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Todd Simmons took over as the Northwest Arkansas Council’s 14thpresiding co-chair, replacing a long-time J.B. Hunt executive in the one-year role.

Simmons, the chief executive officer of Simmons Foods since 2012, began leading the Council and its Executive Committee at the Council’s Annual Meeting today at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville.

He replaces Nick Hobbs, J.B. Hunt’s president of dedicated contract services. Hobbs has worked for Hunt for more than 30 years.

Simmons is one of six co-chairs of the nonprofit organization that was founded in 1990.

The Council’s list of leaders who’ve served as chairs, co-chairs and presiding co-chairs over the years is impressive. The Council started using a presiding co-chair system more than a decade ago, asking leading executives at the region’s top companies and at the University of Arkansas to serve one-year stints as the organization’s leader.

Past chairs and presiding co-chairs of the Northwest Arkansas Council include former Walmart executive Lee Scott, former Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Arvest Bank Chairman Jim Walton, late Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, philanthropist Alice Walton, J.B. Hunt Chairman Kirk Thompson and Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson.

With Simmons now serving as presiding co-chair, the other five co-chairs are Hobbs , Jim Walton, University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz, Walmart executive Karen Roberts and Tyson Foods CEO Noel White.

Special thanks to our major investors for their support of the Northwest Arkansas Council and our work in the region: