200 episodes

The I am Northwest Arkansas Podcast covers the intersection of Business, Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Life in Benton and Washington County Arkansas. If you are thinking about moving here or already live here, we've got great inspiring stories, ideas, things to do, places to see, people to meet, and food to eat. Learn why we are one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas of the US.

I am Northwest Arkansas Randy Wilburn

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 42 Ratings

The I am Northwest Arkansas Podcast covers the intersection of Business, Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Life in Benton and Washington County Arkansas. If you are thinking about moving here or already live here, we've got great inspiring stories, ideas, things to do, places to see, people to meet, and food to eat. Learn why we are one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas of the US.

    How to Harness The Power of A Neurodiverse Workforce in Northwest Arkansas

    How to Harness The Power of A Neurodiverse Workforce in Northwest Arkansas

    About the Show:
    "We must not only learn to tolerate our differences. We must welcome them as the richness and diversity which can lead to true intelligence." ~ Albert Einstein
    Depending on who you listen to here in Northwest Arkansas, we have more than 10,000 open positions that need to be filled.  Most of the significant regional companies - Walmart, JB Hunt, Tyson, Simmons, and the University of Arkansas, are all hiring. It is a numbers game. The more firms recruit and interview, the more they can hire new talent.  
    Of course, you want to find the right talent for the right jobs, but there may be many talented individuals in our community here in Northwest Arkansas that should be noticed.  
    According to Daymara Baker, founder of Neurodiverse employer Rockin Baker, there are more than 4,000+ Neurodivergent people in Northwest Arkansas.  All potential workers could or should be employed to fill many of these jobs that are available in the region.  
    We spent some time discussing navigating the Neurodiverse workforce with Daymara and Margaret McCabe, former Dean of the University of Arkansas Law School and the parent of a Neurodiverse young adult who works with Daymara at Rockin Baker. 
    If you have been on the fence about hiring someone from the Neurodiverse community, this is the episode for you to gain some understanding, insight,  and perspective.  You may just be one hire away from your next great team member.
    Daymara and Margaret make an excellent case for why this part of the workforce should be noticed.  
    All this and more on this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast.
    Important Links and Mentions on the Show*:
    Daymara Baker on LinkedIn
    Margaret McCabe on LinkedIn
    Daymara Baker Email
    Margaret McCabe Email
    Rockin Baker Website
    Rockin Baker Cadet Training
    Daymara Baker Podcast Episode
    October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    Fayetteville Public Library
    Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
    NWA Council
    University of Arkansas
    Neurodiversity Image courtesy of...

    • 46 min
    What We Are Thankful For in 2022

    What We Are Thankful For in 2022

    About the Show:
    "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Oprah Winfrey
    Now and then, I like doing a monologue episode, and since we are celebrating Thanksgiving this week in the United States, it would be worth sharing some of the things I am thankful for. 
    I don’t know about you, but holidays have always been a time of reflection for us here at I Am Northwest Arkansas, and we decided to “let the reflecting begin!”    
    You will have to listen to the whole episode to hear all the things we are thankful for here at I am Northwest Arkansas. Here’s a hint, it starts with family and ends with you. 
    All this and more on this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast.

    Important Links and Mentions on the Show*:
    Readers Digest Article - Thanksgiving Story
    Ozark Natural Foods
    Fayetteville Public Library
    Urban Land Institute of NWA
    Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
    NWA Council
    University of Arkansas
     
    Episodes:
     
    Episode 192 The Sultana Disaster
    Episode 190 Circles NWA is helping move people in NWA out of poverty
    Episode 187 How to parent your kids through the maze of organized sports here in NWA
    Episode 179 Olivia Trimble Uniting NWA and beyond through love and art
    Episode 177 Chef Matt Cooper is at it again with his new Restaurant Conifer
    Episode 171 Why NWA is a great place to live and ride your bike
     
    This episode is sponsored by*:
    p

    • 34 min
    This Episode Is Not Sponsored By T-Mobile

    This Episode Is Not Sponsored By T-Mobile

    About the Show:
    “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
    Dale Carnegie
     
    I ran into Carlos Rosas earlier this Spring when I needed a portable 5G tower/hot spot for my office.  I couldn’t get the broadband speeds I needed, so I reached out to Carlos and the folks at T-Mobile for help.  Carlos met me with the device in the parking lot of a Starbucks in Rogers. We ended up doing the transaction and talking for about 45 minutes. 
    I invited Carlos on the podcast because he has a great story about how he ended up here in Northwest Arkansas. He is a hard worker who is super smart. Since moving here in 2013, he has gotten his MBA and is a leader in the business unit at T-Mobile, hence our title.  
    A little tongue-in-cheek humor. 
    We talk about how Northwest Arkansas has impacted him and his family why he feels like this area is a great place to live and work, and he also gave us a Master Class on cell phone services and how to get the best out of the device that most of us hold so close to our heart.
    If you’ve been on the fence about moving here to Northwest Arkansas, this episode may push you over the edge.  
    All this and more on this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast.
    Important Links and Mentions on the Show*:
    Carlos Rosas Email
    Carlos Rosas Twitter
     
