Southern Bancorp names LaTricia Hill-Chandler new chief DEI officer

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,026 views 

Little Rock-based Southern Bancorp Inc. said Wednesday (July 13) that LaTricia Hill Chandler of Rogers is the company’s new chief diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officer.

“We are thrilled to welcome LaTricia to our leadership team,” CEO Darrin Williams said in a statement. “When searching for a candidate to fill this position, we knew we needed someone with both a wealth of experience in the field along with values that align with our mission-focused work. LaTricia’s expertise, principles, and guidance will be invaluable as we prepare for growth that is reflective of our inclusive founding principles, which have from the beginning included a strong focus on increasing economic mobility in minority communities.”

Hill-Chandler has nearly 30 years of experience in DEI work. In 2019, she was named Arvest Bank’s first DEI officer, overseeing the initiative across the company’s four-state footprint. Before that, she worked in Walmart’s global DEI office, responsible for creating strategy and implementing the inclusive leadership initiative.

Hill-Chandler, a Magnolia native, said she would continue living in Rogers, working remotely and traveling to Little Rock as needed.

“I am excited to be leading DEI efforts for Southern Bancorp and its entities,” she said in Wednesday’s news release. “Their commitment to advancing financial interests within underserved communities aligns well with the overall intent of DEI. And with this focus, we hope to engage in more representation (D), fairness (E), and belonging (I) to our employees, suppliers, customers, and communities.

“Our responsibility is to promote DEI wherein everyone feels welcomed, supported, and respected as we continue to build wealth. By nurturing this type of inclusive environment, all of us will be successful.”

Southern Bancorp and its subsidiaries — Southern Bancorp Bank, Southern Bancorp Community Partners and Premier Bank of Arkansas — has $2.3 billion in assets with 54 locations in two states.

Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDIF).