Like most men, Keith Bowles met his future wife while attending college. They both played basketball at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville.
But when the future Mrs. Bowles was accepted into the master’s program at the University of Arkansas, Bowles began a path that has established him as an emerging presence with the state’s largest bank.
“I was looking for a job,” he recalled. “I started having some success pretty early [with Arvest], so I thought I might see where this takes me.”
Bowles started with Arvest in 2009 and has been promoted to a variety of positions, many of which were management roles. He was promoted to branch manager in 2012 (Bowles oversees 10 employees at the Fayetteville location on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), and earned another promotion to assistant vice president late last year.
Success was achieved quickly. Bowles won the bank’s sales and service award in Fayetteville three times (2010, 2011 and 2012) and in 2010 was recognized for having the top sales figures out of all Arvest financial service representatives.
Bowles also established and developed an event to help increase the bank’s commercial relationships in the treasury management division. The events are held twice each year at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale.
He said his objective each day is simple: Take care of the customer.
“One of the things I tell my team is that of all the goals we have, they all tie into customer service,” Bowles said. “If you really care enough about them, you’ll find a way to help them benefit from our products.”
Bowles’ civic involvement includes the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, where he sits on the small business/entrepreneurship committee.
He is also involved with several educational initiatives that all have a common denominator — helping young people. Bowles co-founded Youth Lectures Group three years ago to foster community involvement opportunities for area youth, as well as financial literacy.
He’s also the treasurer for The Art Experience Inc., a Fayetteville nonprofit that serves as an outreach program for at-risk kids.
“I think about helping the next person, and I think about kids who are born into situations where they don’t really have any choices,” Bowles said. “I want them to have opportunities they wouldn’t have without some help.”