    This episode is sponsored by*:
    Signature Bank of Arkansas -  
    Signature Bank was founded here in Northwest Arkansas in 2005 and focuses on personal and community banking. When you bank with a community bank, you’re investing in local businesses, local entrepreneurs, local charities, and causes close to home. They have worked hard to earn their tagline, “Community Banking at its Best.”
    You may ask why bank at Signature? 
    Because they focus on the customer instead of having a branch on every corner, you can have your questions answered by a real person, whether you’re reaching out to the call center or your banker’s cell phone. You can access any ATM in the country without fear of a fee.  They will refund all of those fees at the end of every month. Finally, they are constantly improving their digital offerings to ensure you can access the best financial tools from your laptop, phone, or tablet 24 hours a day.
    Signature Bank of Arkansas is a full-service bank offering traditional checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, business and personal loans, and mortgages.
    Give the folks at Signature Bank a call (479-684-4700) or visit their website Signature.Bank and let them know you heard about them on the I am Northwest Arkansas Podcast. 
    Signature Bank of Arkansas is a Member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing...

    • 48 min
    Adventure Subaru is Raising The Bar When It Comes to Selling Cars and Giving Back to The Community Here in Northwest Arkansas

    Adventure Subaru is Raising The Bar When It Comes to Selling Cars and Giving Back to The Community Here in Northwest Arkansas

    About the Show:
    We spoke with the folks at Adventure Subaru in Fayetteville. Danielle Dotson, Marketing Manager, Kelley Carey, HR Manager, Brent Baker, GM, and Managing Partner. They gave us an inside view of the super successful dealership that has tapped into the outdoor enthusiast here in Northwest Arkansas. 
    Adventure Subaru was the last piece of an automotive dealership collection owned by Don Nelms. Don is a bit of a legend in Northwest Arkansas, establishing the “Service in the Nelms tradition,” where Adventure Subaru carries this mantle by focusing on taking care of the customer first and always doing the right thing. 

    This method is a refreshing approach to auto sales and service where you don’t feel “sold to” but rather taken care of.  

    Brent shared his journey from Austin to partnering up with Don and why he is so excited about Northwest Arkansas and the future of car sales, new electronic vehicle models from Subaru, and why in 2022 Adventure Subaru won the Subaru Love Promise Retailer of the Year. 

    Finally, we discussed Adventures Subaru’s mission to give back to the local community as much as possible. So it would be no surprise that Adventure Subaru has given back more than 3+ Million dollars to the Northwest Arkansas community for programs like Second Hand Smoke and Nate Walls, Single Parent Scholarship Fund, The Roots Festival, and so many more. It is one of the reasons why you see the Adventure Subaru name tied to so many great causes and events.  

    While they do not sponsor this podcast, we encourage you to check them out if you need a new or used car.  Subarus have one of the highest reliability factors in the auto industry, and most models are ideally suited for the topography here in the Ozarks.  

    If you visit, please tell them the good folks at the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast sent you.

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

    Important Links and Mentions on the Show*:
    Adventure Subaru Email - Danielle
    Adventure Subaru Email - Brent 
    Adventure Subaru Website
    Adventure Subaru Facebook
    Adventure Subaru Instagram
    Adventure Subaru YouTube
    Adventure Subaru LinkedIn
    IANWA Second Hand Smoke Podcast Episode
    IANWA a...

    • 36 min
    Did You Know The Greatest Maritime Disaster In The United States Happened In Arkansas?

    Did You Know The Greatest Maritime Disaster In The United States Happened In Arkansas?

    About the Show:
    Being a member of Rotary certainly has its privileges. We heard the next guest of the podcast at a Rotary meeting. Retired Judge John Fogleman shared a historically significant story with our club about the greatest maritime disaster in US History. We were surprised to learn that this disaster did not occur off our East (Atlantic) or West Coast (Pacific). It happened just off the shores of Arkansas on the Mighty Mississippi River about seven miles North of what is now downtown Memphis. 
    Judge Fogleman sat down with us to share the whole story of the Sultana disaster, which took place in April of 1865, only a few weeks after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. There are so many plots and subplots in this story, and Judge Fogleman does a great job outlining them all. 

    You will never look at a steamboat the same again. 

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The I Am Northwest Arkansas podcast. We had a lot of fun sitting down with the judge, and this is a piece of history that we all need to be aware of. This story moves you. We encourage you to support the building of the Sultana Disaster Museum so that this story and all of the remaining artifacts from the ship have a permanent home. 
     
