Rivaldo to head Arvest’s Fort Smith area division

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 59 views 

Craig Rivaldo, one of the two bankers who began in 1999 Arvest Bank’s Fort Smith operations, was named president and CEO of Arvest’s Fort Smith-River Valley division effective July 6.

Rivaldo, 45, now works at the bank’s executive vice president and loan manager in Fort Smith.

The top spot opened when John Womack — the other banker to start Arvest’s Fort Smith division — was named the chairman and CEO of Arvest’s Little Rock region.

Womack moves from a Fort Smith market with about $730 million in assets to a Little Rock market with more than $1 billion in assets. Along with Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the Little Rock market is one of the bigger markets for Arvest with at least one-tenth of the bank’s total assets.

Arvest operates more than 200 locations in 16 locally-managed markets in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Total assets exceed $10 billion, making Arvest the largest bank in Arkansas ranked by deposits, and the largest bank in Oklahoma ranked by number of locations.

“Craig has been here since the opening of the bank in Fort Smith and has done a solid job leading the loan department. He began his banking career with Arvest in Fayetteville in 1987 and has always been respected for his work ethic and focus on doing things the right way” Cliff Gibbs, regional president of Arvest, said in a statement. “Craig’s promotion keeps our key management team together. He has been with Arvest from day one in Fort Smith and knows our customers in this area and the community.”

Womack praised Rivaldo’s selection.

“He’ll do a great job. I’m not sure we could have found someone who knows the community like Craig,” Womack said.

Rivaldo stressed that Arvest’s Fort Smith division is not “a one-person” organization.

“This is a 400-person strong company and we continue to have our key management team in place and that’s not going to change,” Rivaldo said. “It’s an humbling opportunity for me, I won’t lie to you. It’s an honor having worked here since the beginning and now getting to succeed my mentor.”

Arvest’s Fort Smith area operation has more than 400 employes, 24 banking locations and 28 ATMs in 10 communities including Fort Smith, Van Buren, Alma, Mena, Greenwood, Russellville, Clarksville, Paris and Sallisaw and Poteau, Okla.

Rivaldo is a graduate of Northside High School, Arkansas Tech University, Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University and the National Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma. He began his started his banking career in 1982 and has worked in many areas of the bank including as a credit analyst, loan operations, commercial lending and sales manager.