Tulsa Regional Chamber Wraps Intercity Visit to N.W. Arkansas

The Tulsa Regional Chamber completed its 2021 Intercity Visit, the 12th in an annual series of visits to peer cities to learn best practices and hear success stories. This year’s destination was the northwest Arkansas region, including Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers.
More than 90 attendees from across northeast Oklahoma – including Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, Tulsa County commissioners as well as other city and county elected officials, business leaders, regional partners, educational administrators and young professionals – participated in the three-day event, which ran Oct. 11-13.
Previous intercity visits to cities such as Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Fort Worth have featured in-depth looks at topics ranging from river development and tourism to health living initiatives and the arts. This year’s trip to northwest Arkansas covered a variety of subjects, including infrastructure development, building a creative economy, workforce and talent development, and innovation and entrepreneurship. For many attendees, the trip offered its most powerful lessons on the topic of regional collaboration.
“Northwest Arkansas offers textbook lessons for how neighboring communities can collaborate and coordinate efforts to the greatest benefit of all,” says Kevin Gross, chair-elect of the Tulsa Regional Chamber and president and CEO of Hillcrest HealthCare System. Gross led the task force that selected northwest Arkansas as this year’s destination and served as host for the trip.
“It became clear that—far from competing against one another—the northwest Arkansas communities work together to attract talent and business,” Gross says. “The extensive bike trail systems are a great example of developing an asset that helps the entire region thrive.”
This year’s trip featured dialogues with Arvest Bank Chairman Jim Walton, Tyson Foods President and CEO Donnie King, and University of Arkansas Walton Business School Dean Matthew Waller. Attendees also visited a number of marquee venues, including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, TheatreSquared performing arts center, the Fayetteville Public Library, and the Don Tyson School of Innovation.