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A Life Well Lived, with Lots of Runway Ahead - Dr. Adam Arroyos'​ Journey

Written by: Raymond Arroyo, SERVE2PERFORM Board of Advisors

Dr. Adam Arroyos is a devout family man, living with integrity in everything he does, sharing a part of himself for the success of others. He is driven to change the world, starting in Northwest Arkansas (NWA), a place he calls home. Adam is a results-oriented and deeply respected leader in and around Bentonville, home of Walmart, JB Hunt Transport, and Tyson Foods. For those who’ve had the opportunity to meet him, they know he’s also an innovative and analytical driver of change with a generous heart and immense talent. He’s intense with an almost impatient drive to create innovative ways for people to be better and do better in their community and in business. He’s inspired by “helping people achieve what they’ve never considered possible.” And, if people let him down, he says: “I pray for them, I learn from it, and I move on.”


Adam is happily married to Kate Arroyos, who was the inspiration for the launch of their company. She encouraged him and coached him along the way. She’s a school teacher who has taught in Fayetteville, Springdale, and Bentonville. She’s also a strong supporter of their company, Grandslam Performance Associates (GPA), focused on disrupting the talent, leadership and executive development industries through its serve2perform methodology.


GPA is not Adam’s company; it’s the family’s company. That’s the way they think of GPA. Two of their four children, Samantha and Megan work at GPA (started as interns and have significantly elevated their careers within the company). Their other two, Preston and Nathan, are the “co-chairmen” of the board. In August, he and Kate will be blessed to welcome their fifth child as their newest family member.


Other than getting married to Kate, his most important decision was to launch GPA, in 2012, which has now grown to serving clients throughout the country. While it wasn’t easy to get started, lacking mentors and appropriate funding, GPA is growing significantly and is able to provide organizations with a methodology that helps them deliver on their triple-bottom-line (company, constituent, and community) goals.


Dr. Arroyos honed his leadership skills with Walmart Stores, Inc., JCPenney, SVI, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, Donald W. Reynolds Boys and Girls Club, and the ALPFA Institute. It was through this journey which included leadership tenures in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors where he learned first-hand that companies, communities, and constituents (the 3Cs) can achieve more and with greater impact by working together and investing in each other’s success.


Adam came to Arkansas from Texas as a Walmart Associate to attend the Annual Shareholders meeting in 1994. He fell in love with all the open space, the beauty of nature, and the University of Arkansas (UofA). Within a couple of months, he moved to Fayetteville and enrolled at the UofA, located in NWA, which may be the fastest growing region in the country that you haven’t yet heard about. The region is the fastest-growing in the state, and the 15th fastest-growing in the U.S., with a 16% growth rate between 2010 and 2017. Rather than a central city with suburbs model, NWA has emerged as a unified region as small, disconnected cities grew and amalgamated over time.


Adam was there to stay. To get started, he conducted the first “state of diversity and inclusion” assessment of the region as a capstone project for the Master’s level course he was teaching at the UofA. As a strong ALPFA champion he launched the NWA ALPFA professional chapter, UofA chapter, Northwest Arkansas Community College Chapter and two high school chapters. He was appointed by the Governor to serve on the state’s Career Education and Workforce Development Board, now serving on his second term. Partnering with Walmart, he launched EngageNWA, which is focused on helping the region become a more inclusive community for all. He has served on many regional boards as well.


Dr. Arroyos is the author of “PerformanceGPA®: Achieving High Performance through Service,” and he is also a co-author of the recently published book, The Changing Context of Managing People: Managing Technology and Middle- and Low-skilled Employees: Advances for Economic Regeneration. More recently he co-launched The Latino Business Speakers Bureau, where Fortune 5000 companies can hire talented Latino speakers. He also launched LatinXNA, an annual empowerment campaign focused on elevating Latino talent in the region and LatinBFF, in partnership with the Bentonville Film Festival, focused on driving inclusion of the Latino community within the film industry.


For his contributions and accomplishments, Adam has received several accolades that include recognition by HispanicBusiness magazine as one of the top 100 influential corporate executives in the nation, recognition by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal as a member of one of its “Forty under 40” classes, among others. Adam has also earned the recognition of being one of the most sought-after executive coaches, corporate strategists, and keynote speakers.


With all that Adam has accomplished in NWA, he is just getting started. He wants to see the Latino community get united. He has seen how divisive we can be as a community and wants us all to be more intentional about helping and supporting each other. If we live by Adam’s example, we will be able to achieve it.

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