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Episode 14: Talking Business with U of A Dean Matt Waller

About the Show:

On this episode of the podcast, we sit down with Sam M. Walton School of Business Dean Matt Waller.  Dean Waller has spent more than 25 years at the University of Arkansas including a detour to grow and sell a merchandise technology company, Mercari Technologies.

No stranger to success, Dean Waller picked up where he left off upon returning to the University of Arkansas, spending time in China for the first ever EMBA program for WalMart China. After a year in China he returned back to Fayetteville and has been here ever since.  

Dean Waller has overseen the growth of School of Business including a complete retooling of the MBA program and an expansion of the Executive MBA program where participants spend one weekend a month at the school for the two-year programs before earning their MBA.  

Dean Waller said that what he and previous Dean’s have done wouldn’t be possible without the generous gift bestowed upon the School of Business back in 1998 by the Walton Family Foundation. Both the undergraduate and graduate Business program has produced some outstanding leaders of industry including, John Furner, current CEO of Sam’s Club.

In addition to what Dean Waller and his colleagues are doing at the University, he mentioned that Northwest Arkansas has become a hotbed of Entrepreneurship with local firms like Field AgentEngine, and Rev Unit adding to the foundation of strong businesses that WalMart, Tyson, and JB Hunt started many years ago.  

When he is not leading the charge at the Sam M. Walton School of Business, Dean Waller spends time with his wife and four children hanging out at Beaver Lake, floating theBuffalo River, or Mountain Biking.  In addition to all of the outdoor activities that NWA has to offer Dean Waller enjoys the great restaurant scene including some of his favorite restaurants, Tusk and TrotterPress Room, and Preachers Son, to name a few.  

Dean Waller left us with some very good advice about the importance of relationships in business and in life.

“If you can deliver and don’t have relationships it really doesn’t matter.”

All of this and more on this episode of I am Northwest Arkansas.  

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