Kent Williamson was named president and CEO of Arvest Bank in Springdale beginning May 1, and his promotion follows Lisa Ray’s move to regional executive for Arvest Bank Group.
Williamson worked as the loan manager for Arvest Bank in Springdale 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 statement. “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.
Williamson is a Paragould native who earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and banking at the University of Arkansas 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 is on the board for the United Way of Northwest Arkansas, and 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. He is a graduate of Leadership Springdale, Class III.
Williamson is married to Kelley Williamson, a business teacher at Springdale High School. They have a son, Paul and a daughter, Anna.