Chad Evans was studying microbiology at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with an eye toward optometry school until he had an epiphany.
"When you realize you're working with a great company, you stop and wonder why you're trying to move away from it," Evans said.
His revelatory moment came when he was offered a promotion to manage a bank branch for Arvest Bank Group's McIlroy Bank & Trust in Fayetteville. Evans felt so strongly about seizing the opportunity that he decided to leave college just eight hours short of a degree.
The Bentonville native started with the company as a teenager working part-time in 1990 and went on to become an alumnus of the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Over the years, he has held various posts from teller to team member setting up new banks in Joplin, Mo., in 1997 and Fort Smith in 2000, returning home to Bentonville in 2005.
Evans is on the executive committee of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors for North West Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is treasurer of the Life Way Christian School Board.