Kim Crook of First Arkansas Bank & Trust (CFO Lifetime Achievement award)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 12:00 am  

Kim CrookFirst Arkansas Bank & TrustJacksonville

“I watch him not raise his voice, not get animated, but listen to what people are saying, whether he knows they’re wrong or not,” Crook said. And learning to listen, she said, “has been a huge part of my success.”

Crook serves on the bank’s executive committee, which makes every strategic and most day-to-day decisions for the bank. She manages the accounting department, which includes all reconciliation, bill pay and reporting functions; the internal audit, compliance, purchasing and human resource departments; and administrative functions.

Her biggest challenge to date, Crook said, is hiring competent, confident managers whom she can trust. To accomplish that, she looks for “someone who’s not afraid to talk to me, who’s not afraid to come to me if they’re not sure or they need some advice.” Crook said the ability to make decisions is pre-eminent among the qualities she seeks.

She tries, Crook said, to be the kind of mentor to her employees that Wilson has been to her, and she gives her employees credit for helping her succeed. Her “competitive nature” is also an asset. “While I may not like a challenge or problem that is thrown my way, I will not run from it,” she said.

“First and foremost,” however, Crook has been “blessed with a boss and mentor that lives each day as an example of what he expects. I have learned how to be a professional, to be fair, to listen (hard one), to think about the big picture, to think before you speak, to put yourself in the customer’s or employee’s place and to live by example. I hope that is how I am seen by my managers.”

Wilson, Crook said, is “proof you can have it all if you treat others fairly and work hard at what you love."

Buy your tickets to the CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon to show your support for Kim.



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