City of Waldron Receives Arvest Foundation Grant

Friday, October 18 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

The City of Waldron will have the opportunity to add new items to the Waldron City Park thanks to a $6,000 donation from the Arvest Foundation.

The gift was announced at the Waldron Arvest branch. Debra Fuller, Keith Slater, Teresa Carnahan and Shelley Buckles of Arvest were on hand to present the check.

“The grant will allow us to purchase additional exercise equipment along our multi-purpose trail at the city park,” Waldron mayor David Millard said. “This will give our community another opportunity to enjoy the park. We appreciate the foundation’s investment in creating a more enjoyable and active community for our citizens.”

“We hope this donation and several others we have made in the Waldron area demonstrate the foundation’s efforts to make it a better place to live, work and play,” Buckles said.

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest
 

Best Practices for Business Owners in an Uncertain Economic Environment

Friday, October 18 at 02:00 AM
Category: Business Banking

 

By Carolyn Kennedy, CTP, Executive Director of Treasury Management for Arvest Bank

Recession is a word we are hearing from the lips of newscasters, market watchers and even my pastor on a recent Sunday. This represents a real fear, for the first time in a long time, that our economy may no longer be slowly and steadily growing.  

In July, the Federal Reserve decreased the primary credit rate by 25 basis points to 2.75%. This was the first rate cut since the height of the financial crisis in 2008 and it isn’t likely to be the last. But what does it mean, really? 

It means businesses in our region may be faced with steeper challenges if their growth plan relies too exclusively on increased consumer demand as the economy grows. Fortunately, I don’t think this is a widespread problem, but the question remains, during this time of rate and other economic uncertainty, where do you focus? Simple: Focus on the fundamentals. 

Invest in really understanding your customer’s needs now and how changes in the economy may impact those needs. 

You might have really done something amazing for your customers once, but if it doesn’t continue to meet their changing needs, it runs the risk of becoming obsolete. Are you continuing to provide the products and customer service your customer expects? Is your business model too dependent on economic growth? How do you make your approach stand out? 

Don’t be afraid to change and adapt. 

During times of economic slowdowns, many business owners have a tendency to adopt a mindset of “waiting it out.” That works when you have some idea as to how long the slowdown might last, but I doubt anyone really expected the Great Recession to endure as long as it did. It might seem counterintuitive, but an environment of economic uncertainty is a great time to take that well planned leap of faith.  

If there is a venture you’ve been investigating and dreaming about that would diversify your revenue streams without alienating your existing customer base, now might be the right time to get serious about it. If you’re not innovating and growing, you may be slowly dying. What new approach do you wish you had already adopted? 

Ensure you still have your working capital optimized. 

While an influx of new capital may be needed to launch a new product line, it helps to validate that you already have your prior investments of capital deployed efficiently. When a venture capitalist invests in an existing business, one of the main things they focus on, regardless of the business model, is how well the existing working capital (money currently invested in the operations of the business) is being utilized.  

While each business is unique, optimizing the use of your working capital is universally important. Whether it’s paying down debt or making money on short term and long term cash investments, getting as much capital out of your operations and putting it to work for you is key. 

There are a few metrics you can use to identify and diagnose where your best opportunities for optimization may reside. How long are your Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)? How long are your Days Payable Outstanding (DPO)? How long are your Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO)? 

Of course, what “good” looks like for DSO, DPO and DIO is relative and varies by industry — you know your business cycle better than anyone else. What’s most important is the trend over time for your business.  

We all know that there are cycles to our economy, and when it is growing we all benefit, but the fundamentals of good business don’t change with those cycles. Absolutely, you need to make smart decisions about where you get capital and at what rate. In addition, the fundamentals of understanding your customer, making smart business plan improvements and optimizing the cash you have invested in your business are always winning strategies. 

Carolyn can be contacted via email at ckennedy1@arvest.comThis article originally appeared in the Sept. 30 edition of the NW Arkansas Business Journal. It is published here with permisssion.

 

Tags: Business Banking, Financial Education
 

Waldron Rural Fire Department Receives Arvest Foundation Grant

Thursday, October 17 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

The Waldron Rural Fire Department will have the opportunity to update some of its turnout gear with the help of a $3,900 donation from the Arvest Foundation.

The gift was announced at the Arvest Bank in Waldron, Ark. Debra Fuller, Keith Slater, Teresa Carnahan, Debra Byford and Shelley Buckles of Arvest were on hand to present the check.

