Meet Everton Neil. He’s a community bank lender for Arvest in greater Kansas City.

Help us fight hunger in our community.

To describe what he does for our Community Development Division, Everton says it’s similar to being a gardener.

“It’s like planting seeds. You plant the seed, then you keep watering it. Eventually, it bears fruit.”

Everton Neil

Planting the seed translates to establishing relationships with potential customers. Watering involves building trust with them and providing the education they need.

“ … teaching them about budgeting, building your credit, and all the pieces they need to manage and maneuver their finances effectively,” he said.

For many of Everton’s customers, that financial education then bears fruit. He and others at Arvest are able to share in the joy of seeing customers gain a foundational understanding of banking and start to meet financial goals. 

But his customer relationships extend beyond just helping others navigate personal finances. Everton is also coming alongside Black-owned businesses. 

Because of his involvement with The Black MasterMind group, a small business incubator in Kansas City where he teaches classes, he’s helped three individuals secure small business loans through Arvest.

One owns an inner city restaurant called Streats, which will soon open a second location.

Another is a barber whom Everton came to know just by walking the community – and into his shop. Owner Hiram Bayan had the goal of buying additional barber chairs to rent out at his business, Celebrity Kutz. Everton walked him through the process of a loan, which allowed Hiram to make those purchases and also add a hairdresser.

“Working with Everton has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience,” Hiram said. “Because of my business expansion, I now have more employees and time. And I’ve learned how to bank!”

He will also soon open a second business location. 

“So, we’re building relationships,” Everton said. “That’s the key and what it’s all about. Customers [businesses and individuals] like to know there’s somebody in their corner.”