Blackston Receives Chamber Honor in Northwest Arkansas

Thursday, February 09 at 02:45 PM
Category: Arvest Community News

Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce in Northwest Arkansas recognizes Arvest associate as top advocate.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Shirl Blackston has received the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador of the Year award. The award is presented to an individual in recognition of the significant contributions and support he or she has made to Chamber staff and members through outstanding participation and volunteerism.

Blackston currently works as an Arvest Private Banking advisor in Bentonville. Selected by Chamber staff from a field of more than 60 other ambassadors, Blackston “exemplifies the spirit and intent of the Chamber of Commerce, which is one of collaboration, community goodwill, and support,” according to the Chamber.

The Chamber’s Ambassador Committee provides outreach and support to Chamber members and serves as the face of the Chamber in the community. Ambassadors attend ribbon cuttings, greet members at networking events, attend new member orientations and refer potential members to the chamber staff. 

“Shirl is a natural fit for the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce Ambassador team,” said Shantell Owen, Arvest Private Banking manager. “She has both a passion for connecting with people and a desire to serve her community. Her energy and positive outlook drives success at all levels. We are very proud of the work she has done this past year.”

A Georgia native, Blackston rejoined Arvest after moving back to Northwest Arkansas in 2014. She has held multiple positions at Arvest over her two stints with the bank, and worked as a mortgage lender before taking her current position.

Blackston earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from LaGrange College, and is involved in numerous civic efforts, including being a member of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chapter of Altrusa International.

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest Benton County, Associates, Award, Press Release

Arvest Voted Best Bank for Business in Arkansas

Friday, December 16 at 07:30 AM
Category: Business Banking

A big thank you to our customers for voting Arvest Bank the Best Bank for Business as part of Arkansas Business Best of Biz 2016*! In its 10th year, the awards have become a collection of the best Arkansas businesses for fellow businesses to work with. It’s an honor to be listed with other top businesses in the state.

This recognition comes on the heels of other 2016 accolades Arvest has been honored to accept for our work with consumers including:
  •* named Arvest the Best Southern Customer-Focused Bank as part of its 2016 regional bank awards.
  • The January issue of Consumer Reports magazine included a list of the top traditional banks in the nation, and Arvest came in number eight.
  • In January GOBankingRates included Arvest’s Free Blue™ checking account as one of the nation’s 10 Best Checking Accounts of 2016*.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you!
Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest Biz, Award, Business Banking

Arvest Wins Dinges Award in Southwest Oklahoma

Wednesday, December 07 at 05:30 AM
Category: Arvest Community News
Arvest Bank was awarded the Most Creative Partnership during the 2016 Lawton-Fort Sill Co-Op’s Major General Edward A. Dinges Awards banquet on Dec. 1. The award is Arvest’s fifth in the last seven years.

The Dinges Awards recognize the year’s top military-civilian alliances with the Most Creative Partnership Award presented annually to “a civilian business and a military unit that best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation between Lawton and Fort Sill.”

The award was given to Arvest and the Fires Center of Excellence for their partnership in Arvest Night at Cameron University’s Aggie gym. Active military and veterans were allowed entry for no cost to an Aggie basketball game last season. That night, Arvest and Cameron honored more than 100 soldiers from Fort Sill’s Fires Center of Excellence.

“We are grateful to be awarded for a partnership with the Fires Center of Excellence that is very important to us,” Arvest Southwest Oklahoma President David Madigan said. “Fort Sill and the Co-Op are important to Lawton and Southwest Oklahoma. We always look forward to working with Fort Sill and hope to again in the future.”

Arvest and Cameron have partnered for the 6th Annual Arvest Night on Jan. 5, 2017, when the Aggies host the University of Texas-Permian Basin. The women tip off at 5:30 p.m. with the men following approximately 30 minutes after the women’s game.

The Co-Op was first introduced by Commanding General of Fort Sill MG Edward Dinges to the Chamber on June 27, 1980. Just less than five years later, President Ronald Reagan presented the President’s Citation Program Award to the Chamber for the founding of the Co-Op.
Three other partnerships were awarded during the banquet. The Most Impactful Project Award went to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and the 428th Field Artillery Brigade. Comanche County Memorial Hospital and the 428th Field Artillery Brigade won the award for Most Volunteers on a Project. Goodyear and the Fires Center of Excellence were presented the Most Partnership Events award for their five ventures. 

