The Northwest Arkansas Council’s staff is pulled in many directions to accomplish the objectives in the organization's strategy. While each team member has primary responsibilities, it's normal for several people to be involved in projects. Every employee’s job description includes “other duties as assigned."
Nelson Peacock, President and CEO
Nelson ensures the Council meets goals and objectives defined by the organization's executive committee and its strategy. He works closely with leading organizations in Arkansas, including its largest employers, state leaders, educators, local government officials and chambers of commerce. Nelson may be reached at this email address.
Mike Harvey, Chief Operating Officer
Mike’s responsibilities include working with educators and business people to improve the region’s workforce and working with regional companies to recruit talent as part of the region's Finding NWA program. Mike works closely with the area's chambers of commerce on the region's Employer Retention and Expansion (ERE) program, and he oversees the Council’s work with site selectors who assist companies in evaluating Northwest Arkansas as a place to do business. Mike may be reached at this email address.
Jeannette Balleza Collins, Entrepreneurial Development Director
Jeannette collaborates with entrepreneurs, companies, investors, educators, support organizations, and other stakeholders to advance region-wide entrepreneurial vibrancy, including programs that bolster connectivity, capital access, talent growth, university-industry engagement, resource navigation, and story sharing. She is the primary contact for the StartupNWA program. Jeannette may be reached at this email address.
Nate Green, Communications Director
Nate leads communications for the Council, including strategy to highlight the Council’s efforts in innovation, entrepreneurship, business and talent recruitment, government affairs, health care and regional arts. Nathan develops content and messaging for the Council’s family of websites and social media channels and serves as the primary media contact. Nate may be reached at this email address.
Kathryn Hunt, Office Manager
Kathryn’s responsibilities include monitoring the news of the day, keeping certain financial and membership records, and preparing for upcoming group meetings of our organization's members, partners and guests. Kathryn may be reached at this email address.
Margot Lemaster, Executive Director, EngageNWA
EngageNWA is a Northwest Arkansas Council initiative that serves as a connector for leaders in business, government, and the community on matters that help create a more inclusive Northwest Arkansas region. Margot works with regional partners to support collaborative efforts, facilitate sharing of resources and best practices, and highlight local success stories as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. Margot may be reached at this email address.
Alicia McCallen, Social Media Manager, Finding NWA
Alicia’s responsibilities include monitoring social media to stay on top of regional happenings, news and announcements and managing Finding NWA’s social media marketing and advertising campaigns. Alicia may be reached at this email address.
Joe Rollins, Workforce Development Director
Joe works with educators and business people to develop and strengthen the region’s career and technical education programs. He builds partnerships between colleges, technical schools and high school training programs and employers, provides career information to students and schools, and he assists school districts and the region’s employers in continuous support and improvement of career training programs. Joe also works with area chambers of commerce in communicating regional training and partnership needs. Joe may be reached at this email address.
Aron Shelton, Project Manager, Finding NWA
Aron’s primary responsibilities include content management, designing, implementing, and analyzing Finding NWA’s digital engagement strategies, and working with regional recruiters to support talent recruitment and retention efforts. Aron may be reached at this email address.
Rob Smith, Policy Director
Rob collaborates with regional partners on infrastructure-related goals, including those involving water, highways, public transportation, recycling and waste disposal, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. Rob may be reached at this email address.
Stacey Sturner, Project Manager
Stacey works on various Council initiatives, including member relations, working with cities on expanding the region's wayfinding system and overseeing an internship program that places university students with local companies. Stacey may be reached at this email address.