The Arvest Foundation donation will allow the Fire Department to replace some of their outdated turnout gear, resulting in enhance firefighting capabilities. Turnout gear provides personal protection for firefighters and can include trousers, boots and jackets.

“On a fire scene, having current and reliable equipment is vital to the safety and confidence of our firefighters, Waldron Rural Fire Department chief Ken Overdurf said. “The Waldron Fire Department is honored to have community partners like the Arvest Foundation and is thankful for its generous support.”

“We are happy to make this donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation,” Buckles said. “Our firefighters play a critical role in the safety and well-being of all those in our community and we are happy to support them in this way.”

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest
 

Arvest Foundation Makes Series of Donations in Muskogee

Wednesday, October 16 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

The Arvest Foundation made a series of donations to organizations in the Muskogee area recently, providing help for flood victims, patients of a children’s clinic and victims of child abuse. The three organizations received a total of $22,500.

The Muskogee County Disaster Recovery Committee (MCDRC) received $10,000 to aid in its mission to provide recovery services to individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2019 floods in Muskogee County. Specifically, the donation will be used to help flood victims rebuild their homes, provide needed home contents, and assist with other financial needs.

“The MCDRC is grateful to the Arvest Foundation for their generous donation and for demonstrating their commitment to the Muskogee area,” said D.J. Thompson, chairman of the MCDRC board of directors.

The Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy & Neuro-Muscular Center received $7,000 that will help it provide physical, occupational and speech/swallowing therapy and services to children of all ages at no out-of-pocket cost to their families.

“This donation will benefit children that come to KBT for therapy to enjoy safe, inclusive outdoor playground surfacing and swings,” executive director Sharon Riggs said.

Additionally, the Kids’ Space Child Advocacy Center received $5,500. The center responds to reports of child abuse, utilizing a multi-disciplinary team of experts who investigate alleged abuse, conduct forensic interviews, provide family advocacy, reduce trauma and identify resources so that children and families may begin the healing process.

“This donation is so helpful,” executive director Haley Poffel said. “We have been in need of new furniture for our lobby for quite some time. This will allow us to meet that need without taking crucial money away from client services.”

“We are pleased to present these donations on behalf of the Arvest Foundation to support a variety of worthwhile causes in our area,” said Greg Eby, community bank president for Arvest Bank in Muskogee. “We hope and trust that they are a reflection of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to our community.”

Tags: Arvest, Oklahoma
 

Associate Gets Surprise on “Good Morning America”

Wednesday, October 16 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News


If you are one of the millions of Americans who watches network TV as part of your morning routine, you may have seen a face that is familiar to Arvest Bank recently.

That’s because Ashley Ellis appeared during a “Good Morning America” segment as part of National Love Your Hair Day on Oct. 10. Ellis has been an Arvest associate since 2005 and has served in a variety of roles. She currently works in the Arvest Credit Card division as an onboarding specialist for the corporate credit card department.

National Love Your Hair Day is the creation of Carolyn Aronson, CEO and founder of It’s a 10 Haircare.

“Our hair is our crown … so we need to celebrate it,” Aronson said during the segment.

Little did Ellis know that she was about to be celebrated, too. Ellis and two other women were in the studio audience as part of a prize package associated with an It’s a 10 social media contest. Contest guidelines said It’s a 10 was looking for three hard-working go-getters who are “pushing the boundaries, working toward their dreams, and truly making a difference.”

“You thought you were here as guests, but we want to share your stories with America,” co-anchor Lara Spencer said while calling Ellis and the two other guests onstage.

Ellis’ story in a nutshell: She was a divorced mother of two who had never lived on her own when she decided to take self-defense classes as a way to boost her lagging self-confidence and self-worth. Fast-forward several years, and Ellis now teaches Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes and offers free self-defense seminars for women.

I just want women to feel amazing, want them to feel protected and feel like they can take on the world,” she said.

Ellis and the other guests then got an even bigger surprise: $10,000 checks to start a new business or further their current pursuits. Ellis said she plans to use her money to become a certified jiu-jitsu instructor and maybe even take law enforcement training.

Her goal is to be able to reach more women and share the empowerment she uncovered by taking those first self-defense classes.

“I would love to go around to our trade areas and provide women at Arvest (and others) an opportunity to come to free seminars,” Ellis said.

And she plans to keep her day job, too.

>>WATCH THE SEGMENT HERE<<

Tags: Arvest

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