A leader at one of the nation’s fastest-growing banks, Josh Vasquez pinches himself sometimes for the opportunities he has been given.
“As a whole, I never imagined I would have worked in banking,” he said.
Vasquez, a Northwest Arkansas banker for 18 years, immigrated from El Salvador to Los Angeles when he was 8 years old to live with his mother. Not long after, they left California for Northwest Arkansas, and Vasquez graduated from Decatur High School.
While playing football for the school, he caught the attention of a local bank president, Vernon Austin, who hired him in 2004 as a bilingual teller for Decatur State Bank.
With an outgoing personality, his career has flourished with multiple regional lenders and increasing responsibility in supervisory and management positions.
Vasquez worked for nearly eight years with United Bank, first as a mortgage lender, then as a branch manager and eventually leading the bank’s treasury management team.
He joined Little Rock-based Encore Bank last year. The company has grown considerably since it was rebranded from Capital Bank and recapitalized in 2019, going from $159 million in assets to $1.8 billion this year with offices in multiple states.
Vasquez works to help reach underrepresented communities, unbanked and underbanked individuals.
“My goal is to help bridge the gap and provide sound financial literacy to help them achieve their financial goals,” he said.
Vasquez is a Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce board member and chairs the chamber’s community development division.
He also supports the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as a mentor for the nonprofit Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll).