Kenny Whitehead learned about hard work and diligence by running a summer lawn care service during high school with his dad, a teacher in Cameron, Okla.
“My Saturday nights were spent mowing at Sam’s Club until midnight because you had to do it while no one else was there,” Whitehead said.
Playing high school baseball and basketball taught Whitehead that “nothing worth having comes easy. There are people with natural talents that are better at things than I am, but I’m not going to let anyone outwork me.”
During his first two years at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, Whitehead interned at his uncle’s accounting firm in Poteau, Okla. The tax seasons of his junior and senior years were with Landmark (formerly Beall Barclay) in Fort Smith. As the president of Beta Alpha Psi, an international organization for accounting students, he helped establish an accounting tutoring program. Whitehead graduated in 2016 with a double major in accounting and business administration and went to work at Landmark as a staff accountant, with a promotion to senior accountant within 18 months.
Known for improving efficiency in the office, Whitehead said he works hard to determine “what needs to be done and tries to get it done faster and better than the way it was done before.”
Describing himself as “more of a people person before a numbers person,” Whitehead doesn’t use a cookie cutter approach to leadership. “I like to get to know people personally, how they work, how they handle constructive criticism. I think it’s really important to lead on an individualized level, where you’re actually leading them to success.”
With clients, he tries to understand their needs and then give them valuable insights. “Everything we do is client based. If they don’t succeed, then I’m not succeeding at their account. So I try to add as much value to our typical services as I possibly can.”
His long-term goal is “to be the best at everything I do. That’s been ingrained in me and what drives me every day. I want to be the best husband, best worker, best friend,” he said.
Whitehead is active in the HOPE Humane Society in Fort Smith. He also enjoys bass fishing, camping and spending time with wife, Aubrey and their rescue dog.