FAB&T News and Updates
Today, America Saves announced First Arkansas Bank and Trust as a recipient of the 2023 Designation of Savings Excellence Award (DOSE), the only national award focused on recognizing financial institutions for their work in helping Americans improve financial stability. The coveted honor highlights banks and credit unions that made an extraordinary effort to promote positive saving behaviors in their community during the annual America Saves Week campaign.
First Arkansas Bank & Trust was one of only 15 recipients to be honored this year out of more than 3,900 organizations who participated in America Saves Week in 2023, which took place February 27 - March 3.
“America Saves has the distinct honor of working with financial institutions that actually care about their customers and members,” said Kia McCallister-Young, Director of America Saves. “That has always been a stand-out point to me, that the organizations that participate in America Saves Week go the extra mile; there’s no requirement to be a part of this campaign, they’re here because they WANT to be, and they believe in the message of helping their employees, constituents, and community be more financially confident. We’re thrilled to be able to honor these banks and credit unions and highlight their hard work.”
America Saves Week is a time-honored, national event bringing together thousands of organizations across multiple sectors to transform the lives of Americans by encouraging them to save successfully. First Arkansas Bank & Trust alongside other participating financial institutions helped reach nearly nine million people and during the weeklong event, individuals deposited more than $788 million into new or existing savings accounts.
FAB&T partners with Arkansas baseball standout Brady Tygart to strike out hunger
First Arkansas Bank & Trust (FAB&T) is proud to announce a partnership with Arkansas baseball standout pitcher, Brady Tygart. This NIL (name, image, and likeness) agreement is the third such agreement between FAB&T and Arkansas collegiate student-athletes.
As part of this agreement, FAB&T will partner with Brady to create the “Brady’s Bunch: Striking Out Hunger” program. Each week, FAB&T will make a donation to the Arkansas Food Bank in recognition of Brady. Employees of FAB&T will volunteer with Brady at the Arkansas Food Bank to pack food boxes periodically throughout the year. FAB&T will also coordinate a canned food drive to coincide with Brady returning to Central Arkansas for a baseball game in May, with all collected items being donated to the Arkansas Food Bank.
Valuing Diversity and Innovation
FAB&T redefines the future with its long track record of hiring and promoting women and minorities. As Mark explains, diversity is built into the bank’s origins.
“We are the beneficiaries of the diversity that is inherent to having a large military installation nearby,” he says. “Because of the Little Rock Air Force Base, which this bank helped to establish, Jacksonville has always been a very diverse community. Because we’ve hired from that community and placed the highest emphasis on retaining those who do great work, diversity has come naturally.”
Innovation in customer technology is also important to FAB&T. For example, the bank recently made a major investment in upgrading to Interactive Teller Machines to provide customers with one-on-one service (including on the weekends) and live tellers working remotely. This is just one of many examples of the bank responding to their customers’ needs.
“We do a better job listening than we do preaching,” says Larry. “That’s important for the businesses and customers we serve.”
First Arkansas Bank & Trust and Plinqit Partner with Collegiate Soccer Star, Kiley Dulaney
Kiley Dulaney, University of Arkansas soccer player, partners to promote financial wellness and healthy savings habits on behalf of FAB&T and Plinqit
Jacksonville, AR, Aug. 11, 2022 – First Arkansas Bank & Trust (FAB&T) and Plinqit, the only savings platform of its kind that pays users for learning about personal finances, have partnered with University of Arkansas soccer player, Kiley Dulaney to promote positive financial health within the local communities of Central and North Central Arkansas.
A collegiate soccer player with aspirations of becoming a business owner after graduation, Dulaney is a Jacksonville, Arkansas native and a long-time customer of FAB&T. The Jacksonville-based bank, which manages more than $960 million in assets, is proud to showcase Dulaney’s accomplishments and future business goals to inspire other young athletes, especially women, to pursue their dreams, both athletically and professionally. As a student-athlete, Dulaney also recognizes the importance of financial planning and saving, which makes her the ideal spokesperson for this partnership.
By partnering with FAB&T and Plinqit, Dulaney will help promote financial wellness, strong personal finance skills and healthy savings habits throughout the communities across Arkansas. Far too often, this demographic relies on credit or other means to pay for things, which can lead to financial stress that could be alleviated by setting aside money on a regular basis to pay for both wants and those unexpected life moments.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of female athletes, aspiring entrepreneurs, and future business leaders to reach their personal, professional and financial goals, no matter how big or small – to dream as big as possible,” said Dulaney. “As a student, I understand the countless financial stressors that so many young people experience, especially considering inflation and the rise in prices for basic necessities. Still, financial challenges should not prevent someone from pursuing their dreams. That’s why I’m proud to partner with First Arkansas Bank & Trust and Plinqit to empower others to take control of their finances and achieve their goals.”
Understanding that saving is the first step on the path to financial wellness, Plinqit provides users with a free, simple and easy-to-use way to save and plan for future financial needs. Unlike any other savings platform on the market, Plinqit allows users to not only interact with content that improves their financial literacy, but they are paid to do so. FAB&T first partnered with Plinqit in 2020 and since launching Plinqit’s platform, the bank’s customers have collectively saved more than $500,000 and many have successfully hit their savings goals while boosting their personal finance skills. By partnering with Plinqit, FAB&T has experienced strong deposit growth while empowering its customers to achieve sustained financial wellness through better savings habits.
“Not only is Kiley Dulaney a phenomenal student-athlete and collegiate soccer player at the highest level, but she also is from Jacksonville and has spent her life in our bank’s footprint,” said Roger Sundermeier, SVP & Chief Brand Officer with First Arkansas Bank & Trust. “Kiley has a deep personal connection to the Jacksonville community, which is why we chose to partner with her. We are proud to have Kiley and the Plinqit team as partners in our efforts to advocate for financial health and promote women’s soccer. This is important work and being able to involve local talent like Kiley makes this initiative even more meaningful. We are proud to showcase the talent that comes from the communities which we serve.”
