Mark Fowler


First Bank of Arkansas


Mark Fowler

Mark Fowler's professional career has followed the movement of the family business, founded on fast-food franchises owned by his father, Wallace Fowler.

"There was no question on my part that I would work in the family business," he says.

He left the world of Kentucky Fried Chicken, where he worked as a teen-age fry cook, to pursue banking. It's an arena where the Fowler family is building its second fortune under the Southwest Bancshares holding company. The venture is growing toward $450 million in total assets, led by its Jonesboro flagship.

Fowler, 30, began his trek through the ranks in 1986 as a trainee in his father's first successful banking venture, North Arkansas Bancshares, sold to Union Planters Corp. in 1990.

He serves on various boards of the growing family of First Arkansas banks. His own family recently grew to two children with the birth of a son.

A past chairman of the local American Red Cross chapter, Fowler works with industrial recruitment through the chamber and Jonesboro Unlimited.