Congratulations John Kelley of Greater Kansas City

Thursday, May 24 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank in Greater Kansas City is celebrating more accomplishments of their outstanding associates. Local Mortgage Loan Officer, John Kelley, has earned the status of an Assistant Vice President within the bank. John has dedicated his time and resources to serving our Belton branch and community. He has established himself as a top producer in all areas of business development for his team.

John, graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia, has lived in Lee’s Summit since 2012. Prior to joining Arvest Bank in 2016, he spent four years working for a large residential flooring company where he gained contacts and built relationships with several home builders in the Greater Kansas City area. This laid the groundwork for his role as Mortgage Loan Officer. John takes pride in working harder than anyone else will for his customers.

When John has downtime from getting customers in their dream home, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time at the Lake of the Ozarks and anything that involves the Kansas City Royals or Kansas City Chiefs!

We look forward to his continued growth as a leader while assisting our customer’s success financially.

Congratulations, John!

Tags: Kansas City

Bergman Elementary Students Hold Jeans/ Hat Week to Help Arvest Reduce Hunger

Wednesday, May 23 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Students at Bergman Elementary School recently collected enough cash donations through a jeans and hat week to provide 2,175 meals to Ozark Share and Care, a local hunger relief organization.

Students were given the option to pay to wear a hat during a one-week period and teachers were given the option to pay to wear jeans during the same week. 

The fundraiser was held in support of Arvest Bank’s 8th Annual 1 Million Meals campaign, an initiative to collect non-perishable food or monetary donations to reduce hunger in the 120 communities the bank serves. Arvest teams up with local food partners in the community so every donation stays local.

The 1 Million Meals campaign continues through June 2. Donations may be dropped off at any Arvest Bank location, or by calling (866) 952-9523. Arvest credit card customers can donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ points by visiting and clicking on the 1 Million Meals banner. Arvest customers may donate through their Arvest GO mobile banking app. Every dollar raised through 1 Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for those in need.

For more information about 1 Million Meals, visit

About Arvest

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2018, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 15 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, yellville

Millennials Changing Workplaces for the Better

Tuesday, May 22 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

I have read article after article about how each previous generation views the work ethic of Millennials in a poor light – which has been the case with every new generation. There is no denying the differences among how all generations view work. Our grandparents lived to work. Our parents worked to live. Millennials “live,” and that includes work.

Yes, I am a Millennial, a term that encompasses nearly 40 % of the U.S. workforce, who generally range in age from early 20s to late 30s. It can be a loaded term when used to create division. We tout it like a badge of honor, and other generations — the “Greatest Generation,” “Baby Boomers” and “Generation X” — use it when grasping to describe an unknown presence, like a Martian that just landed on their lawn.

It is imperative that business owners who are from another generation understand Millennials and what drives us, as we could make up as much as 75 % of the workforce by 2025, according to some estimates. By making your business more attractive for Millennials, learning to utilize their skills and encouraging them to take on larger roles, your business will be better positioned to thrive in the future.

First, you need to understand some other statistics, which are daunting, like only 29 % of Millennials are engaged at work, meaning they’re emotionally or psychologically attached to their job and workplace — i.e. the rest aren’t. Also, 60 % are open to different job opportunities, and only 50 % are planning to stay with their employer more than a year.

Why is this? Well, we’ve been told our whole life (by older generations) to “find a job that makes you happy,” and that’s exactly what Millennials are doing. After all, something that takes up a third of your day and 40 hours of your week isn’t just a job; it’s a major piece of the puzzle that is your life.

Secondly, it’s important to understand what Millennials value. At work, the No. 1 priority is company culture. In fact, the average Millennial is willing to sacrifice more salary for a healthier work environment, which includes things like purpose, stability, flexibility, inclusion, diversity, investment in their career development and open dialogue.

This isn’t to say Millennials don’t want fair compensation and good perks, because we do. It means Millennials also want to be engaged – valuing their role and duties, being a part of a team that challenges each other, hearing honest and helpful feedback, and caring about the company and its growth.

