PEA RIDGE Times have changed in the past quarter of a century in banking.
"Twenty-five years ago we were all a jack of all trades," said Brenda Henson, mortgage lender at Arvest Bank in Pea Ridge, speaking of how the times have changed since she began her career at Arvest.
On Sept. 17, 1984, Kim Brown started working at Arvest Bank as a part-time drive-through teller.
"It was supposed to be part time," she said, "but quickly became full time."
Henson, a native of Pea Ridge and a graduate of Pea Ridge High School, is the daughter of Pat and Sharon Webb of Garfield. She is engaged to Johnny Shockley and her two sons, Wesley and Bradley, live in the areaalso. Wesley and his wife Jessica have Henson's only grandchild, Ashlyn.
"I graduated highschool, two weeks later I was married and two weeks after that I was working at the bank," she said.
Henson started as a teller in 1984, and has since moved her way up to mortgage lender, a position she has held for the past 10 years.
"My favorite part is working with the people," she said.
Day to day, she sees customers who want to purchase or refinance their homes.
"I like to think I help them plan what is the best option for them," she said.
"There's been more changes in the last 18 months that the whole time I've been doing this,"she said, speaking of the economy.
The biggest change has been in the regulations, she explained, not so much in people wanting to purchase homes.
"But I keep telling my son, you can do anything.
Just do what you want."
Brown is a native of Pea Ridge and graduated from Pea Ridge High School. She worked for Easley's Hardware and would come to the Bank of Pea Ridge, as it was known then, to make deposits.
"Barbara Owen said 'would you be interested ina job?' and I said "maybe,'" said Brown.
Brown's grandfather, Hugh Webb, was vice president of the Bank of Pea Ridge in the 1950s. Brown is now the vice president branch manager of the Pea Ridge branch of Arvest.
"I've been fortunate to be able to work this close to home," she said, speaking of the opportunities Arvest has afforded her.
Brown said the change in traffic throughout the bank has been drastic over the past 25 years.
"You used to know when you're busy days were going to be. Now, we have constant busy days."
Brown lives in Pea Ridge with her husband, John.
Their daughter Courtney Hurst and husband Braxton, also of Pea Ridge, welcomed Brown's first grandchild, Gracyn, eight months ago.
Community, Pages 7 on 09/16/2009