Barry Ledbetter

Executive vice president

Simmons First Bank


Barry Ledbetter

Barry Ledbetter loves communicating with people, and it's this people side of business that attracted the 34-year-old to banking.

Ledbetter joined Simmons First Bank in Jonesboro as a management trainee in 1985. He was named a loan officer in 1987 and vice president in 1989. Ledbetter began overseeing human resources in 1993 and was promoted to executive vice president in 1994.

He has enjoyed success as he has risen through the ranks, but his personal philosophy won't allow work to be his No. 1 priority.

"My career is important to me," Ledbetter says. "My relationship with God and my family are one and two. My work is third."

He graduated from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with a

bachelor's degree in business and finance in 1984. Ledbetter followed that with a masters in business administration in 1985 and attended Southern Methodist University Graduate School of Banking in Dallas in 1991.

Ledbetter took a chance to relocate a charity golf tournament for St. Bernards Regional Medical Center to Jonesboro from Paragould, where it had done well for three years. The move was rewarded with a dramatic increase in fund raising.

"Some believe it it's not broke, don't fix it." Ledbetter says, "My .attitude is if it's working and can be improved, let's improve it."

Other volunteer efforts and community work include Arkansas State University, United Way of Greater Jonesboro, Greater Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce and Jonesboro Rotary Club.