Signature Bank of Arkansas recently partnered with Serve2Perform in an initiative to prepare and place eight to 12 Latino members on the bank’s market advisory boards.
The LatinXNA Board Placement Initiative is one of the first initiatives undertaken by the recently-appointed president for multicultural banking, Francisco Herrero. Signature Bank, a subsidiary of Fayetteville-based White River Bancshares Co., is the pilot partner in the initiative with Serve2Perform, a professional development firm in Fayetteville.
“I feel it is important to start with bold moves,” Herrero said. “We have grand plans for diversity and empowering economic development for the Latino community. This is only the first step.”
According to a news release, Serve2Perform looks to expand the initiative to include other Northwest Arkansas organizations interested in adding Latino members to their boards. The release also noted the LatinXNA campaign that Serve2Perform launched three years ago and comprises more than 450 professionals looking to grow their careers, colleagues, companies, and communities.
Megan Arroyos, managing director of brand and culture for Serve2Perform, said the LatinXNA Board Placement Initiative is open to all area Latinos, including LatinXNA members. Feb. 7 is the application deadline for the advisory board roles of Signature Bank.
Arroyos said Serve2Perform would help prepare the selected applicants for the board roles, which are expected to be filled in May or June. She added that the initiative is the first of its kind in the area.
“This amazing opportunity helps us further deliver on our LatinXNA mission to engage, elevate and empower Latino talent through every sector in Northwest Arkansas,” said Adam Arroyos, founder and CEO of Serve2Perform. “Kudos to Signature Bank of Arkansas for demonstrating leadership on how to be intentional with achieving diversity and inclusion at the highest level. They’ve taken meaningful action, and we’re so proud of them for leading the way.”
Signature Bank has advisory boards for each market in which it operates a branch. In Northwest Arkansas, that includes Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale. Herrero said the bank would add Latino members to its Rogers advisory board before expanding into other markets.
Tori Bogner, vice president/marketing director of Signature Bank, said the five advisory boards in Northwest Arkansas and Harrison have 42 members. Bogner noted that after the new members are added to the advisory boards through the initiative, about 20% of their membership will be Latino.
“I hope that by being part of this program, the members who serve will look back to find the experience has changed their lives,” said Scott Sandlin, chief strategy officer for Signature Bank. “I see this as a transformative experience, a springboard to launch these individuals into deeper community engagement as active, knowledgeable board members who are giving back and improving their lives and communities through service.”
Megan Arroyos said the initiative has been in the works for about two months and came about after a conversation between Sandlin and Adam Arroyos, seeking opportunities for area Latinos.
“We are growing so fast and are the largest growing minority in the area and the nation,” she said.
She said the initiative was launched after Sandlin brought the idea to the bank’s board. Bogner added that Adam Arroyos recently was named to the White River Bancshares board.
In December, Signature Bank announced Herrero’s appointment to better serve existing and potential customers by focusing on the unique needs of the Latino community. Herrero, born in Puerto Rico and raised in Madrid, is a certified public accountant and spent 17 years with Walmart. He’s active in LatinXNA and served four years as president of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA). Adam Arroyos founded the area ALPFA chapter.