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2017 Northwest Arkansas Speaker Series

We are excited to announce the Northwest Arkansas 2017 Speaker Series featuring a wide variety of individuals, all sharing personal reflections on the intersection of faith and profession. Below you’ll find a list of our featured speakers along with bios and links to confirm your reservation for each event.

We open the season on April 21st with a banquet at Pinnacle Country Club featuring Senator John Boozman. The banquet begins at 6:30 pm. Please feel free to invite your spouse or special guests. Reservations are required for the banquet. Tickets are $45 per person. Click on the link below for more information and to make your reservations.

Our regular Speaker Series Breakfasts are held at 7:00 AM at Pinnacle Country Club, with the exception of June 22nd which will meet at Shadow Valley Country Club. Breakfast cost is $20 per person, payable in cash at the door.

Click on the “Reservations” link below each speaker bio to reserve your spot

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Senator John Boozman is the junior Republican Senator from the state of Arkansas. From 2001 to 2011, he served as the United States Representative for Arkansas’ 3rd congressional district. Raised in Fort Smith, John graduated from Northside High School and went on to play football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year co-founding a family business with his brother that would ultimately become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas. As a US Senator, John serves as the Chairman of the Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. In the Senate Agriculture Committee, he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade. The first and only Republican reelected to the Senate in the history of Arkansas, Senator Boozman has been a reliable conservative vote on social issues such as life and traditional values.

Rick Schaeffer is the Communications Director of the Springdale School District and co-host of Drive Time Sports. He was formerly the sports information director at the University of Arkansas and still serves on Razorback football and baseball broadcasts. Rick has written three books, including 100 Things Arkansas Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, Inside the Razorback Vault and The Game of My Life. He is currently working on a biography of Frank Broyles.

Mike Whan is the eighth commissioner of the LPGA, one of the longest-running and most successful women’s sports organizations in the world. He assumed the leadership role at the LPGA in 2010 with an eye toward enhancing business relationships, increasing exposure for the players and maximizing the LPGA experience for fans. Mike started his career at the Procter & Gamble Company before pursuing his passion for sports in increasingly senior executive roles at Wilson Sporting Goods, TaylorMade Company, and Mission-Itech Hockey. Mike developed a passion for golf at a young age, cutting greens and caddying to earn money. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1987 and is married with three children.


Steve Robinson
recently retired from Chick-fil-A as Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer after 35 years with the company. Chick-fil-A is one of the nation’s largest family-owned quick-service restaurant chains with locations in 37 states and Washington D.C. It is also one of the most highly respected in the industry, with a reputation for excellence and character in everything it does. Steve currently serves on the board of directors of Chick-fil-A. He is also on the boards of the National Football Foundation, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the Atlanta Hall Management (home of the College Football Hall of Fame), and Links Players, where he serves as Chairman.

Doug McMillon is the President and CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc. and has served in that position since 2014. Prior to this appointment, he held numerous other positions with Walmart, including President/CEO of Walmart International and President/CEO of Sam’s Club. Doug is a longtime champion of Walmart’s customers, associates, and the company’s culture. In 1984, he started out as an hourly summer associate in a Walmart distribution center. In 1990 while pursuing his MBA, he rejoined the company as an assistant manager in a Tulsa Walmart store before moving to merchandising as a buyer trainee. He remains a merchant at heart and understands where customers around the world are heading next. Doug also serves on the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable.

Norm Debriyn and Dave Van Horn
For nearly half a century (48 years), the University of Arkansas Men’s Baseball team has had only two head coaches, Norm DeBriyn and Dave Van Horn; DeBriyn coached for 33 years and Dave Van Horn is beginning his 15th year.

Norm DeBriyn was named head baseball coach of the Razorbacks in 1970 while still working in the physical education department, and led the Hogs to 1,161 victories during his 33 seasons. A graduate of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he played baseball, DeBriyn led the Hogs to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances, four College World Series berths, two Southwest Conference championships and a Southeastern Conference title. An ordained Catholic Deacon, DeBriyn was named Southwest Conference Coach of the Year five times and SEC Coach of the Year once while becoming by far the winningest coach in UA baseball history. DeBriyn has been elected to the Arkansas Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Razorback Sports Hall of Honor, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Hall of Fame. Following his coaching career, DeBriyn spent 14 years with the Razorback Foundation before retiring this past January.

Dave Van Horn is beginning his 15th season as head baseball coach at Arkansas and has led the Razorbacks to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances and four trips to the College World Series. His teams have won an SEC Championship and three SEC Western Division titles. Van Horn has directed the Razorbacks to 550 victories in his 14 seasons, an average of nearly 40 per year. As head coach at Texarkana Community College, Central Missouri State, Northwestern (La.) State, Nebraska and Arkansas, Van Horn has led his teams to 1,135 victories. Van Horn is a UA graduate who was the starting second baseman for the 1982 Hogs after transferring from junior college. He was Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year in ’82. He spent three years in the Atlanta Braves organization before returning to the UA to finish his degree work and serve as a graduate assistant for coach Norm DeBriyn. He later earned a master’s degree from East Texas State University. Named National Coach of the Year twice and Conference Coach of the Year four times, Van Horn has led six teams to the College World Series, including twice at Nebraska. He led the Cornhuskers to their first ever College World Series trips and their first conference championship in 51 years. Following the 2014 season, Van Horn managed the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

Sidney Moncrief played for the Arkansas Razorback Men’s Basketball team from 1975-1979, leading them to the 1978 Final Four.  Sidney played 11 seasons in the NBA, 10 of those with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and an NBA All-Pro. Sidney is a former head coach and served as an assistant coach in the NBA.  He has written several books including Sidney Moncrief: My Journey to the NBAYour Passport to Reinventing YouYour Passport to Being a Team Player, and Your Passport to Manhood.

Ron Brewer, Sr played for the Arkansas Razorback Men’s Basketball team from 1975-1978 and was named All-American in 1978, the year that the Razorbacks reached the NCAA Final Four. Ron was selected in the first round of the 1978 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. He was named to the 1978-1979 All-Rookie Team. Ron played eight seasons in the NBA, finishing his professional career in 1986 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

U.S. Reed joined the Arkansas Men’s Basketball Team in 1977 and was a key player in the team that made it to the NCAA Final Four in 1978, along with the “Triplets”, Sidney Moncrief, Ron Brewer, and Marvin Delph. The following year, Reed and Moncrief helped the Razorback reach the NCAA Regional Finals. At the end of the 1979 season, Reed played as a member of the Gold Medal-Winning American team at the University Games.  U.S. was a star of the 1981 NCAA Tournament, remembered for his 49′ buzzer-beater over Louisville. Reed was drafted in the 5th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings, but his NBA career was cut short by a knee injury while with the San Antonio Spurs.  Reed was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor.