Board of Directors


Shannon Bedore, MBA  |  President

A twenty-year veteran of the retail industry with five of those years spent at the intersection of health care and retail, Shannon is the founder and Managing Director of Sightline Retail in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Shannon spent two of her 12 years at Walmart as the Director of Business Development of Health & Wellness and was responsible for the Walmart Health and Wellness Clinics & Payer Innovation, including hospital contract negotiation for medical scope of service, Electronic Medical Records and private label innovation for part D reimbursement for PBM (pharmaceutical benefits management). In her three years as Walmart’s Senior Category Director of Wellness OTC Merchandising, she lead a $4.5 billion merchandising portfolio, oversaw DME Innovation and managed the Medicare Part B/Competitive Bid.

In 2011, Shannon cofounded a free-standing maternity center in Northwest Arkansas to provide clinical, education and retail in one setting with integrated care with St. Louis-based Mercy Health System. She contracted with third-party commercial payers and captured a 4% market share in first 12 months of operations. The center was sold to a private equity firm in 2014.

Shannon’s volunteer leadership as the President of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Northwest Arkansas Chapter led to the creation of the state’s first Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. She serves on the Board of Directors at Mercy Hospital Rogers, the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Indiana University Retail Advisory Board. She was named one of Arkansas’ Forty Under 40 by Arkansas Talk Business & Politics in 2016.


Debby Winters, PhD, JD  |  Secretary

Dr. Winters has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia. She completed postdoctoral training in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY working on the expression of Cytochrome P450 with funding from an NIH Postdoctoral Training Grant. She studied the molecular detection of such food borne pathogens as Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jeuni and E. coli O157:H7 by PCR and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis in the Food Science and Poultry Science Departments at the University of Arkansas. She has extensive experience in both cloning and sequencing of DNA coding for specific genes in these microorganisms and has widely published in these areas.

Dr. Winters then went on to pursue a legal career, graduating magna cum laude with a J.D. from the University of Arkansas where she was on the Arkansas Law Review. She began her career in Intellectual Property law while working at Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor & Zafman in Denver, CO. Her legal practice has also involved debtor-creditor, bankruptcy, environmental, real estate and corporate law both in both private practice and in corporate settings. She is licensed to practice in both state and federal courts and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She manages the intellectual property for Virtual Incubation as well as handling other legal matters.

Dr. Winters designs and manages intellectual property portfolios, including patent and trademark filings and processing, market inventions, and licensing opportunities for high-tech start-up companies. She actively facilitates brainstorming sessions to identify new invention areas, sets priorities, and directs patent prosecution. She has also created and administered new policies for patents and trademarks, including the invention disclosure process. She is accomplished at preparing, evaluating, negotiating, approving and executing legal contracts and documents. She combines her training in science and law in the blog IP Concerns, where she keeps her followers up-to-date on IP issues that concern the everyday person.


Tim McFarland  |  Treasurer

Tim has been serving leaders of organizations since 1981 and leading organizations since 1988. He has had the opportunity to serve as CEO of a commercial bank as well as CEO in the private sector.  Having participated in commercial banking in three different states and as a commercial lender, head of commercial banking, chief credit officer and chief executive officer and then as chief executive officer in the private sector, has allowed Tim to gain a wide range of experience and first hand knowledge of a rather large case history of situations and outcomes.   Tim served as President of the Pinnacle Group, Scottsdale, AZ, a group of five diverse businesses and other holdings with majority ownership held by the founder of Giant Industries, an NYSE company.  He also served on the Board of Directors at Bank of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM and First American Bank in Colorado Springs, CO.

Currently Tim serves as CEO of Elevate Performance, where he strives to serve others through his experiences, both successes and failures, as well as by valuing and bringing forth the knowledge and experience of many capable leaders of Northwest Arkansas and beyond who work with the firm either as a member of a peer advisory group or a presenter / speaker of a forum or at the Elevate Speaker Series.

Prior to forming Elevate Performance, Tim spent much of his first decade upon returning to Arkansas working with and striving to advance Arkansas’ Entrepreneurship, Tech Oriented Start-ups, Competitiveness in the Knowledge Economy and the creation of Knowledge-based jobs, which in the end will determine how competitive Arkansas’ economy will become.   Those activities led Tim to serve as the Founding Chairman of Accelerate Arkansas and the Arkansas Venture Forum, assisting Arkansas Capital with various projects and work with the partners of Diamond State Ventures in the formation and launch of its second venture fund.

Melanie Merkling

Bio coming soon