Springdale Coach Goes the Distance to Volunteer - People Helping People Series

Friday, September 22 at 07:15 AM
Category: People Helping People
Steve Ebert wasn’t interested in becoming a coach as much as he was interested in spending some quality time with his daughter.
 
Ebert’s daughter was entering seventh grade at the time, and asked her father to start running with her because she wanted to join her junior high school’s cross country team. The two “did a lot of miles together,” Ebert said, and he felt good about helping her get an edge on her classmates when they showed up for the first day of practice.
 
When Ebert saw that his daughter was one of more than 100 kids at that first practice, however, he thought the team’s one coach might need some help. Fast-forward six years, and both the coach and Ebert’s daughter have moved on from Springdale Central’s cross country team.
 
Ebert, though, can still be found at practice – Monday-Friday at 6:45 a.m. – working as a volunteer coach.
 
“He loves the kids, he loves being out here, and… it was never about him, it’s always been about the kids and making kids having the joy of running,” said Chelsea Perry, the team’s current coach.
 

Ebert is the 22nd person to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference.
 
The videos are available via Arvest’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the Arvest Blog – and the bank will make related posts each time a new story appears. Additionally, Arvest social media followers can help spread the word about these inspiring community members by sharing, liking and retweeting the videos. Ebert’s video will launch on Sept. 22.
 
“Hopefully if I can impact one person a year, then it's all worth it,” Ebert said. “So I continue to do that just because it's rewarding, but also… it’s a need (that) somebody needs to fill.”
 
Ebert’s impact has been felt by far more than one person a year. Perry and teachers at Central have noticed improvement in Ebert’s student-athletes’ drive and effort both on the cross country course and in the classroom.
 
So, even though both of his children have now progressed through the program, Ebert still spends all those early mornings – and countless other hours – helping the team members reach their full potential. Natalie Watkins was a member of Ebert’s first team.
 
“I don't think without Steve’s help I would be a good runner or kind of be the person that I am,” she said. “I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but I don't think I would have kept motivating myself to get better if I didn't have his encouragement all those years.”
 
About Arvest Bank
Arvest Bank operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.
 
Tags: Arkansas, People Helping People, Springdale
 

Local Retiree Shows a Heart for the Homeless - People Helping People Series

Friday, September 08 at 04:00 PM
Category: People Helping People

There’s one thing people need to know about Johnette Weiss.

“She’s a very strong-willed woman,” her friend, Robert Peoples, said with a laugh. “She wants something done, she’ll get it done.”

Weiss’ strong will has served her well over her 75 years. Visually impaired most of her life, Weiss spent 40 years working as an instructor at World Services for the Blind. Now retired, she channels her energy and determination into making hygiene kits for the homeless “because everybody needs some deodorant, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, just anything to make us more presentable. It makes a person feel good about himself or herself if they're clean.”

Weiss is the 21st person to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference.

Weiss’ desire to help others was ingrained early. She grew up on a farm and remembers her mother, Ann Bartholomew, sharing extra milk, eggs and vegetables with a nearby neighbor in need. Weiss said her mother didn’t have extra money to give the neighbor, so she helped the only way she could.

“It made an impression on me as a little girl and now I want to help some, too,” she said.

That experience has shaped her approach to life over the years. "My philosophy in life is if each person can make a little bit of difference, can make life a little bit better for someone, then we’ve done something good.”

Weiss has been retired for about 10 years, and has been preparing the hygiene kits for about eight years. One of the challenges she faces when she is assembling the kits is to keep the items separated. She uses braille lables to help her with the task.

“I see the need for the homeless because just about every time you go shopping you're going to see someone that's asking for some help,” Weiss said. “I can't help every one of those people, but I can put together those hygiene kits, and I take them to the shelter that passes them out. They see those people that need that specific help, and they can use those kits to make that person's life just a little bit better.

“It makes me feel good to know I'm helping others because it just makes me feel that I'm being the kind of person I ought to be.”

Watch* Weiss tell her story of helping others. Keep an eye on our social media channels for videos highlighting the good works of dedicated citizens in the communities Arvest Bank serves.

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

Tags: Arkansas, Little Rock, People Helping People
 

Bear State Bank to be Acquired by Arvest Bank

Tuesday, August 22 at 02:30 PM
Category: Arvest News

Bear State Bank and Arvest Bank have exciting news to share today. An agreement has been signed where Arvest will acquire Bear State and come together as one customer-focused bank. The acquisition of Bear State Bank meets two strategic goals for Arvest – entry into attractive new markets for the bank, and an expansion of customer base and branches in existing Arvest markets. We’re excited to welcome Bear State Bank customers and associates to Arvest and look forward to working together in the future.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Aug. 22, 2017) – Arvest Bank (“Arvest”) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bear State Financial, Inc. (“Bear State”) (NASDAQ:BSF), the parent company of Bear State Bank. The acquisition, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 or first quarter of 2018 pending customary regulatory approvals and subject to approval by Bear State shareholders, is an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $391 million.

Bear State Bank operates 42 branches and three personalized technology centers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, while Arvest operates more than 250 branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. As of June 30, 2017, Bear State had total assets of $2.24 billion and total deposits of $1.7 billion in 34 communities. As of June 30, 2017, Arvest had total assets of $17.30 billion and total deposits of $14.98 billion in 120 communities.

“This is a strategic move for us and one made after much careful consideration,” Arvest president and CEO Kevin Sabin said. “In addition to giving us the opportunity to expand into some new communities, this deal also allows us to strengthen our presence in some existing markets.

“Because Bear State is such a solid company with dedicated employees – and because both banks are so committed to their communities – we believe this will be a great fit. From outstanding products and services to superior customer service, Arvest shares a lot of similarities to Bear State and we look forward to serving all of our customers – old and new – with the same courtesy, competency and care as we always have.”