    All this and more on this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast.
    Important Links and Mentions on the Show*:
    Judge Fogleman Email
    Rotary Facebook
    Sultana Disaster Facebook
     
    This episode is sponsored by*:
    Signature Bank of Arkansas -  
    Signature Bank was founded here in Northwest Arkansas in 2005 and focuses on personal and community banking. When you bank with a community bank, you’re investing in local businesses, local entrepreneurs, local charities, and causes close to home. They have worked hard to earn their tagline, “Community Banking at its Best.”
    You may ask why bank at Signature? 
    Because they focus on the customer instead of having a branch on every corner, you can have your questions answered by a real person, whether you’re reaching out to the call center or your banker’s cell phone. You can access any ATM in the country without fear of a fee.  They will refund all of those fees at the end of every month. Finally, they are constantly improving their digital offerings to ensure you can access the best financial tools from your laptop, phone, or tablet 24 hours a day.
    Signature Bank of Arkansas is a full-service bank offering traditional checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, business and personal loans, and mortgages.
    p...

    • 39 min
    Since 1977 the Peace at Home Domestic Violence Shelter has made a difference in the lives of families in crisis here in Northwest Arkansas

    Since 1977 the Peace at Home Domestic Violence Shelter has made a difference in the lives of families in crisis here in Northwest Arkansas

    About the Show:
    On this episode of the podcast, we learn about the first and oldest Domestic Violence Shelter in Arkansas. Peace at Home has been running since 1977 and has made a difference in the lives of countless families struggling with domestic abuse.  
    Peace at Home has grown to meet the needs of both Benton and Washington County families. They offer several services, including a 24/7 crisis hotline - number below, emergency shelter, housing programs and assistance, legal services, counseling services, a thrift store, community referrals, and a pet sanctuary.  
    Peace at Home has left no stone unturned, and their marketing and communication coordinator, Bethany Clark, has outlined nicely in this episode why it matters and how, if you live locally, you can help.
    There is so much in this episode to unwrap, and October happens to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s probably best to listen to the whole episode, and if you know or suspect someone may be dealing with Domestic Violence in their home, share this podcast with them.  
    ***As always, if you’re in an emergency, CALL 911 NOW! If you or someone you love need(s) help escaping violence or creating a safety plan, call Peace at Home today at (479) 442-9811.*** 
    All this and more on this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast.
    Peace At Home 
    PO Box 10946
    Fayetteville, AR 72703
    Important Links and Mentions on the Show*:

    Peace at Home Family Shelter Email
    Peace at Home Family Shelter Website
    Peace at Home Thrift Store
    Peace at Home Family Shelter Facebook
    Peace at Home Family Shelter Instagram
    Peace at Home Family Shelter LinkedIn
    Domestic Violence Awareness Month
     
     This episode is sponsored by*:
    Signature Bank of Arkansas -  
    Signature Bank was founded here in Northwest Arkansas in 2005 and focuses on personal and community banking. When you bank with a community bank, you’re investing in local businesses, local entrepreneurs, local charities, and causes close to home. They have worked hard to earn their tagline, “Community Banking at its...

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

TJCNWA ,

It’s All About Connectivity

I’ve lived in NWA since 1995, but was unaware of this podcast until a few months ago. In an age of access to all kinds of information, it’s interesting to me how sometimes we don’t know what’s going on in our own neighborhoods and surrounding area. I love that I can listen to this podcast and find out more about soon-to-open businesses, local authors, non-profits, and entrepreneurs. Randy does a fantastic job of facilitating discussions that lead to more understanding and better yet, how one might get connected and activated to be a part of the wonderful things happening in Northwest Arkansas.

BernainAR ,

Listened for a year before I moved to Northwest Arkansas!

I stumbled upon this podcast while trying to learn about Northwest Arkansas and I was not disappointed!!! I learned so many things about this area that I would not have known otherwise. This is a great resource to learn about the area!

Thank you for creating this podcast!!!

MerdCast ,

Excellent Podcast!!

I’ve been listening to I Am Northwest Arkansas for about 6 months, in preparation for an upcoming move to Fayetteville. All I can say is *WOW*. Randy has such an interesting assortment of guests and show topics. He covers the art scene, food and restaurants, outdoor activities, and so much more. He’s also a great interviewer: very professional, but also friendly and engaging.

I’m also impressed by what a great job he does with editing. In a recent episode, there was unavoidable construction noise at the new Fayetteville Public Library. Randy creatively stitched things together and added commentary to clarify as needed, and I just thought it was a very clever solution. I will likely go back and re-listen because it was just such a great episode!

Between Randy’s clear passion for this growing region and his inclusive coverage of all sorts of perspectives, I feel like I’ve gotten such a wonderful idea of what the area means to all sorts of people. And, while the idea of leaving a city where I’ve lived for 18 years is SCARY, this podcast has been such an inspiration as the move date draws closer. I truly cannot wait to get to Fayetteville! I look forward to being part of this unique community, and to being able explore it safely (post-COVID) based on many of Randy’s recommendations. 

Thank you, Randy, for creating this fantastic podcast!!

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