On the partnership, Kathleen Craig, founder and CEO of Plinqit added, “There are many skills that make a great entrepreneur and the ability to make smart financial decisions is one of them. As an incredibly disciplined student-athlete and an aspiring business owner, Kiley Dulaney is the perfect spokesperson for FAB&T and Plinqit and will help raise awareness of the importance of establishing good financial habits early on. We look forward to working with her as we continue to advocate for greater financial wellness for all.”
About First Arkansas Bank & Trust
First Arkansas Bank & Trust is a family-owned and operated commercial bank based in Jacksonville, Arkansas with more than $960 million in assets. Founded in 1949, the bank has remained committed to doing right by its customers and has since grown to 21 locations across Arkansas.
Plinqit is a brandable, mobile-first platform that is elegant and highly powerful at the same time. Unlike any other savings platform on the market, its patented Build Skills™ pays users for engaging with content, creating higher user engagement for financial institutions. Created by Millennials for Millennials, Plinqit helps financial institutions connect with this important demographic in a meaningful, relevant way – bringing together digital customers, FIs, and savings in one beautiful place. For more information, visit info.plinqit.com.
About First Arkansas Bank & Trust
March 2020 — The stockholders of FAB&T recently elected three new members to its Board of Directors. Ali King Sugg, Dr. Chev Ergle, and Mark Wilson assumed their new roles at last month's board meeting.
FAB&T Chairman, President, and CEO Larry Wilson stated, “We are extremely pleased to be able to add three quality individuals to an already wonderful and experienced Board of Directors. Each of these individuals will bring different ideas and opportunities to the table. They are all well-respected members of their communities and circles of influence, and we are excited for our future with their leadership.”
Ali King Sugg is a native of Clinton and is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio-TV and a minor in Marketing. In 2016 she built the only full-power FM radio station licensed to Heber Springs and Cleburne County, and is now the Owner/General Manager of Red River Radio, Inc. and a morning show personality on KSUG. She is also a dance instructor at her mother’s dance studio, Judi King School of Dance.
She is a passionate advocate for The CALL in Cleburne County, a Councilwoman for the City of Heber Springs, Past-President of the Arkansas Broadcasters Association, board member on Arkansas State University-Heber Springs Development Council, and the Heber Springs Future Fund. In 2017, Ali was chosen as one of Arkansas Business Top 40 under 40 honorees, and in 2018 and 2019 Arkansas Business listed Red River Radio, Inc. as a Top Woman-Owned Company in Arkansas. Ali was also a 2019 recipient of the Emerging Young Alumni award from Arkansas State University Alumni Association. Her radio station has received multiple community service awards, given by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association. Ali and her husband Joe live in Heber Springs, they have two children, Spencer and Sydney.
In practice at Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Jacksonville for more than 15 years, Dr. Chevron Ergle has worked tirelessly on behalf of Optometry in Arkansas. He is instrumental in growing new leaders in Optometry as the co-developer and facilitator of the Arkansas Optometric Association’s (AROA) Leadership Program (LEAD). He has served as Chair of the AROA’s Membership and Nominating committees. He received the AROA’s Optometrist of the Year award in 2017 and the Young Optometrist of the Year award in 2008. Dr. Ergle joined the Arkansas Optometric Association’s Board of Directors in 2009 and served as President in 2015-2016.
He currently serves as President of Vision Arkansas, the charitable foundation of the AROA. He was awarded the Young Optometrist of the South, by the Southern Council of Optometrists (SECO), in 2009. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2016 for the SECO as the Trustee from Arkansas serving alongside Trustees from 12 additional southern states. Dr. Ergle currently serves as Optometry’s representative to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program’s Advisory Committee. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University and the Southern College of Optometry. Chevron is married to Angela and they have two children, Noah and Hannah.
Mark T. Wilson serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at FAB&T. He oversees the bank’s commercial and consumer lending activities, mortgage department, and the retail branch network of 22 locations in central and north central Arkansas, as well as the bank’s credit card issuing operation located in Kennesaw, Ga.
Mark has been with the bank since 2001. He started as a loan officer, and has held several positions at the bank, including supervising online banking, debit cards, ACH and wires, retail services, the customer service call center, loans, and credit cards.
A native of Jacksonville, Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business with an emphasis in Accounting from Hendrix College, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in 2008, and the American Bankers Association’s Graduate Commercial Lending School at Southern Methodist University in 2015.
Forbes magazine has released its lists of best banks in the United States, and each state. FAB&T has been recognized as being one of the best banks in the country, as well as Arkansas.
“We are pleased to be placed on this prestigious list,” said Larry Wilson, FAB&T Chairman, CEO and President. “We constantly deliver on our commitment of providing quality products, services, and experiences for our customers, employees, and communities. It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized not just locally, but also nationally for our efforts by a global brand such as Forbes.”
FAB&T shares this honor with 123 other banks across the country, which ranks them in the top 2.3 percent of banks in the United States. Nationwide financial institutions like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase Bank, which have branches in at least 15 U.S. states, were excluded from the final rankings.
Statista, a company that specializes in nationwide polling, conducted the research forForbes and over 25,000 customers were polled for this particular research project. Customers were asked their opinions on their current and former banking relationships, as well as five other categories, including trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice.
FAB&T is a family-owned and managed commercial bank chartered in Jacksonville, Arkansas with Total Assets of $760 million and 22 locations in Central and North Central Arkansas. FAB&T also offers a full-service mortgage department, trust and wealth management services, 24/7 Customer Call Center, and a credit card division, located in Kennesaw, Georgia.