Fast 15: Omar A. Mejia

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When Omar Mejia’s teacher at Rogers High School found him a part-time teller’s position at Arvest in his junior year, he had “no clue” he would end up in banking.

“It was not one of my first choices when I did my career orientation,” said Mejia, who started at a Springdale branch in 2002.

But over the years, he moved up the ranks to senior teller and assistant manager before becoming branch manager at the Rogers location on New Hope Road about 5 ½ years ago. He was promoted to vice president in January 2012, and now heads the downtown Rogers branch.

What he enjoys most about banking is the opportunity to help others. Getting to pass on what he’s learned to his associates is satisfying, along with developing relationships with customers.

“When my customers look for me personally and I get comments from them like, ‘You’re just great with people,’ that’s what makes me feel really good,” he said.

Career highlights so far have included attending the weeklong Walton Institute for culture and leadership training in 2010, and becoming a manager.

With the latter, “you realize you’re now considered a trusted adviser, with peers, customers and associates,” he said.

He’s working on a bachelor’s degree in organizational management at John Brown University, and expects to graduate in 2014. After that, he plans to go for a master’s.

The next move on his career path would be a branch administrator position, in which he would supervise managers of several Arvest branches.

Mejia has served on various committees with the Frisco Festival in Rogers for several years, and has been active with the Northwest Arkansas chapter of ALPFA, a leadership development organization for Latinos.

His personal time includes running in the mornings, as well as spending time with his 10-month-old son “and watching him grow up a little too quickly.”

Mejia said his motivation to work so hard to succeed comes from his family, especially his parents, who remind him he has opportunities they didn’t.

“You need to do whatever you have to do, make sure you thrive at any job you have,” he said they tell him. “That’s just a reminder of where I came from.”