Laura Andress, Rodney Shepard take new executive roles with Arvest Bank

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 1,748 views 

Rodney Shepard and Laura Andress have accepted new executive roles with Arvest Bank.

Arvest Bank announced two new C-Suite positions Tuesday (Dec. 18) to help the Fayetteville-based banking company “focus on the experiences” of its customers and employees.

Rodney Shepard, formerly president and CEO of Arvest Bank’s Fort Smith and River Valley market, will become the company’s chief customer experience officer (CXO). Laura Andress, executive director of group human resources, will assume the title of chief people officer (CPO).

Both jobs will take effect Jan. 1.

The bank also announced Roger Holroyd, formerly president and CEO of the Siloam Springs market for Arvest Bank, has been named Shepard’s successor and will relocate to Fort Smith. Jason Kincy, Arvest Bank’s director of marketing, said the search for Holroyd’s successor is underway and it’s expected to proceed quickly.

“In the meantime, our customers can be assured that our team in Siloam Springs is well-equipped to manage any of their financial needs during this interim period,” Kincy said.

Arvest maintains its charter in Fayetteville, but operates its approximately 270 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 14 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team.

Shepard, who has worked for Arvest Bank for 25 years, will be responsible for “maintaining a strong relationship between Arvest and its customers,” according to a news release, and managing the overall day-to-day experience for customers and employees. Specifically, he will work with management at all levels to maintain a consistent, customer-first mentality across the bank’s physical and digital channels.

Andress, who is based in Springdale, joined Arvest Bank in 2004 following 13 years as an attorney and partner at a Fayetteville law firm.

Among other duties, she will be responsible for developing and executing a human resource plan of action in support of the bank’s strategic direction. Andress will work specifically in the areas of succession planning, talent management, organizational and performance management, training and development, benefits and compensation, and associate communication.

Kincy said Andress’ old position will also be backfilled.

Arvest Bank completed a notable acquisition in 2018 with the purchase of Bear State Financial Inc., the publicly traded holding company of Bear State Bank. Arvest completed its all-cash purchase — for $391 million — in April.

Related to that deal, Arvest Bank recently created a new operations role for Matt Machen — regional executive of enhanced banking services. Machen was previously president and CEO of Bear State Financial and Bear State Bank.

Arvest Bank is the second-largest bank based in Arkansas in terms of assets, according to the most recent data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), with $18.45 billion. Little Rock-based Bank of the Ozarks ($22.08 billion) is the only bank with more.

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