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White River Bancshares Company Announces Several Senior Level Promotions, Created from Strategic Growth Initiatives, including a New Branch Location in Rogers, AR

/EIN News/ -- FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., May 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- White River Bancshares Company (OTCQX: WRIV), the holding company (the “Company”) for Signature Bank of Arkansas (the “Bank”), today announced the promotion of a number of senior leaders as part of its growing franchise and multi-step growth strategy process.  Several of these promotions, and new key hires, are a result of the company’s expansion into the Rogers, Arkansas market in April.

Northwest Arkansas continues to be ranked one the fastest growing areas in the country.  In keeping pace with the multi-billion-dollar expansion around the Pinnacles Hills Parkway, the Bank needed a branch presence.

The new Rogers branch is located at 3712 South Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Suite 102.  Leading the expansion, Knight Weis is the President of the new Rogers location.  A native of Springdale, Arkansas, Weis has been a part of the Signature Bank Team since its opening in May 2004, and in the banking business for over 30 years. Weis has served as the Springdale Market President until being promoted to NWA President in April 2013, as well as serving as the Market President for Fayetteville from 2014-2016.

The rest of the Rogers team includes Kurt Brungardt, a native of Rogers, as the VP of Mortgage Lending. He brings over 23 years of experience in the secondary market mortgage business and joined the Signature Bank team in 2016.  Kent Arnold, a native of Jonesboro, Arkansas will be heading up our Business Development initiatives.  He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Finance with a minor in Real Estate and has over 15 years of experience working as an Executive Broker both in Dallas & Jonesboro. Clinton Ryan, Lance Clark, and John Spencer will be acting as VP’s of Commercial Lending in Rogers.  Ryan grew up in Mena, Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2005 with a degree in Business with emphasis on investments.  He also attended the ABA Commercial Lending School at SMU.  Clark is from Kansas City, Missouri and graduated from Missouri State University with a Business Administration/Marketing degree. Clark brings with him 27 years of banking experience.  Spencer was born and raised in Springdale, Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas where he received a BSBA.  He also is a graduate of the ABA Graduate School of Lending at SMU.  Spencer has been with Signature Bank of Arkansas since 2004. 

Amy Rachel grew up in Springdale, Arkansas and is serving as both Rogers and Bentonville’s Bank Manager. She attended school at NWACC and has been in retail banking for 19 years.  Jake Sullins, also from Springdale, Arkansas has recently been promoted to Assistant Bank Manager of our Rogers location.  Sullins brings over six years of banking experience in Northwest Arkansas.  Jean Zieber grew up in Stockton, Illinois and moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2005.  Zieber now works at our Rogers location as a Consumer Commercial Loan Coordinator.  Ashley Lindy is a native of Muskogee Oklahoma and is our Senior Loan Coordinator in Rogers.  Lindy attended the University of Arkansas where she received a BSBA in Financial Management and Investments.  She is a graduate of the ABA National Compliance School and holds a certificate in compliance lending and will be a key contributor to running our Rogers location.

“We are proud to have built a team of very experienced professionals over the years and continue to invest in our people to ensure the long-term success of our business," said Gary Head, President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am confident the bankers who are leading our branch expansion efforts are some of the best in the business.  We are committed to being the best Community Bank in the markets we serve.

At the executive level, Scott Sandlin was promoted to Chief Strategy Officer.  Sandlin joined the executive team in 2016.  He is a retired Walmart executive with over 25 years of experience in operations, merchandising, eCommerce, and financial services, as well as extensive experience in developing growth strategies and business plans.  A Fayetteville native, Sandlin graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and went on to complete the Harvard Business School’s Financial Services (Executive Education) in 2007.

Alexandria J. Gladden was promoted to Market President in Springdale.  A Fayetteville native, Gladden has been with Signature Bank for the past 14 years, 7 of which she has served as the SVP Loan Manager.  She also currently serves as a committee member for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Event Gala and has recently joined the Fayetteville Junior Civic League.  Jason Orlicek was promoted to SVP Loan Manager in Springdale.  Orlicek began working at Signature Bank in 2013 and has over 19 years of banking experience.  He is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University, the ABA Commercial School of Lending and the Graduate Lending Schools at SMU.

On April 15, 2019, White River reported that strong core deposit growth and net interest margin expansion contributed to first quarter 2019 net income increasing 6.39% to $1.17 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, compared to $1.10 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2018.

About the Region

White River Bancshares Company is located in thriving Northwest Arkansas in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA. The region is home to the corporate headquarters for Walmart Stores Inc, Sam’s Club, Tyson Foods, Simmons Foods, and J.B. Hunt Transport.  Hundreds of other market-leading companies including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and Rubbermaid maintain offices in the region in order to maintain their relationships with the locally-based Fortune 500 companies.  Northwest Arkansas is also home to the state’s flagship public educational institution, The University of Arkansas and its Sam M. Walton College of Business.  The region has seen significant growth in its medical and arts infrastructures with the continued expansion of Washington Regional Medical System, Northwest Medical System, Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas and Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest.  Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Walton Arts Center have led the expansion of the arts.  Northwest Arkansas has been repeatedly recognized in recent years as one of the best places to live in the country and remains one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions.

About White River Bancshares Company

White River Bancshares Company is the single bank holding company for Signature Bank of Arkansas.  Both are headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Bank has locations in Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Brinkley, and Rogers, Arkansas.  Founded in 2005, Signature Bank of Arkansas provides a full line of financial services to small businesses, families and farms.  White River Bancshares Company (OTCQX: WRIV), qualified to trade on the OTCQX® Best Market in December 2018.  

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains statements about future events.  These forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions of management of the Company and the Bank and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “believe,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” or similar expressions or the negative of those terms.  Our ability to predict results of future events and the actual effect of future plans or strategies are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those predicted in such forward-looking statements.  Factors that could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future prospects or that could affect the outcome of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates; the economic health of the local real estate market; general economic conditions; credit deterioration in our loan portfolio that would cause us to increase our allowance for loan losses; legislative or regulatory changes; technological developments; monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, including policies of the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board; the quality or composition of our loan and securities portfolios; demand for loan products in our market areas; deposit flows and costs of capital; competition; retention and recruitment of qualified personnel; demand for financial services in our market areas; and changes in accounting principles, policies, and guidelines.  These risks and uncertainties should be considered in evaluating forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. The Company does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

Contact:       Scott Sandlin              479-684-3754 

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