Of the 34 communities where Bear State operates, 18 are markets where Arvest has banking operations while 16 markets will be new communities for Arvest – most notably communities in northeast Arkansas, southwest Arkansas, southern Missouri and southeast Oklahoma. Arvest Bank and Bear State customers will not notice any immediate changes, and both banks will continue to conduct business as usual. A full conversion of systems and accounts will occur in 2018, and Arvest Bank will be communicating with Bear State customers over the next several months regarding their transition to Arvest Bank.

Additionally, all those employed by Bear State on the date of contract closing will become employees of Arvest Bank.

New communities Arvest looks forward to serving in Arkansas are: Ashdown, De Queen, Dierks, Glenwood, Jonesboro, Manila, Monette, Mount Ida, Nashville and Waldron. Arvest will enter the communities of Golden City, Kimberling City, Lamar and Marshfield in Missouri, and Broken Bow and Idabel in Oklahoma. 

About Arvest 

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed markets, each with its own local board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

About Bear State Financial

Bear State common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “BSF.”  For more information on Bear State, please visit www.bearstatefinancial.com.  Its principal subsidiary, Bear State Bank, is a community oriented financial institution providing a broad line of financial products to individuals and business customers. Bear State Bank operates 42 branches, three personalized technology centers equipped with interactive teller machines and three loan production offices throughout Arkansas, Southwest Missouri and Southeast Oklahoma.

 
Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Community Support, Locations, Missouri, Oklahoma
 

Arvest to Hold “Moon Pie,” “Sun Chip” Party Day of Eclipse

Thursday, August 17 at 02:05 PM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest Bank will mark the upcoming total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 with a celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in all of the bank’s branches in the North Central Arkansas territory that includes Mountain Home, Harrison, Yellville, Flippin, Lead Hill and Bull Shoals, Ark. and West Plains, Mo.

During the mid-day hours, the bank will provide Moon Pies and Sun Chips in the lobbies of every branch while supplies last. 

“Every community in America will be focused on the eclipse and our location puts us almost in the center of this rare event,” said Tiffany Watkins, assistant vice president and marketing director of Arvest Bank in North Central Arkansas. “We’re sharing in the excitement by providing our customers and guests with some eclipse-themed snacks to add to the occasion.”

The first signs of the total solar eclipse in this area are expected to begin around 11:45 a.m. and culminate around 2:45 p.m. 

Tags: Arkansas, Missouri
 

Crafty Youngins’ Create Hope – People Helping People Series

Friday, August 11 at 02:00 PM
Category: People Helping People

“As a parent, I don’t know if there’s anything better than watching your kids become better than you are,” said Robin Young, the mother of three children who are dedicated to helping their community. “I don’t really remember a time where the kids weren’t interested in giving back to others.”

Robin’s children are entrepreneurs who give back to their community.

According to the middle “Youngin’” Tristan, this all started back in April 2016. They create a variety of products like bags, canvases, prints and wooden artworks.

 “We wanted to help others who weren’t as fortunate as we are,” Tristan said.
 
The Young kids feature one charity per month and give back 12 percent.

 “We’ve been in business for about two years now and we’ve given about $1,000,” the oldest, Caleb said.

“The products are mostly a group effort,” Caleb said. “We’ll all think up an idea and my dad and I will work on the designs.”

The kids’ dad, Bryan, owns a sign and graphics digital printing company, according to Robin. The shop allows the kids to print canvas, make note cards and vinyl prints.

“I’m grateful for my parents because without them we might not be able to own a business,” Tristan said. “Our dad teaches us how to do things and our mom comes up with the ideas.”

The youngest “Youngin’” is Alyssa and she believes they can make a difference in the world. “We see the need to help other people because we don’t want them to be hurt or left alone,” Alyssa said.

Caleb said what keeps them motivated is knowing they are helping people who are abused or scared. They help charities like the Children’s Safety Center.

“It’s so great to see the Young family out in the community helping others,” said Emily Fisher, Children’s Safety Center development director. “It’s all about kids helping kids and it’s just a really neat way to give back and they’re also learning business skills at the same time.”

According to Alyssa, the siblings rely on each other for help. “We’re very supportive of each other so if one needs help, the other two will help them,” Alyssa said. For Robin, having the children run their own business has allowed her to teach them things they would not normally know. She said she teaches them that they can be part of the solution or part of the problem.

“You know they just believe that they really can make a difference. And they are determined to be part of the solution,” Robin said.


Watch* the Young family in action.

The Young family’s story is part of Arvest Bank’s People Helping People series featuring citizens giving back to their community.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for videos highlighting the good works of dedicated citizens in the communities Arvest Bank serves.

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

 

Tags: Arkansas, Fayetteville, People Helping People
 

MyBankTracker Recognizes Arvest Bank

Wednesday, August 09 at 11:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank once again has been recognized by MyBankTracker.com, which touts itself as a personal finance resource for more than a million monthly visitors.

Arvest was named the “Best Southern Customer-Focused Bank” for the fourth consecutive quarter. MyBankTracker.com’s regional awards are given on a quarterly basis.

MyBankTracker.com* cited Arvest’s extensive branch network, extended hours and high levels of transparency, among other factors, in announcing it as a winner.

This honor comes after Arvest was recognized in May by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017. The bank ranked 208th out of the 500 businesses nationwide – with 5,000 or more full- or part-time associates – that scored highest in an independent survey of employees regarding satisfaction with their company. Additionally, Arvest is the highest-ranking community bank among all companies in the banking/financial services category and the only Arkansas-based company on the large employer list.

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

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Award, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma

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