Forty Under 40: Mary Beth Brooks

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Mary Beth Brooks, 38, wore every hat at Arvest Bank-Fayetteville from division manager for branches inside Wal-Mart Supercenters to commercial lender. A promotion to serve at Arvest Bank-Rogers during summer 2003 offered Brooks a chance to revisit her roots in retail banking.

A state board member for Arkansas Childrens Hospital, Brooks earned a bachelors degree in finance in 1986 from the University of Arkansas. She worked initially as a bank examiner for the Arkansas State Bank Department. Then she spent three years at what is now BancorpSouth in her hometown of Fort Smith, ultimately serving there as chief financial officer.

In 1993, Brooks moved to Memphis where she worked in lending and was a regional retail banking consultant for the National Bank of Commerce. She joined Fayettevilles Community Bank of North Arkansas in 1997, but Arvest hired her away within a year.

Brooks, who recently helped found the Walton College Alumni Society, earned a masters in banking in 1993 from the University of Wisconsin.

Her favorite pastime is traveling, and her favorite place to visit is The Czech Republic. She is the daughter of former Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice and UA Trustee Bradley D. Jesson.