Arkansas: Arvest Bank Taps Shepard and Andress for New Roles to Enhance Customer and Associate Experiences

Fayetteville-based Arvest Bank recently announced that it has named two longtime employees to newly created positions that focus on the experiences of both the bank’s customers and its associates.

Rodney Shepard, previously president and CEO for Arvest Bank in Fort Smith and the River Valley, will serve as the chief customer experience officer. He will be responsible for maintaining a strong relationship between Arvest Bank and its customers, as well as managing the overall day-to-day experience for customers and associates. Shepard will work with management at all levels to maintain a consistent, customer-first mentality across the bank’s physical and digital channels.

Laura Andress, the bank’s executive director of group human resources, will assume the title of chief people officer. Among other duties, she will be responsible for developing and executing a human resource plan in support of the bank’s strategic direction. Andress will work specifically in the areas of succession planning, talent management, organizational and performance management, training and development, benefits and compensation, and associate communication.

Shepard, who has been with Arvest Bank for more than 25 years, is being replaced as president and CEO in Fort Smith and the River Valley by Roger Holroyd. Shepard earned an associate degree from Carl Albert Junior College, a bachelor’s degree in management from Northeastern State University and an MBA degree from Webster University. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University and the Mid South School of Banking at Christian Brothers University.

Shepard serves on the boards for Mercy Health Fort Smith Communities, the University of Arkansas–Fort Smith Foundation and Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club. He also serves on the community bankers council for the American Bankers Association.

Among other civic endeavors, Shepard is a past chairman of the board for the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce and has worked on behalf of United Way, the Fort Smith Riverfront Blues Society and Single-Parent Scholarship Fund. He was presented the Carl Albert State College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.

Andress joined Arvest Bank in 2004 as director of group human resources, following 13 years as an attorney and partner at a Fayetteville law firm. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a law degree from the University of Arkansas.

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2018, operates more than 270 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 14 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 135 communities.

Published in Bankers Digest January 7, 2019