The Tyson Center Board comprises of successful leaders from diverse businesses who play an important role in connecting students and faculty with best practices and engaging with the students to mentor and promote awareness about multi-faith workplace.
John H. Tyson
Chairman, Tyson Foods
The grandson of the company's founder, Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson has worked in the company since he was a teenager in virtually every department, from operations to sales and marketing to governmental relations. He also served as President and CEO. Tyson was the architect of the acquisition of IBP, Inc., in 2001, which precipitated a major change in the size and scope of the company's operations. He then structured the "new" Tyson Foods based on Core Values that define goals and standards for personal and professional success. A key part of its core values is that Tyson Foods strives to be a company of diverse people working together to produce food, which has been and continues to be a cornerstone that has supported the growth of the company throughout the years and continues to do so. John Tyson also created the company's first Executive Diversity Business Council to provide guidance on and support of inclusion and diversity. In recent years, Tyson has also been a leader in the concept and practice of providing company chaplains and the establishment of faith-friendly workplaces. A devoted father of two, Tyson is also engaged in supporting the well-being and education of youth. As such, he is actively involved in Tyson Foods' philanthropic efforts with a focus on education and hunger relief. Tyson describes Tyson Foods as a "faith-friendly company" – one that encourages its team members to integrate their faith into their work, whatever their faith might be. Tyson led the company efforts to develop a set of core values for Tyson Foods that states, among other things, "We strive to honor God and be respectful of each other, our customers, and other stakeholders." He also guided the development of a chaplaincy program at the company that currently includes over 100 chaplains at Tyson facilities across the United States. These chaplains represent a range of denominations and provide counsel and referral to any team member that wishes to discuss issues of concern. Chaplains scrupulously respect the beliefs of team members, including those not affiliated with any religion.
Sr. Software Manager, Walmart Labs
Issa Abboud is the President and founding member of the Bentonville Islamic Center and has resided in NWA since 1999. Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, he immigrated with his parents to the US in 1989. Issa is a proud Razorback earning his Masters of Information Systems from the University of Arkansas in 2008. He and his wife, Yusra Abboud have four children, ages 3, 11, 13, and 16. He is a 21-year Walmart Associate, working in WalmartLabs/Information Systems. Issa enjoys the great outdoors that Arkansas provides, including boating, fishing, and hunting.
Fadil H. Bayyari
Founder & CEO, Bayyari Properties and Construction
Highly successful as a developer and builder of Bayyari Construction & Properties, Fadil Bayyari has held important positions as Board Member of various entities like Endeavor Foundation , The Jones Center and The new School , The Rotary Club and Rodeo of The Ozarks. He is currently serving as Board member of NWA Council , Springdale School Foundation ,and Hospice. He and his family have donated to many community projects, including a recent $1 million gift to the Arkansas Children's Northwest hospital. He has a passion for religious tolerance which motivated him to build the first Synagogue, Mosque, and two other churches in NWA. His acts of charity have also been printed in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NWA Democrat Gazette and the Rotarian magazine. He is also a recipient of a Tikkun Olam Award by the Arkansas Jewish Federation. An elementary school in Springdale and two city parks are named in his honor. He has four kids David Lyle , Joseph , Sara and Sofia and two grand kids David Jon Layla and Jaime. He likes to say "I can't complain; it has been a wonderful life, I am blessed having great loving family, many friends, and if were to do it all over again, it would be the same way".
Corporate Chaplain, Simmons Foods Inc.
Nick arrived at Simmons by way of John Brown University, where completed his undergraduate studies. With intention of entering ministry/counseling fields, the opportunity to serve as "Chicken Chaplain" was offered and accepted in 2010. His heart for effective and compassionate pastoral care, as well as a passion for leadership development, has had a positive impact on people's lives and the culture of Simmons Foods. He leads a team of three Chaplains who are caring for Simmons' 6,000 employees and their immediate family members. He is personally responsible for Simmons' poultry facilities in AR, and pet food facilities in KS, NJ, and Toronto, ON. Nick is nearing completion of a Masters in Spiritual Leadership at Olivet Nazarene University this fall. He has a wonderfully supportive wife, Valerie, and together they have two children, Caleb and Caitlyn Belle.
Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Tyson Foods
Mary Oleksiuk leads human resources for Tyson Foods and is responsible for the company's human resources strategy and function, including talent, leadership, culture, total rewards, and performance excellence. Oleksiuk came to Tyson from The Hillshire Brands Company where she served as the chief human resources officer. Prior to Hillshire Brands, she served as chief human resources officer and senior vice president for Discover Financial Services. Earlier in her career, she was senior vice president, global human resources for Alberto Culver Company. Before that, Oleksiuk held numerous leadership roles in human resources at companies such as Limited Brands, Inc., Orbitz, and Solucient/Thomson Reuters. She began her career at Honeywell/AlliedSignal. Oleksiuk received dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Biology from Wayne State University. She also completed a Master of Science in Biology at the University of Illinois.