Market Disruption Opens New Doors for Bear State Financial

by George Waldon  on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 12:00 am  

May referred questions to Massey.

During Lenderman’s 13 years in banking, he’s helped oversee the consolidation of nearly a dozen bank charters assembled by First National Security.

May worked in his family’s regional bank data processing business, Advance Data, for 10 years before getting into banking in 1990.

In May 1993, he became president and CEO at Heritage Bank, originally known as Leachville State Bank and later as Buffalo Island Bank.

Matt Machen, formerly a senior vice president and regional president at First Federal Bank, was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Bear State.

Former CFO Sherri Billings is now chief accounting officer while remaining an EVP at Bear State.

John Suskie, EVP and chief lending officer at First Federal Bank, is no longer chief lending officer for Bear State. That position was eliminated after the merger.

For now, Bear State will operate First Federal, First National and Heritage as three separate lenders. The possibility of consolidating the three charters into one lies somewhere in the undefined future, according to Wewers.

The only common market shared among the three lenders is Little Rock, where First National and First Federal each have one branch.

First Federal has a network of 12 full-service branches that stretches across north Arkansas from Mountain Home to Fayetteville.

First National operates 19 full-service branches across southwest Arkansas along with two in Oklahoma. The Heritage Bank network numbers seven in two northeast Arkansas counties: Craighead and Mississippi.

“We want to make sure we don’t lose our identity in those communities,” Wewers said.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.