(FAYETTEVILLE) About 16,000 people from around the world will converge on Northwest Arkansas this week for Wal Mart Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting and celebration for employees.
While the latter event, held Friday morning and known for its party like atmosphere with A-list celebrities, typically draws the most attention, this year’s formal business meeting on Wednesday is already grabbing much of the spotlight. That’s because presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is scheduled to attend to present a proposal filed by a Wal Mart employee and shareholder seeking to add an hourly employee to Wal Mart’s board of directors.
The Wednesday meeting starts at 10:30 a.m. at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers.
Wednesday’s agenda also includes votes on two shareholder proposals listed in the Bentonville retailer’s recent proxy statement: a request to strengthen prevention of workplace sexual harassment, and a request to adopt cumulative voting. Wal Mart’s board of directors has recommended shareholders reject both proposals.
Shareholders also will vote on 12 director nominees, eight of whom are for independent seats. The nominees are Cesar Conde, Steve Easterbrook, Tim Flynn, Sarah Friar, Carla Harris, Tom Horton, Marissa Mayer, Wal Mart President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon, current board chairman Greg Penner, Steve Reinemund, Rob Walton and Steuart Walton.
Wednesday evening, Wal Mart employees will be treated to a free concert at Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville campus. On Thursday, the retailer will host tours of its stores and clubs. Another popular spot for visitors during shareholders week is the Wal Mart Museum, Sam Walton’s original Five and Dime in downtown Bentonville.
All the activities lead up to the main event — Friday’s star-studded celebration and business update for employees and shareholders. It will be held at Bud Walton Arena starting at 8 a.m.