FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arvest Bank in Fayetteville hosted its annual Martin Luther King Jr. reception at 2 p.m. today. The reception honors the life and work of the great civil rights leader with a guest speaker, the Holcomb Honor Choir and winners the Yvonne Richardson Center essay contest.

Let's help find the right loan for you.

The featured speaker at the reception was Virgil L. Miller Jr., Senior Vice President and Group Community Reinvestment Act Director for Arvest Bank.

“We look forward to hosting this reception each year to honor the memory and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Our reception is a great way to honor Dr. King.”

Donny Story, CEO/President of Arvest Bank, Fayetteville

Winners of the essay contest were Zyquria Gibson for first place, Ashaureah Simmons for second place, Tevin Fields for third place and Clayton Tomlinson for honorable mention. Tenisha Gist, director of the Yvonne Richardson Center, accompanied the essay winners to the reception where each read their entry to the audience. Arvest Bank sponsored the contest and provided the prizes: a $100 gift card for first place, a $50 gift card for second place and a $25 gift card for third place.

Miller has more than 36 years’ experience in the banking industry, mostly in the areas of Community Reinvestment Act compliance and community development. He has worked with regional and national banks such as Metropolitan National Bank, Worthen Bank, Boatmen’s National Bank and Nations Bank/Bank of America before he joined Arvest Bank in 2013.

Miller serves on boards of the Arkansas Capital Corporation, Baptist Health Board of Trustees and the Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport Commission.

His awards have included the Willie Oates Volunteer of the Year Award, Inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and Alpha Phi Fraternity), Fair Housing Award (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials), Award of Merit and Silver Beaver (Boy Scouts of America), Trustee Award (Arkansas Museum Association), Man of Distinction (Retired and Senior Volunteers Programs of Central Arkansas), Superintendent’s Citation (Little Rock School District), Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award (Boy Scouts of America), and Black Corporate Executive of the Year (NAACP Region VI Fair Share).