadership, having earned prestigious awards; Kennedy with the Sam M. Walton College of Business Student Leadership Award, and Jackson with the Doyle Z. Williams Student Leadership Award. During the episode, Kennedy shares her journey from being an un...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent welcomes David Guggina, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain at Walmart. They delve into the transformative strategies and technological advancements reshaping Walmart's supply chain to better serve and meet the rapidly changing needs of customers globally. David shares insights from his extensive background in supply chain management, starting from his early days at Purdue University, th...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent welcomes Sarah Langham, a partner and office managing partner at HoganTaylor and an alum of the Walton College. They delve into Sarah's journey from her education at Walton College to her professional growth in accounting, highlighting her transition from Ernst and Young to HoganTaylor. Sarah discusses the significant growth of HoganTaylor, her engaging role with diverse clients, and the evol...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent sits down with Judith McKenna, former president and CEO of Walmart International. They begin with Judith sharing her career journey from law school to holding numerous roles within Asda and Walmart, culminating as head of Walmart's international business across 19 countries. She discusses the importance of building empowering teams and relating to diverse cultures globally. Brent and Judith a...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent sits down with Varun Grover, Distinguished Professor of Information Systems and George & Boyce Billingsley Endowed Chair in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. They explore the profound effects of AI on individuals, businesses, and society. Varun highlights areas where AI can enhance lives through applications in healthcare, education, and more. However, h...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent sits down with Nelson Peacock, President and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. They discuss the council's work in supporting entrepreneurs, recruiting businesses, and diversifying the regional economy. Nelson shares his diverse career path working in government, higher education and economic development and how he made his way back to Arkansas after growing up in Eastern Arkansas and att...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent sits down with Olivia Meyer, a senior real estate finance student at the Walton College to discuss her internship that she secured from the career fair and how she turned that internship into a full-time role after graduation. During the episode Olivia highlights her campus involvement, goal setting and ability to constantly seek out feedback as factors that have helped her to achieve her goa...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent engages in a dynamic discussion with Mike Del Pozzo, President and General Manager of Gatorade at PepsiCo. During the episode they dive into the challenge of maintaining engagement with core and light Gatorade consumers, the importance of product timing, and strategies for PepsiCo's beverage and snack segments. Mike shares his personal journey from starting as a PepsiCo intern to leading Gato...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent sits down with a familiar face, Dean Emeritus Matt Waller as Matt turns the mic around for a conversation with Brent to discuss his vision and plans as the new Dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. During the episode Brent highlights his focus on innovating curricula to meet evolving industry needs, particularly in analytics and emerging technologies, an...

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This week on the podcast, Brent sits down with two Walton College colleagues, Dr. Mary Lacity, David D. Glass Chair and Distinguished Professor of Information Systems and Dr. Remko Van Hoek, Professor of Practice in Supply Chain Management to discuss their co-authored recent work on research that is working in real-time with industry partners. During the episode they discuss their collaborative research exploring emerging technolog...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast we wrap up the 2024 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame series with inductee Dhu C. Thompson. Dhu is the Owner of US Irrigation and former owner/president of Delta Plastics and Revolution Bag. The episode dives into Dhu's compelling narrative of a career shift from banking to leading a major player in the plastics industry. Dhu recounts his journey from a banker in Monroe, Louisiana, to purchasing Delta ...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, we continue with the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame series as Brent is joined by Eric Jackson, the Senior Vice President of Oaklawn Hot Springs and a 2024 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame inductee. The episode delves into Eric's fascinating career, which spans over 40 years at Oaklawn, highlighting his surprising induction into the Hall of Fame and his transformative role in the racing and gaming ind...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast we continue the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame series with Gary George, chairman of George's Inc. and an inductee of the 2024 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. During the episode Brent and Gary delve into the history and evolution of George’s Inc., a family-owned poultry business with roots dating back to the 1920s. Gary shares the story of the company's humble beginnings as George's Produce, its expa...

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In this week's episode we kickoff the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame series where we will showcase conversations with the 2024 honorees who will be inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in February 2024. The first conversation is with John Conner Jr., President of Holden-Conner Company. John, who hails from Newport, Arkansas and comes from a legacy of Arkansas farmers. He discusses his lifelong commitment to farming and ...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent sits down with Curtis Barnett, President and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and a member of the Walton College Dean's Executive Advisory Board. Curtis begins the conversation by sharing the mission of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is to improve the health, financial security, and peace of mind for members and communities that they serve. They explore the company's significant...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, Brent engages in a fascinating conversation with Brett Biggs, the former CFO of Walmart. He is currently a Senior Advisor for Blackstone and member of the board of directors for Adobe, Procter & Gamble and Yum! Brands. Their discussion spans a range of topics including Brett's early career experiences, his journey to becoming a CFO, and his personal insights on management and motivation. Brett'...

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This week on the podcast Brent sits down with Judith Ann Garretson Folse, Department Chair, and John Ballentine, the sales program director, both from the Department of Marketing at the Walton College. The conversation focuses on the importance of sales skills in both your professional and personal life. Judith and John discuss their passion for creating opportunities for students to succeed in the marketplace by honing their sales...

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In this week's episode of the Be Epic Podcast, Brent converses with Josh Stanley, CEO of Cartwheel Studios, and Fahad Siddiqui, Principal and Senior Vice President at SSI. They delve into their unique career transitions from corporate roles to entrepreneurship, their individual contributions in the thriving ecosystem of Northwest Arkansas, and the dynamics of the startup studio and venture studio models. This episode offers valuabl...

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This week on the Be Epic podcast, host Brent Williams welcomes guest Mario Ramirez, President of M Ramirez Group and Chief Client Officer for Golden Rod Companies. They delve into the importance of relationships in business, with Mario emphasizing the value of conveying your principles and work ethic in every interaction. Mario shares his career journey, starting with architecture and moving into finance, which included a stint at ...

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This week on the podcast, Brent is joined by fellow Walton College colleagues, Andy Murray, Molly Rapert, and Rod Thomas, to discuss their newly released white paper on retail media networks. The conversation dives into their research on retail media networks over the past few years, especially highlighting what exactly constitutes a retail media network, and emphasizing its omni-channel presence, utilization of first-party data, a...

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