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Instead of joining an accounting firm, the native of Strong (Union County) took a job as an auditor with Exchange Bank & Trust in El Dorado.
"I'm an avid turkey hunter, and tax time in April was going to interfere with that," Fife said.
He later worked as executive vice president at Citizens Bank of Strong and oversaw commercial lending at Citizens Bank of El Dorado.
In October 1994, Fife was named chief executive officer at Citizens First Bank in Fordyce. He received a 10 Outstanding Young Arkansans award in 1997 from the state chapter of the Jaycees.
Fife joined Simmons First Bank of El Dorado as executive vice president in May 1999. Last year, Fife was named president of the bank and elected to the board of directors.
He is a board member of the El Dorado Boys and Girls Club Board, and past civic work includes the Dallas County Museum Board and fund raising for the Boy Scouts of America.