Arvest exec Donny Story, Fayetteville market leader, to retire

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,058 views 

Photo courtesy Hight Jackson Associates.

Donny Story, president and CEO of Arvest Bank’s Fayetteville market, will retire after an almost four-decade career with the company, according to a memo sent to employees on June 29.

Story’s retirement is effective at the end of the year. His banking career has spanned 43 years, with close to 37 of those with Arvest in multiple markets in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The company named him president and CEO in Fayetteville in 2004, just two days after former market leader Gary Head resigned to start Signature Bank of Arkansas.

“I hope you’ll embrace this change with me as I know it’s the right time for me to ride off into the sunset, and it’s the right time for a new face in this important role for our company,” Story said in the memo obtained by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “I’ll simply ask that you support my successor in the same way you have supported me for so many years. I believe the Arvest Fayetteville team is the strongest it’s ever been, and I know the future is bright for Arvest Bank and the Arvest team.”

Story said he and his family would remain in Fayetteville after he retires.

“Donny’s contributions to Arvest are innumerable, and we can’t thank him enough for what he has done not just for the bank but for our customers, associates and communities,” said Craig Rivaldo, regional executive for Arvest. “He will be greatly missed as a friend and colleague, but we have known this announcement would be coming for some time and appreciate Donny working carefully with us to plan ahead.

“We wish him the best as he prepares for a new phase of life. I know he is looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren, traveling and following his beloved Razorbacks.”

Story is the second market leader in a month to retire from Arvest. Jim Cargill, president and CEO of Arvest Bank in central, northeast and southwest Arkansas, will also retire at the end of this year after an almost four-decade career with the company.

Arvest maintains its charter in Fayetteville but operates over 200 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 14 locally managed banks, each with an independent board and management team.

By assets ($26.6 billion), Arvest is Arkansas’ largest bank.