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Leadership Profiles

Elizabeth Wilkinson

Chairman of the Board

Elizabeth Wilkinson is chairman of the board of Farmers Bank, as well as the chairman of the Wilkinson Banking Corporation. She was named president of Farmers Bank in 1975 and became the chairman in 1991. She has worked in every area at Farmers Bank. Her areas of responsibility include: chairman of the Board of Directors with the bank and the holding company, leadership and corporate governance, compliance, strategic planning, budgeting and risk management. Her previous titles include president and chief executive officer. Mrs. Wilkinson is also a member of several professional organizations. She was nominated by Senator Dale Bumpers for the U.S. Cabinet position of the Secretary of the Treasury, appointed by Governor David Pryor and re-appointed by Governor Frank White to the Arkansas State Banking Department Board of Directors.

Mrs. Wilkinson earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Central Arkansas, where she graduated with high honors. She then attended the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University, where she was the first woman to graduate from this prestigious curriculum.

In addition to her corporate expertise, Mrs. Wilkinson also provides an incredible record of service to her community. She served as a teacher at Hartford High School and Greenwood High School, an elder at Central Presbyterian Church, and is active in both the Greenwood Chapter of the Eastern Star and the Friends of the Library. She is also currently an active volunteer at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.

Stanhope Wilkinson

Chief Executive Officer

Stanhope Wilkinson has been the chief executive officer at Farmers Bank since 1994, but his employment at the bank dates back to his boyhood. Stanhope started in the maintenance department, worked into a teller position, then was promoted to bookkeeper. Through the years he has worked his way up the corporate ladder, serving as vice president, president and now CEO. He uses his vast experience to lead business development, marketing, public relations and collections for Farmers Bank.

Stanhope graduated from Greenwood High School in 1976, studied at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he attained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1980. He went on to sharpen his banking skills at the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University, graduating in 1984.

Stanhope is extremely involved in his lifelong community of Greenwood. He is a member of the Lion's Club, Greenwood High School Booster Club and the Greenwood Masonic Lodge. He is an active member of the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department and has also served as past president of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. He and his family attend Central Presbyterian Church in Fort Smith, where he serves as an Elder.

Stanhope enjoys spending time with his family, running, and still works in time to play a round or two of golf when the weather permits.

James Edward "Ed" Wilkinson

President, Chief Operating Officer

Ed Wilkinson is President, Chief Operating Officer, and Cashier of Farmers Bank and is President and Chief Executive Officer of Wilkinson Banking Corporation, the holding company of Farmers Bank. He began his banking career at Farmers as a teller in 1977. In 1983, Ed was elected to serve on the bank's Board of Directors and was named Vice President. He was elected by the Board to become president of the bank in 1994. With that selection, Ed became the fifth Wilkinson to hold that position. Ed is head of lending, asset liability management, information technology/operations, and risk management.

Ed loved being at the Farmers Bank as a very young child and began working at the bank as a teenager. He fondly recalls that as a high school student taking care of customers as a drive-through window teller on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. He graduated from Greenwood High School in 1979, where he was selected in Who's Who as the Most Athletic Boy. Following in the Wilkinson tradition, Ed attended the University of Arkansas where he became a third-generation graduate (grandfather W.N. Wilkinson class of 1901 and father Means Wilkinson class of 1930) and the fourth of four siblings (Norman class of 1976 and 1980, Stanhope class of 1980, Susan class of 1981) to graduate. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance and Banking, in 1983 and a Master of Business Administration. At the University he was a double legacy of the Gamma Chi Zeta Chapter of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Continuing his education in banking, he graduated from Southern Methodist University's Southwestern Graduate School of Banking and from Louisiana State University's Professional Master of Banking curriculum. He also completed a select executive education program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Military service has long been a tradition which helps define the Wilkinson family. The family has direct lineage to soldiers of the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War (Arkansas Battalion CSA). Ed's father, the late Means Wilkinson, was a highly decorated World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy. So once again following family tradition, Ed was commissioned into the U.S. Naval service during Operation Desert Storm as an Ensign. He served at sea in the north Pacific aboard the submarine tender, USS Holland. He served ashore overseas in Seabee and Cargo Handling Battalions as Company Commander, Operations Officer, Logistics Officer, and Executive Officer. He was a detachment Commanding Officer in-theatre in the Middle East supporting activities in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. His military education includes completion of the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, GA, the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College, a.k.a. "Air University" at Maxwell AFB, AL, and the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare College at Port Hueneme, CA. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Army Achievement Medal, four Battle E Awards, Selective Service System Exceptional Service Award with Silver Medal and Meritorious Service Award with Bronze Medal, National Defense Medal (with bronze star devise), Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Naval Oversees Service Ribbon (with bronze star device), Naval Reserve Medal (with bronze hour glass), Expert Pistolshot Medal, Expert Rifleman Medal, and the Arkansas Exceptional Service Medal. He earned both the Surface Warfare (Supply Corps) Officer and Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist designations. After completing twenty years of service, he was awarded an Honorable Discharged with the rank of Commander.

