Jason McDoniel was always looking for things to count as a kid, be it baseball cards or change. So it’s no surprise the Searcy native discovered a career in banking after taking a part-time teller job while attending the University of Arkansas.
McDoniel studied accounting at the UA and went full time into banking after graduation. His natural leadership skills were noted, and he was promoted to controller in the accounting department of The Bank of Fayetteville.
He later moved his family to Memphis, Tenn., to take an accounting job at First Horizon National Corp.
In early 2016, McDoniel got a call from a former boss in Fayetteville who was retiring. His family was happy and settled in Memphis, so McDoniel was reluctant in agreeing to an interview. But that interview convinced him that Legacy was where he wanted to be, and living elsewhere had made him appreciate Northwest Arkansas that much more.
McDoniel’s former boss, Sam Strickland, continued to work part time for a few months and helped McDoniel settle into the new role. Strickland was a strong mentor over the years, McDoniel said.
“I admire him professionally, and I like to see myself handling things the way he would.”
With assets of about $575 million, Legacy recently purchased the Bank of Gravett, and McDoniel helped oversee that acquisition.
“In my position, I do all the things nobody wants to do; there’s a lot of regulatory reporting and running scenarios,” he said. “But I love it, and I’m enjoying helping to grow Legacy’s footprint in the area.”
McDoniel has served on the Arkansas Bankers Association’s Emerging Leaders Board and is pursuing an MBA through the University of Memphis. He enjoys running, cycling on the greenways and spending time with his wife and two children.