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As President and CEO, Chris Gosnell focuses on cultivating a HEART culture at Farmers Bank & Trust. In this episode, we talk about:

  • How he began his career in banking
  • What it’s like leading a 115-year-old legacy Bank
  • Why he adopted the HEART core values and what they mean to him
  • Why he seeks non-traditional bankers for employment
  • Goals he has for the future of Farmers Bank & Trust
  • …and more!


For more on the history of Farmers Bank & Trust, visit HERE.

Farmers Bank and Trust Company was chartered on September 26, 1906, in Magnolia, Arkansas. The oldest existing general ledgers indicate that the bank began with approximately $75,000 in assets. The primary business of the bank at the time was deposit services. Today, the bank has assets that exceed $1.9 billion and offers a wide variety of products and services to serve the needs of the communities it serves.

Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

#BankingWithHEART

Sharquel Juniel and Andi Whitman

The Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors recently announced the promotion of Andi Whitman to Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager III, and Sharquel Juniel to Retail Banker.

Andi Whitman

Whitman works at the Malvern Main Farmers Bank & Trust location, located at 521 E. Page Avenue. She joined the Farmers team in 2011 as a part-time teller and has worked in various roles including retail banker and branch supervisor.

She graduated from Malvern High School and National Park College in Hot Springs, AR. Whitman and her husband, Mitchell, have one daughter, Landyn. She is involved in the community by serving on the Malvern Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves as the President of the Malvern Rotary Club.

Whitman recently graduated from the Arkansas Bankers Association Consumer Lending School and has expanded the products she is able to help with, including servicing consumer loan customers.

Sharquel Juniel

Juniel works out of the Malvern Main Farmers Bank & Trust location, located at 521 E. Page Avenue in Malvern. She joined the Farmers team in 2019 as a part-time teller. In her new role, she will have more diverse responsibilities, including opening accounts to fit customer’s needs.

She graduated from Arkadelphia High School and currently attends Arkansas State University Three Rivers in Malvern where she is working toward an associate degree in Office Administration. She is the third oldest of seven siblings and loves getting to be involved with the community, including high school football tailgates with the Bank.

“Andi has been a very integral part of our bank for many years. Her leadership has helped contribute to our success!” said Malvern Market President Scott White. “Sharquel is also a pleasure to work with. She is always willing to go the extra mile for the bank’s customers and her co-workers!”

Farmers Bank & Trust Blevins Branch Supervisor Elaine Stone will retire with 28 years of service on August 20, 2021. Stone began her career in 1993 as a teller in the drive-thru. Since then, she has worked in various roles, from bookkeeping to the loan department.

“It has been a good experience working for Farmers Bank & Trust,” Stone said. “During retirement, I look forward to a little vacation camping at the lake first, and then I’ll be getting on a tractor!”

Stone said her family has chicken houses and cows, so while she is retiring from banking, she will be going on to a “different job.”

Farmers Bank & Trust Hope Market President Jacob Jones said, “We congratulate Elaine on her well-earned retirement. Her 28 years of service to the Bank is quite an accomplishment, and we’re proud for her.”

Stone said her one piece of advice for young professionals is to “live life as you go.”

Elaine’s retirement celebration will be held at the Blevins Branch from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., located at 5461 Highway 371 in Blevins, AR.

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaried employees are with their employer an average of 4 years. At Farmers Bank & Trust, we’re celebrating an employee who has been with the Bank for 40 years! Denise Rogers is the Banking Research Officer and takes great pride in her unique role.

“I’ve never wanted to work anywhere else,” Rogers said. “There is nothing that I do every day that is too routine and gets boring.”

Denise helps the Bank customers and employees by researching extraordinary problems with almost any type of account.

“We have a number of customers who ask for Denise by name to assist with their issues,” Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Operations Officer Joe Pieratt said.

August 7, 1981

From her very first day at work with the Bank on August 7, 1981, Denise has worked in customer service. She graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Library Science.

“I started upstairs with a film machine,” Rogers explained. “When someone needed a copy of something that we didn’t have in the big filing cabinet, I would find it on the films, and I would mark it with a piece of tape and send it off to Little Rock to get a copy. Eventually, we got a machine that would make copies, and my library science background made it possible for me to use that equipment.”

As time went on, former CEO and current Chairman of the Board Bob Burns promoted Denise to Research Analyst in the late eighties. She developed the skills to analyze detailed reports and could explain why something happened on an account the day prior.

“I’ve always treated situations with customers the way I would want to be treated,” Rogers said. “I try to show people how to do things rather than just tell them.”

Denise is not only a tremendous help to the customers but her co-workers too.

Adaptability

“She is truly our ‘go-to’ person on a laundry list of topics,” Farmers Bank & Trust Customer Contact Center Vice President Judi Franks said. “She’s a fantastic resource for our department as well as other departments in the Bank. I often hear people say, ‘Let’s check with Denise to see what she knows about this.’”

The Bank’s HEART core values stand for Honor, Excellence, Adaptability, Respect, and Teamwork. Denise is a true representation of these and has been long before they were ever created. She has had to adapt to change over the years but said she is thankful to Farmers Bank & Trust for sticking with her.

“My longest relationship is with the Bank,” she said. “I worked here for 10 years before I met my husband, who was actually a customer. A co-worker at the time introduced us and we got married in 1991.”

She shared she will be 67 years old on August 24th, and fully intends to continue her work until she’s at least 70.

“This is definitely not a retirement,” she laughed. “We’re celebrating I’m still here!”

Farmers Bank & Trust will celebrate Denise with a private reception as a precaution to COVID-19.