BENTON, Ark. – Arvest Bank has announced the creation of a Saline County Advisory Board that was formed to broaden and enhance the bank’s support of the community.
The board consists of four members who will advise, support and serve as liaisons for the bank through relationships with local businesses and the community.
“We are fortunate in Saline County to have many distinguished professionals and entrepreneurs who work to help our communities thrive on a state and national level,” said Phillip Partain, community bank president for Arvest Bank in Saline County, “and who are invested in helping this area of Arkansas continue to succeed.”
“We’re working in collaboration with these leaders to help ensure we’re making the best decisions, and pursuing the right opportunities, for our customers and for the future success of this area.”
Advisory board members will serve a five-year term and include:
Grayling V. Hill, president of HilArk Industries in Benton, a manufacturer of heavy equipment for the construction industry. He also is the owner of HilBilt Sales Corp. – Arkansas.
Hill has served on the Board of Trustees for the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in management from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Hill, his wife Sharon, and their two children live in Bryant. He is a member of Family Church in Bryant.
Lamont Cornwell, Jr., executive director of the Saline County Economic Development Corporation. Cornwell was an executive in the gas utilities industry for 27 years, created a small business of his own and also served as a state representative for Saline County.
He is a charter member and former chairman of the Benton Public Utilities Commission, past chairman of the Benton Parks Commission, past president of the Benton Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Saline County Hospital Foundation and currently is involved in various state and national organizations that promote economic development in Arkansas.
Cornwell is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and a member of The Church at Rock Creek. He and his wife, Billie, have four children and nine grandchildren.
Mark Middleton, president of CommerceCorp International, a boutique international merchant banking firm. He is a managing partner of MidCorp Investments and principal of Middleton, Inc., a diversified family holding company.
Middleton served as finance director for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and was appointed special assistant to President Clinton and deputy to the president’s chief of staff. He has worked closely with Fortune 500 companies regarding their involvement in international business. Following his government service, Middleton was involved in establishing the Clinton Presidential Library and the Clinton Birthplace Foundation.
He earned a BSBA in finance and banking from the University of Arkansas. A Rotary International Fellow, Middleton completed his post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics, then earned his law degree from the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of the Law Review.
He is a board member of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Foundation Fund and the CHI St. Vincent Foundation, and is a member of Fifty for the Future.
Middleton and his wife, Rhea, have two daughters. They are members of St. James United Methodist Church in Little Rock.
Don Rhoads, president of Fleming Electric in Bryant.
Rhoads serves on the boards of the Arkansas chapter of the American Red Cross, Baptist Health and Arkansas Workforce, and is a member of Club 99 Rotary in Little Rock. He also is active in other industry organizations.
Rhoads is a graduate of Arkansas State University, where he earned an associates degree in math and science.