Southern Bancorp Adds Five New Directors

Shareholders of Southern Bancorp Inc. of Arkadelphia, the holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank and the nonprofit Southern Bancorp Community Partners, have elected five additional members to the board of directors.

The new directors announced Wednesday are:

  • John C. Edwards, a partner in the Anible & Edwards law firm in Little Rock;
  • Colette Honorable, chairwoman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission;  
  • Glen Jones, president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia;    
  • Diane Tatum, regional customer service manager for Entergy Arkansas; and
  • State Rep. Darrin Williams, D-Little Rock, and a partner in the Little Rock law firm of Carney Williams Bates Pulliam & Bowman PLLC.

"Southern's unique combination of philanthropy and banking requires a depth and breadth of talent capable of balancing often competing needs in order to optimize social impact," Walter Smiley, Chairman and CEO of Southern Bancorp Inc., said in a press release announcing the new members. "Our current and newly elected directors have just the right skills, background and experiences to ensure that our mission focus continues to thrive."

Smiley has been CEO since the departure in January 2011 of Phil Baldwin. A search for a replacement is underway. Arkansas Business in February reported on uncharacteristic staff changes at Southern Bancorp.

In addition to Smiley and the new members, the board consists of Tony Berkley, director of mission-driven investing for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of  Battle Creek, Mich.; Jerry Damerow of Little Rock, a retired partner with Ernst & Young accounting firm; Herman Davenport, president and CEO of Davenport Group of Little Rock; James Harrington, president of Harrington Construction Co. of Arkadelphia; Jerry Sims, president of  Blytheville Unlimited; Rodney Slater, partner in Patton Boggs LLP of Washington, D.C.; Dorothy Stuck of Hot Springs, a civic leader and retired businesswoman; and Sherman Tate, president and CEO of HT & Associates of Little Rock.