Tags: Award, Community Support, Southwest Oklahoma

Karla Payne Recognized as Large Bank CFO of the Year

Wednesday, November 09 at 06:20 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Chief Financial Officer Karla Payne was recognized as Large Bank CFO of the Year at the Arkansas Business CFO of the Year luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Little Rock, Ark.

The awards are part of an annual event presented by Arkansas Business that honors lifetime achievements and chief financial officers in several categories. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges.

Payne has worked at Arvest for more than 33 years and has been CFO since 2010. In an interview with Arkansas Business prior to the luncheon, Payne recounted working for what was then McIlroy Bank while attending the University of Arkansas. Her work day started at 7 p.m., and sometimes didn’t end until 7 a.m.

“I would leave when I got finished,” Payne told Arkansas Business. “That getting finished could be midnight or it could be 7 a.m. If it was 7 a.m., I went straight from there to class.”

Payne also said the hard work that has marked her career progression has made her a better CFO, and in return, she makes herself available to new Arvest associates to help them with their career paths.

“My goal is to find the right place for everybody,” Payne said. “I waited a long time to get where I’m at. I have a passion for what I do, and I have a passion for this company.”

Congratulations, Karla!
Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Award

Arvest Bank Adds Another 2016 Honor

Wednesday, October 26 at 01:15 PM
Category: Arvest News named* Arvest the “Best Southern Customer-Focused Bank” as part of its 2016 regional bank awards.

LOWELL, Ark. – Arvest Bank is ending 2016 the same way it began the year – by gratefully accepting industry recognition for excellence.

The most recent accolade comes from, which named Arvest the “Best Southern Customer-Focused Bank” as part of its 2016 regional bank awards. gave Arvest an “A” rating, citing its extensive branch network, extended hours and high levels of transparency, among other factors.

The recognition from follows a pair of honors Arvest received in January. The January issue of Consumer Reports magazine included a list of the top traditional banks in the nation, and Arvest came in at No. 8. The magazine polled more than 49,000 of its readers to gauge their satisfaction level with their bank and Arvest received a score of 87, only four points behind top-ranked Frost Bank.

Later that month, GOBankingRates included Arvest’s Free Blue™ checking account as one of the nation’s “10 Best Checking Accounts of 2016.” GOBankingRates, a consumer-focused website on personal finance, based its measurement criteria on annual percentage yield, minimum deposit, monthly maintenance fee, nonsufficient funds (NSF) fee and minimum balance required to avoid fees.

Arvest believes all of these honors demonstrate its model of great service, convenient hours and locations, superior products and cutting-edge technologies is well-received by customers.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Award, Press Release

Jennings Named Commercial Banker of Year

Monday, October 17 at 06:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Eileen Jennings was promoted to Area Loan Manager for Joyce Street location in Fayetteville, Ark.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arvest Bank in Fayetteville is pleased to announce that Eileen Jennings was named the 2016 Commercial Banker of the Year by the Central Arkansas Chapter of The Risk Management Association during its annual convention in Little Rock last month. 

Jennings, a commercial banker, also has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Area Loan Manager for the Joyce Street location. 

“Eileen has set the bar very high for any lender in Northwest Arkansas, not just with our bank,” said Ladd Lanier, Senior Vice President and Commercial Loan Manager for Arvest Bank in Fayetteville. “She has been a great resource for her business customers and an unfailing example of the high level of customer service for which Arvest Bank is known. We are very proud of her accomplishments and know she will do a great job leading the Joyce team.” 

Jennings started her career with Arvest Bank in Bentonville as a Credit Analyst in 2004 and moved into Loan Review in 2006. Six months later, she moved to Fayetteville as a Commercial Loan Officer, where she has championed the bank’s Small Business Administration lending and supported the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center. She created the Understanding Commercial Customers classes in Fayetteville, which have been adopted across the bank group. 

Jennings graduated from St. Paul High School in St. Paul in 1996 and earned her Bachelor of Science, Business Administration in international economics and finance from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 2001.

She is a board member for the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust. She also has been a former president of the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas, selected as 40 Under Forty by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal in 2014, and is a graduate of Leadership Fayetteville XXVII.

She and her husband, Walter Jennings, have a daughter, Scout Pepper Jennings.

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Award, Fayetteville, Press Release

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