Banking CFO Winner: Karen Shaw, Citizens Bank

Banking CFO Winner:  Karen Shaw, Citizens Bank
Karen Shaw • EVP & CFO, Citizens Bank | Batesville

Karen Shaw wanted to pursue a professional business career that would have vast opportunities to serve others, be intellectually challenging and always be in demand. She found that and more with accounting.

“I loved numbers from a very young age, and my accounting classes came natural to me even though I was constantly a creative thinker,” said Shaw, a certified public accountant. “Over the years, I developed a love for mentoring others and desired to use my talents and leadership skills to develop, empower and manage a team of financial professionals.”

These days, she is executive vice president and chief financial officer of the $1.2 billion-asset Citizens Bank in Batesville. Shaw joined the bank in January 2003 and served as senior vice president and loan review officer until 2013 when she was promoted to her current position.

Shaw grew up in the Cleveland community of Conway County and graduated in May 1994 with highest honors and a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

She landed her first job out of college with the Lit-tle Rock office of Ernst & Young, where she did pub-

lic accounting for eight years before moving to Batesville.

During her time with the firm, Shaw progressed through the ranks from audit staffer to senior accountant to audit manager working with clients in the financial services, health care, transportation and communication sectors.

She is a member of the UCA College of Business Advisory Board and the board of the American Red Cross Serving Greater Arkansas and treasurer for the nonprofit Christmas Brings Hope.

Shaw also is an active member of the Arkansas State Society of CPAs and co-founder of POWER (Professional Organization of Women Empowering Relationships).

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