Wednesday Kudos: Arvest Mortgage, Tyson Foods Hit Milestones

by Stephanie Baker ([email protected]) 146 views 

Arvest Mortgage has a record-breaking year, Tyson Foods earns an “A,” and Webster University has new leadership on its Little Rock campus.

Arvest Bank said its mortgage lending and servicing activities for 2012 were part of a record-breaking performance.

The bank originated more than 17,000 mortgage loans – both refinance loans and purchase money loans – totaling $2.56 billion in 2012 compared to $1.58 billion in 2011, a 62% increase.

The bank reported a 37 percent increase in the value of purchase money mortgages, from $597 million in 2011 to $818 million in 2012.

Arvest also said its mortgage servicing portfolio also had a record year, reaching approximately 62,000 loans in 2012. The outstanding balance of these loans grew from $6.3 billion in 2011 to $7.1 billion in 2012, or an increase of 12% in the value of loans being serviced.

The national Mortgage Bankers Association predicts strong growth in 2013. In a statement, Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s chief economist, said that growth in new-home sales and modest home price increases would both contribute to an increase in 2013 purchase originations.

Arvest Bank operates more than 240 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.

Tyson Foods, Inc. has received an “A” from the Global Reporting Initiative for its latest corporate social responsibility report, company officials announced.

The new sustainability report is the fourth Tyson Foods has produced since 2005, but the first to receive the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Application Level “A.”

The designation represents a high degree of disclosure and transparency in sustainability reporting. GRI is a world-recognized organization that promotes economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Among the key accomplishments outlined in the report:

  • Animal well-being: In 2012 Tyson announced the launch of FarmCheck, a program to audit animal treatment at the independent farms that supply the company.
  • Water and fuel conservation: Since 2004, Tyson has cut water consumption by nearly 11%. Through efforts to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, the company has eliminated more than 145 million over-the-road truck miles since 2011.
  • Nutrition: In 2012 Tyson launched nine new products that meet updated nutritional standards for school meals.
  • Hunger and disaster relief: Since 2010 Tyson donated more than 18 million pounds of food, valued at $23 million, to nonprofit hunger relief agencies across the U.S.
  • Charitable giving: Tyson has donated $10 million to support education, health and human services, families and the environment since 2010.

Kelly Lyon has been named as Webster University’s Director of the Little Rock area campuses. Webster University has a metropolitan campus in
downtown Little Rock and a campus at the Little Rock Air Force Base.

Before joining Webster, Lyon worked at the University of Central Arkansas for nine years. While there she served as a full-time faculty in the university’s developmental writing program, the Assistant Director of the Sponsored Programs Office, and finally the Director of the Center for Community and Economic Development.

Prior to working at UCA, Lyon held positions in the public and private sector, including Acxiom, the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority, and the staff of Governor Jim Guy Tucker, and owning her own small business.