Simmons Bank promotes Van Ness, Gearhart to division presidents

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,060 views 

Arkansas-based Simmons Bank announced Thursday (May 26) the promotions of Charlie Van Ness of Fayetteville and Patrick Gearhart of Wichita, Kan. to division president. Van Ness will oversee the bank’s markets in Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock and Tulsa, Okla. Gearhart will lead markets in Wichita, Kansas City, Mo., and Oklahoma City, Okla.

“Pat’s wealth of experience and compassion for his community and team make him a natural fit to serve as division president,” Greg Martin, executive vice president of commercial banking, said in a news release. “Charlie’s track record for consistency positions him well to lead our markets to pursue high performance and organic growth. Their expertise will support our ability to drive growth and expand customer relationships throughout the region. We look forward to Pat and Charlie’s leadership in this region.”

With 15 years of experience in banking and finance, Van Ness joined Simmons Bank in 2018 and previously worked as the Northwest Arkansas market president. According to the news release, Van Ness consistently led the Northwest Arkansas market to be one of the top performing markets in Simmons’ six-state footprint significantly expanding assets.

A member of the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of Credit Counseling Arkansas, Van Ness was also recognized as a Forty Under 40 honoree by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal in 2016.

With more than 32 years in banking, Gearhart joined Simmons Bank in 2017. Over the past 12 months, Gearhart has led the Wichita market to consistently achieve a top metro market ranking among Simmons’ six-state footprint.

Gearhart is the chairman for the American Heart Association Midwest Region board of directors, is on the board of advisors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and is chairman emeritus for the Wichita Grand Opera board of directors.

Simmons Bank operates more than 200 branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The bank had $24.43 billion in assets as of March 31. That’s up 4.9% year-over-year.

Simmons is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Simmons First National Corp. (NASDAQ: SFNC). The company’s stock closed Thursday at $25.52. In the past 52 weeks, shares have traded between $32.76 and $22.89.