Arvest Bank promotes Rivaldo to regional executive

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 3,239 views 

The chief executive of Arvest Bank’s largest market is moving up the company’s leadership chain.

Craig Rivaldo, president and CEO of Arvest Benton County since May 2014, is set to take over as one of two regional executives for the Fayetteville-chartered company. The promotion will be effective Feb. 1, 2020.

Rivaldo will replace Don Walker, who is retiring from his job as a regional executive on Jan. 31, ending five years in that role and winding up a 42-year career with Arvest.

“The experience and expertise Craig has gained over the last 30-plus years — including serving as president for two of our Arkansas markets —  positions him perfectly to move into this role,” Arvest president and CEO Kevin Sabin said in a statement. “Craig has long been a key member of our team here at Arvest, and I have no doubt he will bring invaluable insight and thoughtful leadership to the local banks he will serve.”

A regional executive has oversight of multiple markets in the Arvest footprint. Although all Arvest markets are technically part of the same Fayetteville charter, the company currently maintains 14 separate community banking markets in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Each has its own executive team and advisory board.

Arvest has two regional executives. Rivaldo and his Oklahoma counterpart, Brad Krieger, will each have oversight of seven markets.

A Fort Smith native, Rivaldo held several positions after joining Arvest as a trainee in 1987 and was part of the team that launched Arvest’s operations in Fort Smith in 1999. Before his appointment to lead the Benton County market, Rivaldo was president and CEO for Arvest Fort Smith, a position he took in 2010.

In his role as a regional executive, Rivaldo will assist Arvest banks in Arkansas, working closely with management teams and boards of directors in overseeing expansion opportunities, business plan execution, asset quality and budgeting.

“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Don Walker and look forward to this new challenge,” Rivaldo said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for Arvest and our customers, and I’m eager to get to work with our banks here in Arkansas, specifically, as we continue to meet the needs and demands of those we serve.”

Rivaldo is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University, the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University and the National Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Mary Jo, have one son.

A search for a new president in Benton County is underway, and an announcement will be made when a successor is selected.

Arvest Benton County is the largest of the company’s 14 locally managed markets. It has 24 banking offices in the county, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), more than the next three banks (Bank OZK, First Security Bank and Grand Savings Bank) combined.

In November, Arvest opened a new 25,000-square-foot banking center on Pauline Whitaker Parkway in Rogers that serves as headquarters of the Benton County market.

In addition to traditional staff, the branch houses mortgage and commercial lenders, as well as Arvest Wealth Management and treasury management employees.