Why is engagement so important? Compared to those with the lowest engagement, businesses with the highest engagement from employees are 17 % more productive, suffer 70 % fewer safety incidents, experience 41 % less absenteeism and are 21 % more profitable, according to a Gallup study.

So, the majority of an entire generation of the most educated and technically savvy workers in American history is actively looking for a thoughtful employer. Meanwhile, business owners are trying to figure out how to attract the most talented and dedicated employees to improve their company. It’s a win-win when we get this right.

I challenge that the changes my generation is bringing to the workplace are, for the most part, the same changes that all generations are longing for. So, I challenge you, are the generations really that much different in what is expected from an employer? If we can all agree on the foundation, then maybe we can all work together to create a work environment where we learn from one another.

Millennials are the big wave of employees hitting companies right now, and we want to make the world a better place, starting with where we work. We must encourage all generations in the workplace to see the benefits of what each generation can bring to the other. We all want some of the same things, we just have to be inclusive and work together. Be open to change. You might be surprised by what you find.

Jenny Carithers Price is a planning and development manager for Arvest Wealth Management in Lowell. She can be contacted via email at

Tags: Millennial

Leadership Oklahoma Honors Four State Leaders

Friday, May 18 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Leadership Oklahoma honored two individuals, a leading state business and a statewide bank at its annual Excellence in Leadership Gala at The Skirvin in Oklahoma City on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Over 280 Leadership Oklahoma members and guests from across the state attended the event.
“Each year, Leadership Oklahoma recognizes the outstanding contributions of Oklahoma corporate and individual leaders for their commitment and service to elevating the quality of life and empowering our state for greater prosperity,” said Marion Paden, President and CEO of Leadership Oklahoma.  “This year’s Excellence in Leadership award recipients are truly deserving based upon the remarkable and meaningful differences they have made in Oklahoma. It is our privilege to honor them.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have used their leadership abilities to improve the quality of life for Oklahoma's citizens and its future generations. This year’s Leadership Oklahoma Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Dr. Bob Blackburn, of Oklahoma City. In a state that doesn’t always have the greatest sense of pride in itself and her people, Bob Blackburn has given every one of us a reason to hold our heads up high and be proud to be from or in Oklahoma, knowing we share that with all sorts of talent, grace, heart, and skills from fellow Oklahomans. He tirelessly travels around and has people in to tell their own stories or the stories of their families or industries, connected with others. Though he is in a constant state of fundraising and collecting, he is genuinely curious about everyone and their ties, and wants to share those stories. He was the face of Oklahoma History during the Centennial but has worked for the Oklahoma Historical Society since the 1970s and has been a champion for every aspect of the Society, starting with publications and encompassing collections, sites, preservation, personnel, and prestige. He has touched every county and community in the state, whether in person or through his work. His task list includes opening the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa, getting the Grants-in-Aid program going strong, and building the OHS endowment, all the while he will continue writing and researching various aspects of Oklahoma History, and he remain one of, if not the most famous Oklahoma historians throughout his life. Blackburn’s most notable accomplishments as executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society are spearheading the creation, opening, and overall vision of the Oklahoma History Center; a world class Smithsonian affiliated site, and beginning the creation of the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, better known as OKPOP,  overseeing and being a part of the historical celebrations for the Oklahoma Centennial; continuing to work with politicians emphasizing the importance of our history and advocating government funding for all of the Society; and travelling all over the state speaking to countless groups, capturing the stories from innumerable people, and charming the world in person, in speech, and through over twenty-two books and numerous articles and editorials. Preserving who we are as a state through its people, the voices of the past and present deserve to be listened to, learned from, and give us roots to flourish. His passion bringing history to life is what makes him truly Mr. Oklahoma.

