Necessity has worked out well for Jonathan McNair.
When McNair graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 2008, he found a tight job market. Armed with a finance degree, he went store to store looking for work.
First Western Bank in Rogers gave him an entry-level job processing mortgages. Ten short years later, McNair is the CFO of a bank with assets closing in on $500 million.
“Initially, it was the first place I got a job offer,” McNair said. “I needed that. From there I wasn’t really doing what I wanted to do, but I was glad to have a job at the time. They gave me an opportunity to try different things out.”
McNair, 33, was named assistant CFO of the bank in 2017. When he graduated from UA, he had a minor in accounting but needed a bachelor’s to become the bank’s CFO; he returned to UA and earned that accounting degree and was promoted to CFO in 2019.
His journey up the career ladder at First Western gave him a wide variety of experience that has helped him as a top executive.
“There has been the ability to grow, even in a smaller company,” McNair said. “It was beneficial for the position I’m in now, to see everything from the ground up and from different points of view.”
McNair knows that he is relatively young for the position he is in. He said he deals with that by being “open and honest” with the people on his staff.
“I’m obviously younger in a world of much older people,” McNair said. “It is just a matter of proving myself when it comes down to it. Every step, I have to make sure I’m moving in the right direction.
“I’m enjoying where I am at. We are crossing over the $500 million threshold so there are a lot of new regulations to work on. We are growing pretty fast. There is going to be a lot of opportunity moving forward.”