Arvest Bank has announced that Kent Williamson is the new president and chief executive officer of the bank’s Springdale market. His promotion follows Lisa Ray’s move to regional executive for Arvest Bank Group.
Williamson began the new job May 1. He has served as the loan manager for Arvest Bank’s Springdale market since 1999. He joined Arvest as a commercial banker in 1992 after working as a bank examiner for the Arkansas Bank Department since 1989.
“Kent’s proven leadership skills, strong community service, broad knowledge and experience in banking, and his commitment to offering exceptional customer service have served Arvest and the community well during his 24 years at Arvest in Springdale” Lisa Ray, regional executive for Arvest, said in a news release. “Kent is well-respected by co-workers and customers, and his track record of overseeing the Springdale bank’s loan staff while maintaining asset quality made him the natural choice for the president position.”
Ray’s promotion from Arvest Springdale’s president to regional executive was prompted by the April 30 retirement of 30-year Arvest executive, Cliff Gibbs.
“The Springdale Arvest family has great leadership at every level and truly cares about our customers. I am grateful for the opportunity to help lead our bank as we continue to help our customers find their financial solutions for life,” Williamson said in the release.
Williamson is a Paragould native who earned his Bachelor of Science in finance and banking at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1988. He has also graduated from National Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma in Norman in 1994 and the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1997.
He was a member of the Army National Guard’s 142nd Field Artillery Brigade, rising to operations sergeant, from 1984 to 1991. He served with the brigade as operations sergeant during Operations Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991.
Williamson has extensive community service, including current service on the board for the United Way of Northwest Arkansas. He previously served on the boards of the Springdale Kiwanis, where he was president in 2002, and received the George F. Hixson Award in 2007; Springdale Public Schools Education Foundation; Partners in Education; Springdale Chamber of Commerce; Arkansas Aviation Technology Center where he also served as chairman; and the Washington County Library Board.