The Distinguished Graduate Award honors a Leadership Oklahoma graduate whose recent leadership activities have exemplified the highest standards of Leadership Oklahoma and whose activities achieved results or set an example of statewide significance.  The Distinguished Graduate Award belongs to Marci Donaho, of Seminole, who has dedicated her life serving her community and investing in the people around her. A graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class XII, Donaho is a long-time public school educator who for the past 21 years has served as executive director of the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, first serving as the founding board president for 8 years. She is the consummate community volunteer and cheerleader. She has stepped up to take on di?cult roles - particularly in running for the Seminole School Board, during a tumultuous time in the public school’s history. Donaho is a great example of a servant leader; coordinating, leading, planning community and civic events, while rolling up her sleeves to serve in the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and the Rotary Christmas Day Community dinner, judge a school talent competition or auction o? desserts at a chamber fund raiser. She has in?uenced the lives of countless children from Oklahoma and beyond from her work as a classroom teacher of 27 years and now as director of a hands-on career and education-based children’s museum. She is a recognized leader in the community of Seminole, as well in state and regional organizations. She is a member and past president of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and was named Seminole’s “Citizen of the Year” for 2002. Donaho serves on the Seminole School Board and was honored with induction into the Seminole Hall of Fame in 2015 and has been nominated three times as one of 50 Women Making a Di?erence in the State of Oklahoma as recognized by the Oklahoma Journal Record newspaper. She was appointed to the Seminole State College Board of Regents by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry in 2005 and reappointed in 2012 by Governor Mary Fallin. She has served as a director of the Frontier Country Marketing Association and is a past president of the Oklahoma Marketing Association and the Oklahoma Museum Association. In 2007, she was selected as “Tourism Professional of the Year” by the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. She is a board member of the Seminole Family Resource Center, a Seminole BancFirst Community Director, and serves on the board of Seminole Alliance Hospital. Donaho is also an active member of the Seminole Rotary Club and co-chairs the Chamber’s Leadership Seminole Program. She has left a legacy of achievement, tenacity and humility in her wake impacting all who know her.

The Business Leadership Award commends a business entity for its impact in promoting leadership principles and practices, implementing programs worthy of example, and fostering the growth of quality leadership. The Business Leadership Award will honor Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), whose service to the state extends well beyond delivering electricity.  PSO employees volunteer for hundreds of organizations statewide, with many of them serving in leadership roles. PSO’s corporate giving supports the areas PSO serves and the entire state. PSO has been instrumental in bringing together public and private entities to find innovative solutions to create a better future for Oklahomans on critical issues like education, basic needs and cultural enhancement. PSO has a special emphasis on supporting and expanding early childhood education and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiatives. They offer the Bright Start Right Start Preschool Teacher Science Workshop, which incorporates science into preschool curriculum. Together with the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation, PSO has provided substantial funding for key STEM initiatives, including a $3 million grant to the Tulsa Community College Foundation for a new STEM “Credits Count” program focusing on dual credit high school enrollment, and middle school summer STEM experiences. They also fund numerous high school and middle school robotics teams in PSO’s service areas, and grants for teachers to infuse STEM further into the classroom. PSO supports leadership development and STEM education through their partnership with Oklahoma FFA. Additionally, PSO's Light-A- Life energy fund administered by the Salvation Army helps Oklahoma families who could not otherwise afford to heat and cool their homes. The program is supported by the generosity of PSO customers. PSO pays the administrative costs of the program so all proceeds can go to directly to those who need it most. PSO’s economic development workshops and initiatives provide Oklahoma communities with tools they need to recruit, retain, and expand business in their areas. PSO is a leader in corporate Diversity and Inclusion efforts, having recently been named a 5 Star Mosaic Award for Diversity and Inclusion from the Tulsa Regional Chamber. When one thinks of the major companies that positively touch the lives of millions of Oklahomans, PSO is one of the first names that comes to mind. Since its founding in 1913, the company has been a model corporate citizen, investing in the communities they serve in a variety of ways.

