board of directors

MEHRDAD AKBAR

Mehrdad Akbar is the vice president of Wireless, Wearable’s, Photos and Photo Services for Walmart U.S. and is responsible for developing merchandising strategies, managing supplier relationships and aligning operations for more than 4,000 stores and Walmart.com.

Before joining Walmart in 2009 as senior category director of Wireless, Mehrdad held various management positions at Best Buy. Prior to Best Buy, Mehrdad worked for Dayton-Hudson and Marshall Field’s department stores, as well as Macy’s. 

Mehrdad holds a bachelor of science in finance and marketing from the University of Minnesota. He resides in Bentonville, Ark., with his wife, Jennifer, and three kids.

 

ERIN JERNIGAN

After hearing about TASC, Erin wanted to get involved because she desires to help the next generation have what they need to succeed in life. She has over eight years of sales and marketing experience in various industries including entertainment, hospitality, and CPG. She is currently a Client Development Director at Inmar Intelligence and is the first point of contact for new clients seeking guidance in the often overwhelming world of digital, social, and influencer marketing.

Erin is married and a new mom. She and her husband are Texans who never miss the chance to return home to visit family and support their beloved Aggies.  She can typically be found in barre class, networking events, and volunteering across Northwest Arkansas. Erin serves TASC through a heart of listening to and empowering teens.

 

GREG SPRAGG
Greg Spragg is a highly accomplished retail executive with broad merchandising and operations experience. He has been an advisor to large-scale retail, start-ups, specialty retail, turnarounds, global private equity, consumer goods, and brand management firms. He has held senior-level executive positions at the Walmart Stores, Inc., Sam’s Club division where he also served on the Walmart Executive Committee for seven years.

While at Sam’s Club, he separately led Merchandising & Replenishment as Chief Merchant and domestic Operations as Chief Operator. He was known for a focus on results, leading process transformation, and a commitment to integrity, service, and excellence earning him the distinguished, Sam M. Walton Award of Excellence. He led successful corporate initiatives in packaging and fair trade through a genuine commitment to sustainable business practices. Prior to his 10-year stint at Sam’s Club, he held multiple C-Suite positions at Ahold, USA. Greg is the co-founder of TASC and has served on numerous NWA non-profit boards, having previously chaired the Rogers Lowell Chamber of Commerce and The Cancer Challenge boards. His board work extends to multiple for-profit advisory boards. He is a Member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

AMANDA ROBERTS

Amanda has worked for Sam’s Club since 2014 in various merchandising roles and is currently a Senior Merchant in the Fresh/Freezer/Cooler division, overseeing Prepared Meals. During time outside of work, Amanda volunteers as a mentor at the University of Arkansas for Future Women Business Leaders. Amanda holds a BSBA from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from Arkansas State University. 

Amanda has a passion for helping youth in the local community and provides experience and talent to help the organization further its growth and make an impact in the lives of young people.

LATRICIA HILL-CHANDLER

LaTricia Hill-Chandler is the first Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Arvest Bank. In this role, LaTricia serves as the primary subject matter expert and architect of Arvest’s diversity and inclusion and cross-cultural relations plans and programs. This position oversees the identification, development, implementation and evaluation of the initiative across the 4-state footprint of the organization.

LaTricia holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from HBCU, LeMoyne Owen College, and a Master’s of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. LaTricia also has earned credentials as a Certified Diversity Executive from the Institute of Diversity Certification. LaTricia is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (Class XXXVI) and has won numerous awards including Champion of Diversity, presented by the Indianapolis Recorder and Indiana Minority Business Magazine, and the Indianapolis Choice-Avatar of the Year, presented by the National Association of Women Business Owners Indianapolis chapter.

A highly energetic and sought out speaker, LaTricia’s multi-industry experiences, coupled with her passion and authentic style of delivery for Diversity and Inclusion topics have helped bring awareness and bridge the gap for many people. LaTricia and her husband, Derrick have one daughter, Dyllan, and one pet-son, a 9-lb morkie, Bentley.

MATT KENDALL

Matt Kendall is the Senior Vice President at Arvest Mortgage Company and the Executive Director of Administrative Operations at Central Mortgage company where he is responsible for all information technology, vendor management, litigation, training and development and project management. 

Matt believes our children and teenagers are the most important individuals in our lives and that we must provide them with the utmost support and resources we can.

GIEZI VARELA

Giezi is originally from Texas and graduated in 2007 with his Bachelor’s in Computer Info Systems. Giezi has worked at Tyson Foods for the past 11 years in various roles including a computer programmer, web developer, and web strategist. 

Giezi has also volunteered through work at places such as: Feed the Funnel, Pack Shack, Meals that Matter, Miles that Matter, Hogeye, Little Free Pantry, and others. Giezi provides TASC with expertise acquired throughout his career to help children and teens.

JIM CORBETT

Jim does analytics and consulting for the Bentonville Film Festival and has spent time providing support in the community at organizations including TASC, Open Avenues, American Red Cross, and the Boys & Girls Club. 

Jim has been on the board of TASC for 5 years and loves having the opportunity to have a positive impact on the youth of our community.

KEITH BARBER

Keith is the Managing Director of Digital Engagement at Tyson Foods.

Keith has used the opportunity to serve on the TASC board to utilize his skills and experience in ways that give back to the community and improve the lives of others at a grassroots level.

HADLEY HINDMARSH

Professionally, Hadley has gravitated towards and focused on work that directly impacts the needs of children, adolescents, and teenagers. Hadley is a licensed attorney in the State of Arkansas, receiving licensure in September 2007. Hadley has had the opportunity to represent clients in many areas of the law; and in October 2009, Hadley became a certified Attorney Ad Litem in order to advocate for the best interests, rights, and safety of court-involved children. 

Hadley believes TASC programming provides an important opportunity to help bridge that gap and provide support, encouragement, and tools for constructive change and positive engagement in addressing current issues and identifying resources to support teens’ future goals.

DANAIELLE TRAMMELL

Danaielle has been with Sam’s Club/Walmart for 17 years. Danaielle originally worked at Walmart as a cashier and held other various roles before coming to Sam’s Club Home Office about 12 years ago. Danaielle is currently the Senior Merchant for Sam’s Club Cafes and the Co-lead for the Women in Fresh resource group at Sam’s. Danaielle is also on the Leadership Team for the PRIDE organization for Walmart Corporate. 

Danaielle is passionate about our youth and knows how hard teenage years can be and understands that it really does take a village! Danaielle would like to get her hands dirty and help our local youth THRIVE now and forever.

HEIDI DENNIS

Heidi has been a Licensed Counselor since 2011. She currently works as a Therapist at The Joshua Center.  Prior to pursuing a career in counseling, she was first introduced to TASC when she worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer with Benton County.  There, she had the privilege of joining in on community service projects through TASC with the teens that she worked with. 

She firmly believes that empowering teens by both pouring into them and giving them an opportunity to pour into their community makes a tremendous impact.  In addition to being on the board at TASC, Heidi also serves as an advocate for teens in foster care through CASA.