Arvest Bank has announced the retirement of longtime executive Dick Trammel, effective Dec. 31. The bank is planning to celebrate Trammel’s career with a reception from 2-4 p.m. on Jan. 14 at its downtown Rogers branch at 201 W. Walnut St.
“I turned 81 in October and most of my friends [retired] a long time before I did, but I had to work longer to have enough money to retire because they made more money than I did,” Trammel joked. “I went to [working] three days a week this year because I just didn’t want to drop off. It has been the plan for me to retire at the end of this year.”
Trammel, an executive vice president and community and business relations advisor for Arvest, has been with the Fayetteville-based banking company for most of its existence.
Arvest Bank Group Inc., traces its beginnings to the 1961 acquisition of The Bank of Bentonville by Walmart Inc. founders Sam and Helen Walton for $300,000. The bank had less than 50 employees and $3.5 million in deposits.
In 1963, Arvest began to widen its footprint in Benton County when it acquired The Bank of Pea Ridge. In 1975, the group acquired First National Bank & Trust Co. in Rogers. On July 1 that same year, Trammel began his career with Arvest as vice president of FNB Rogers. Before that, Trammel was a banker and active civic leader in his hometown of Pocahontas in northeast Arkansas.
He had also helped build Walmart Store No. 71 there and had become friends with Walton.
“I just wanted to make a change,” Trammel told the Business Journal in 2011 “I drove over [to Bentonville] on a Sunday afternoon to meet Mr. Sam and we negotiated and I’ve been here ever since.”
Trammel recalled Benton County’s first ATM machine, installed in the late 1970’s at the old West Walnut Street branch of FNB Rogers.
“We didn’t know if people would like that sucker or not,” he said. “But we had our people stationed on that ATM from 6 a.m. to midnight for two weeks showing customers how to use it. Today our bank has more ATMs in Northwest Arkansas than any other bank.”
Arguably one of the state’s most involved community leaders, Trammel is in his final year of service on the Arkansas Highway Commission. He’s also on the advisory board of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest campus in Fayetteville, and is a board member for a number of groups including the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, NorthWest Arkansas Community College Foundation, University of Arkansas Foundation, The Cancer Challenge and the U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation.
Trammel, a former University of Arkansas cheerleader and 1960 UA graduate, is also a committee member of the UA’s multiyear fundraising effort launched in 2016, called “Campaign Arkansas.”