Top 100 Women of Impact: Angie Cooper

Angie Cooper

Executive Vice President, Heartland Forward
Executive Director, Heartland Summit

About me: I’m enjoying my professional journey. Starting in merchandising at Walmart, 16 years later I was leading Walmart’s global public policy team. Today, I am executive vice president of Heartland Forward, a think-and-do tank dedicated to being a resource for states and communities, advancing economic opportunity in 20 heartland states.

I have always loved public policy. Being the daughter of a mayor in Enid, Oklahoma, and working in D.C. during college both shaped the passion I have for taking action to ensure states and communities thrive. 

I have the pleasure of serving on multiple boards, currently as chair for Common Threads, providing nutrition education in under-resourced communities. These experiences provide broader impact opportunities. I also love traveling, learning new things, being with friends and family and meeting new people.

Lives in: Bentonville • Works: Across 20 states

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: I used to think success was moving up the corporate ladder, making it all about title and status. I quickly learned that experiencing new job functions, geographical regions and opportunities to work with other leaders truly advance a career. It is more enjoyable and allows for further advancement.

Call to Action: It’s estimated 42 million Americans don’t have access to reliable internet connection. A 2021 Deloitte study found if there had been a 10% increase in broadband access in 2014, there would have been 875,000 additional jobs in 2019 and $186 billion more in economic output. These numbers underscore how crucial it is to get this right. Learn more about the Arkansas Connectivity Coalition and Connecting the Heartland initiative.

What Keeps Me Motivated: I like to run hard. I’m motivated by a team driving positive action. I love to have family and friends surrounding me. I could not live without the laugh-out-loud moments, the times I get to travel, relax and not do a single thing.

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

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