The Statewide Community Award acknowledges an organization or company that, through specific projects or efforts, has reached across valued differences to develop among Oklahomans a sense of common purpose and a more profound sense of loyalty to their state. This award has been created to promote a heightened sense of appreciation for the possibilities available when Oklahomans work together as a single statewide community. The Statewide Community Award acknowledges Arvest Bank. Throughout the State of Oklahoma, Arvest Bank is committed to the communities they serve. This commitment to community has its roots with the founder, Sam Walton, who believed that as a community grows and prospers so will the banking community. Over the past 50 years, Arvest Bank has experienced tremendous growth, and can be found in many Oklahoma communities.  Where these Arvest Banks exist, so does a culture of community involvement and support. This support is inclusive, reaching out to individuals, corporations, non-profits, and civic activities. Arvest began a “Million Meals” campaign several years ago, to assist in feeding the hungry on an annual basis. This Oklahoma initiative touches tens of thousands throughout the Arvest communities each year through local food banks, and currently over 2 million meals per year are produced, by utilizing the vast Arvest branch network to support canned food drives, and direct financial gifts to this statewide hunger crisis. Arvest bankers build Habitat for Humanity houses, participate in walks to find cures, participate in the United Way’s Day of Caring, and countless more community improvement initiatives. From an education perspective, Arvest sponsors the “We Love Oklahoma Teachers” program, which is a social media campaign to recognize the teachers in the state that have impacted the lives of so many.   Throughout Oklahoma, Arvest participates in the “Partners in Education” program and have adopted high risk schools and participated in everything from providing financial assistance to volunteering as reading partners and providing Christmas gifts for children that would otherwise not receive any. Arvest associates also participate in “JA in a Day”, which involves their associates teaching banking and economics classes to local schools. As Oklahomans, Arvest is aware of the challenges that this state faces and choose to make a difference.

Co-chairs of the Leadership Oklahoma Excellence in Leadership Gala were Jody and Louis Wilham of Edmond and Kristen and Alan Case of Woodward. Sponsors of the gala included AF Foundation, Arvest Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Lippert Media, Bank of Oklahoma, Cox Communications, Integrity Lighting, Inc., Public Service Company of Oklahoma, AT&T, Bruce T. Benbrook | The Stock Exchange Bank, Factor110, IBC Bank, MidFirst Bank, Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum, Joe Moran III, RedAnt, LLC, Seminole State College, Susan Chambers, Enid Regional Development Alliance, First National Bank and Trust of Miami, Brad Naifeh | Central Liquor Company, Oklahoma Bankers Association, Nancy and Jon Patton, SMACC Dab Creative, LLC, Marnie and Clayton Taylor, Tulsa Regional Chamber, and Volunteers of America Oklahoma, Inc. Multi-year sponsors of Leadership Oklahoma include the Chickasaw Nation, the Cherokee Nation, Cemplex Group, Mary Chapman Foundation, SONIC, America’s Drive-In, Groendyke Transport, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, Clark and Wanda Bass Family Foundation, Dillingham Foundation, McGowan Family Foundation, Puterbaugh Foundation, and Standley Systems.

Leadership Oklahoma is a statewide organization with over 1,500+ graduates from 174 Oklahoma communities whose mission is to create, inspire and support a dynamic network of leaders whose increased awareness and commitment to service will energize Oklahomans to shape the Oklahoma’s future.

Tags: Arvest, Oklahoma City

Lincoln Childcare Receives Arvest Foundation

Friday, May 18 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Lincoln Childcare will be able to make the much needed capital improvements to their facility thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Arvest Foundation.

The gift was announced today at Lincoln Childcare in Fort Smith.   Sina Oden, Branch Administrator for Arvest Bank in the Fort Smith Region was on hand to present the check.

The Arvest Foundation donation to Lincoln Childcare comes at the perfect time to help the center make facility improvements to better serve this clients.

“The Arvest Foundation’s generosity will allow us to continue our mission of providing a loving, safe, and healthy learning environment for our children” said Jennifer Rudder, Executive Director of Lincoln Childcare Center. “This grant will help fill the gap in expenses so we can continue to provide quality childcare and preschool to low income families at an affordable rate.”

We are pleased to present this donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation to support Lincoln Childcare capital improvement needs at their facility said Sina Oden. “This donation is just one of many we have made throughout the area. It demonstrates the foundation’s ongoing commitment to organizations in our community that are making in a difference.

About the Arvest Foundation

The Arvest Foundation seeks to provide funding to grantees who are actively working to create positive change for others. Major areas of focus include: K-12 education, economic development, and enhancing the quality of life throughout the Arvest footprint. For more information, go to


Tags: Fort Smith

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