(Springdale) May 22, 2018 – Arkansas Children’s Foundation, in cooperation with 2018 Color of Hope Gala Chairs Joanie and Jon Dyer, is pleased to announce Michael T. Duke, retired president and chief executive officer of Walmart Stores, Inc., as the keynote speaker for the 2018 Color of Hope Gala. The annual event is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, at John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. All proceeds benefit Arkansas Children’s Northwest, the new children’s hospital in Springdale.

“We are honored to have Mike as our speaker this year,” said Fred Scarborough, chief development officer for Arkansas Children’s and president of the Arkansas Children’s Foundation. “He has long understood the importance of ensuring all children have access to the kind of expert pediatric care only a children’s hospital can provide. He was a vocal advocate for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals during his career at Walmart. He and his wife, Susan, have been champions for the children of Northwest Arkansas through their support of Arkansas Children’s Northwest.”

During his tenure as CEO, Mike helped Walmart navigate a period of economic, social and technological change while delivering strong financial results. He put in place the building blocks for the company’s future by making critical investments in technology and talent, including a strong management team. He also broadened Walmart’s commitment to lead on some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. Mike has long been a champion for diversity and was especially engaged in the advancement of women, both inside and outside the company.

Mike joined Walmart in 1995, and over his time with the company led the logistics, distribution and administration divisions as well as Walmart U.S. In 2005, he was appointed to vice chairman with responsibility for Walmart International.

Prior to joining Walmart, Mike had 23 years of experience in retailing with Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores.

Mike served on the Board of Directors of Walmart Stores, Inc., from 2008-2016. He has previously served on the board of directors of The Consumer Goods Forum, the executive committee of Business Roundtable, the board of advisors of the University of Arkansas, and the advisory board of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Mike currently serves as an Adjunct Professor and is on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees. He is on the Board of Directors of Chick-Fil-A and the Board of Directors of Bible Study Fellowship International. Mike also serves as an Operations Executive with the Carlyle Group.

Mike graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. He and Susan have two daughters and a son.

Tables are now on sale for the 2018 Color of Hope Gala. Tables of 10 are $3,000. Patron Tables with added benefits are $5,000. The evening includes a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, a gourmet dinner, keynote speaker and live entertainment. All proceeds benefit Arkansas Children’s Northwest. To reserve your table today, visit www.golfandgala.com or call 479-725-0404.

In 1993, Walmart associates established the Will Golf 4 Kids Tournament, and over the years, Walmart and Sam’s Club have contributed more than $15 million to support the mission of Arkansas Children’s to champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow. Will Golf 4 Kids will be held Thursday, August 2 and Friday, August 3 at the Kingswood Golf Course and Bella Vista Country Club Golf Course. To sign up your team today, visit www.golfandgala.com or call 479-725-0404.

Presenting sponsors of the 2018 Color of Hope Gala include S.C. Johnson Company; Terri and Chuck Erwin; George’s, Inc. and Barbara Tyson. Founding sponsor Walmart.  For more information on sponsorships, please contact Kim Dutton at 479-725-0406.

About Arkansas Children’s

Arkansas Children’s, Inc. is the only health care system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows the organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. The system includes a 336-bed hospital in Little Rock with the state’s only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center, burn center, Level 4 neonatal intensive care and pediatric intensive care, and research institute as well as a nationally-recognized transport service. It is one of the 25 largest children’s hospitals in the United States and is nationally ranked by U.S. News World & Report in cardiology/heart surgery, neurology/neurosurgery, nephrology and pulmonology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale includes 233,613 square feet of inpatient beds, emergency care, clinic rooms and diagnostic services. Arkansas Children’s also blankets the state with outreach programs that include telemedicine, mobile health and school-based health solutions. A private nonprofit, Arkansas Children’s boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking research and is committed to providing every child with access to the best care available, regardless of location or resources. Founded as an orphanage, Arkansas Children’s has championed children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow for more than 100 years. For more info, visit www.archildrens.org.