I am a Senior Level CPG Sales Director and retail enthusiast. I have over 11 years of account management experience with the last 6 specific to CPG. I have built relationships with merchants from Walmart and Sam's Club to PetSmart and Tractor Supply across various categories from Pets to Sporting Goods and others in between. I approach relationships and account management through active listening, retail problem solving, info-centric sales strategies, and respect for the individual. My non-traditional CPG background equips me with a unique collection of experiences (in finance, digital and technology, branding and marketing, business management, and product development) that affords me the ability to understand and approach account management from a comprehensive viewpoint, not just selling in the next item.
Dan oversees the vision of The Happy Group Inc., which encompasses The Happy Egg Co. and Arena. He brings 20 years of experience in go-to-market strategy, branding, business development and executive management to the enterprise. Dan and his wife Catherine have three sons. He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, sports, and finding ways to compete in every area of life.
As President of Arena Tom is responsible for helping the organization devote all energy to serving clients and to building their brands at retail. He has decades of experience across academic and business sectors, including: Strategy consulting, executive leadership, organizational start-ups, and as a university professor. He serves on both corporate and non-profit boards. Tom and Susan have three grown children and seven grandchildren. They love traveling and spending time together.
Alex leads a business unit as a Sales Director at Arena.
His diverse background includes finance consulting in London, where he built risk and pricing strategies for multinational corporations—as well as international food product manufacturing.
Immediately prior to joining Arena Alex focused his energies on growing a nationally branded food business as a senior executive, which achieved 50%+ YOY growth over three years. It is currently the fastest growing brand in the category.
He loves to envision, innovate, and strategize with clients.
Alex and his wife Jess live in Bentonville with their three young children, and two dogs. They love the outdoors, traveling and good food.
Braxton is an experienced merchant with a proven history of working in the retail industry. He joined us from Pabst Brewing, prior to that Braxton spent 5 years as a Wine and Spirits buyer at Walmart. Braxton has over 12 years of retail experience, with roles spanning from analyst, buyer, and account manager. Braxton has spent the last 20 years serving in the Army National Guard, still an active member he currently commands Officer Candidate School for the state of Arkansas. Building brands and relationships are the two aspects of the business that keep Braxton motivated! Braxton’s free time is spent at home with his wife of 17 years Courtney and his 2 daughters: Gracyn (12) and Kamryn (8).
With a diverse background in higher education and business, Shannon assists the Sales Directors in multiple ways, including in sales, analytics, retail strategy, project management, and marketing. She also leads several small and mid-sized brands as they grow their business at Walmart. Shannon and her husband, Mark, live in Lowell with their two dogs, Edmund and Murphy.
Jenna brings experience across multiple areas to the Arena, focusing on business partnerships and internal analytics. She values creating meaningful experiences and insights for our team and clients. Jenna has a degree in Hospitality Management from Missouri State University. She is a self-proclaimed foodie, enjoys traveling internationally, drinking iced coffee, reading and the outdoors.
Shara leads a sales team at Arena, backed by 30 years’ experience in sales and marketing. After her first career in IT, she joined the retail vendor world helping businesses succeed through excellence in analytics, category management and sales across various categories. Shara has a BSBA in Accounting from the University of Arkansas. She loves living in Bentonville, raising her two daughters.
Jessica provides meaningful insights and data solutions to help shape the strategy of her client businesses. She has 12+ years of analytics experience in CPG categories, including personal care, OTC pharmacy, impulse, home and grocery. Jessica has a BA in Communications - Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. She lives in Rogers with her husband and three sons.
As our Brand Insights Manager, Sarah provides brand insights and industry trends across her client portfolio. From instore analysis, online presence, product design, and overall brand strategy, Sarah helps to identify future drivers of brand growth and success. She has a BS in Marketing and Business Analytics from the University of Arkansas. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys anything arts and crafts, playing guitar, and hosting game nights with friends.
Cory serves as Arena's Operations Manager where he is responsible for implementing & improving processes across the organization. His expertise in interpreting & managing data makes him impactful across all departments & his insight enhances the trajectory of Arena's operational goals. For fun, Cory enjoys learning new knots, boxing, critiquing whatever city he is in, & pondering
Kirk leads one of Arena’s business units as a Sales Director. He joined us from Walmart, where he spent more than 6 years as a senior buyer. Kirk has over 15 years of retail experience, with roles spanning from sales, category management, shopper insights, & finance. He is passionate about building brands and helping companies reach their full potential.
Kirk keeps busy at home with his 4 children: Grace (16), Ben (13), Rhett (11) & Yohana (9). He also has an 18-month old chocolate lab named Jake.
Laura serves as a National Account Manager. She joined us from Sam’s Club where she spent time in corporate strategy and in buying for over 5 years. She is a Northwest Arkansas native and has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance from the University of Arkansas. She is passionate about retail, has a strong partnership-focused mindset and is fervently invested in growing her clients’ business at Walmart and Sam’s. Laura and her husband have 2 children and she enjoys running, swimming, reading, hiking, and lengthy strategic board games.
Jason brings over 12 years of Retail Sales Management experience and a passion for helping clients exceed organizational goals. With a unique approach, he quickly develops new business by staying focused on the consumer and bringing our clients vision to life with intuition and data driven analysis. In addition to his experience, he has an MBA from John Brown University. Jason and his wife stay busy chasing their 4 kids around ball fields and gymnasiums. He also serves as a worship leader in his hometown of Jay, Oklahoma. In his spare time, Jason loves playing music, watching sports, and trying to catch a fish when he can.
Shawn oversees the replenishment side of the business utilizing his experience gained through working at multiple startups and Walmart. He desires to use his expertise and drive to help businesses reach their full selling potential within the retail space. Shawn and his wife, Ragan, live in Fayetteville and argue it’s the best city in NWA. House projects, presidential biographies, and grabbing drinks with friends are usually on his weekend to-do list.
Gena supports Arena as Chief Of Staff. In addition, she carries responsibility for revenue-generating Special Projects. Gena loves helping teammates shine, including creating a positive environment around the office for employees and clients. She has a BA in Communications from the University of Arkansas. Gena and her husband Bart and have two adult children, Taylor and Kate. She enjoys remodeling homes, being an Airbnb superhost, and living off the Bentonville Square in Walmart’s hometown.