Gordon Silaski Stays Hot on the Trail of Centennial Expansion

Arkansas Business 20th Annual 40 Under Forty
The original Class of 2001 profiles
2013 Updates from this week's digital edition of Arkansas Business.

Gordon Silaski likes hiking, fishing, motorcycling and boating. In that order. “And I don’t get to do much of any of it,” Silaski said.

Silaski, a member of the Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 Class of 2001, is busy enough these days as division president at Centennial Bank. That puts him in charge of regional management, business development and credit quality, among other things.

Silaski, 48, also helps oversee primary lending activities of the company’s Florida banks and also serves on credit committees throughout the entire footprint of Centennial Bank.

“Really, the changes have been fairly dramatic,” Silaski said, reflecting on the banking business since 2001, when he was vice president, commercial lender and downtown market manager at Twin City Bank. “And those changes have been driven by technology, the economy and by competition.”

Consider Centennial’s Florida banks. The state’s weak economy of recent years allowed Centennial to purchase struggling institutions, creating an unexpected addition to Silaski’s resume.

“That was not on my radar screen a few years ago,” he said. “At all.”

But in taking advantage of what he called “a huge opportunity,” Silaski opened himself up for long days and a lot of travel, putting his knowledge to work and making business decisions in Centennial’s multiple markets, which also include banks in Alabama.

“Every market is different,” Silaski said.

When not taking care of Centennial business, Silaski further subtracts time from his hobbies by serving as treasurer for the Quapaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America. A former Scout himself, Silaski has been volunteering with the organization since the 1980s.

He is also on the board of Heart of Arkansas United Way and the advisory board of the UALR Department of Economics & Finance and just stepped down from the Junior Achievement Board.

Silaski is eyeing a couple of other board memberships in the near future, but taking on new things seems to be his pattern.

“I’ve always paid attention and worked very hard and always been given an opportunity to do more,” Silaski said.