Forty Under 40: Jonathan McNair

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,461 views 

Class of 2021 Forty Under 40 Jonathan McNair Chief Financial Officer First Western Bank, Rogers

In a decade, Jonathan McNair transformed dismal job prospects into his dream job.

McNair graduated from the University of Arkansas with a finance degree soon after the recession and discovered that finance jobs were scarce. The Little Rock native had hoped to work in a larger market like Dallas but realized he just needed a job.

He searched throughout Rogers, handing out his printed resume when he found a job at First Western processing mortgage loans. Later, when a job opportunity arose on the investment side, he obtained his license as a financial adviser.

McNair enjoys challenges and desires to constantly learn. So, after a few years, when management proposed that he intern for the role of CFO, he took the opportunity despite steep requirements. He was asked to complete a second bachelor’s degree in accounting and graduate from the Barrett School of Banking in Memphis — all while working full time and being trained by the outgoing CFO, who was relocating but willing to provide guidance remotely.

Thus began several of the most challenging years of his life. He was enrolled concurrently in undergraduate and graduate programs while working as assistant CFO.

In December 2019, McNair took over his current role.

“I have my dream job,” he said. “And it turns out that Northwest Arkansas is a special gem.”

The bank has supported him in community outreach. McNair served on boards for the Arkansas Early Learning/National Head Start Program and Camp Acacia and took a board certification course through NWA Emerging Leaders. He later chaired that organization’s Legacy Workgroup and taught that board certification course.

McNair has his Series 7, Series 66, and Arkansas Insurance licenses.