Following in the tradition of his late father, who served as Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1941, Ed was elected to the Arkansas House in 1994. He served on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Insurance and Commerce Committee, and the Joint Budge Committee. He was Chairman of the House Banking Committee. After serving six years in the House, Ed was elected to the Arkansas Senate in 2000 and served ten years. During his Senate tenure, he served on the Judiciary Committee, the State Agencies Committee, and the Joint Budget Committee. He served as Chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee for eight years and was recognized throughout the capitol for his extraordinary service in that capacity by being affectionately referred to as "Mr. Chairman."

In keeping with his family tradition and Scottish heritage, Ed is a Presbyterian. He has been a Ruling Elder since 1991 and serves as the Clerk of Session at the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. A graduate of the Presbyterian (PCUSA) Lay Academy of Arkansas, Ed serves as the church's lay leader, teaches Sunday School, and shares in preaching duties. He also serves on the Presbytery of Arkansas' Committee on Ministry.

For centuries membership in Freemasonry has been a tradition for Wilkinson men and Ed's vast involvement in Masonry through the years is no exception. Ed is the third generation of his family to serve as the Worshipful Master of Greenwood Lodge #131, having served in that office in 1988. Ed is also Past Master of Sebastian Lodge #706 in Fort Smith. He is a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, Past Wise Master of Western Arkansas Scottish Rite Bodies, and Past Patron of the Greenwood Easter Star. He is a Knight Templar of the York Rite Bodies and a member of the Red Cross of Constantine. In addition, Ed was selected for the Legion of Honor of DeMolay International.

The Wilkinson family's tradition of giving back to the community has been continued by Ed's service. Having been trained in firefighting in the Navy, Ed has put that training to good use by volunteering on the City of Greenwood Fire Department for the past 20 years. Ed served as president of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce in 1993-1994 and was charter president of the Greenwood Rotary Club in 2004-2005. He was named Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2004. Ed is a member of the American Legion and is a life member of the Harris-Hannah VFW Post in Greenwood. He is a member of the Westark Area Council, Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors.

A longtime supporter of the University of Arkansas, Ed served on the University of Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors and presently serves on the University's Board of Advisors. Ed was recognized for his generosity to the University of Arkansas with his selection for the Chancellor's Society and induction into the Towers of Old Main.

Most recently, Ed served as author of 'If These Rocks Could Talk,' a book about the rock building, affectionately called The Rox, which served as the Greenwood School and Normal College from 1891 to 1953 and became the Wilkinson Estate in 1961 (where Ed grew up) and today is his family's residence.

Ed met his wife, LaDonna, while taking flight training at Grady Stone Aviation in Fort Smith. He enjoys spending his spare time with his wife and their son, Daniel, a student at the University.

Norman Wilkinson

General Counsel

Norman Wilkinson began his career at Farmers as a teller and a bookkeeper, eventually working his way up to general counsel. He became a director in 1992. Norman is involved in strategic planning, budgeting and risk management. He serves as the trust and compliance officer.

Norman attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in accounting and a law degree. He is a licensed attorney and certified public accountant. He practiced law for 16 years and later served for 10 years as circuit judge for the 12th Judicial District.

Norman is highly active in his community, and is past president of the Downtown Sertoma Club in Fort Smith and a board member of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. He also belongs to the Goddard United Methodist Church, the Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club Alumni Association and is a former board member of the Fort Smith Art Center. He served as master of Sebastian Lodge in Fort Smith.

Professionally, Norman is involved in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Sebastian County Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Western Arkansas Estate Planning Council.

He is an avid runner, having completed 12 marathons, including four Boston Marathons. His personal interests include running, reading, traveling and playing with his grandchildren.

Susan Wilkinson

Director

Susan Wilkinson is a director on the board at Farmers Bank. She has worked with a state education grant program for the past nine years -- teaching adult continuing education classes at various locations, including Goodwill Industries and Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield in Little Rock.

Susan earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1981, majoring in finance and banking. She received her master's degree in adult education in 1996 from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Susan is involved in many activities with her daughter, Elizabeth Fiser. She volunteers at Central High School and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock.

Tresa Lowe

Senior Vice President

Tresa Lowe began her career with Farmers Bank as an administrative assistant. Her banking skills and acumen meant a promotion to assistant vice president, and later to vice president. In June of 2000, Tresa was promoted to senior vice president with duties encompassing human resources, investment accounting, administration, compliance reporting and loans.

Tresa is a graduate of Greenwood High School, attended Basic Lending School through the Arkansas Bankers Association and has completed a number of ongoing courses through the American Institute of Banking.

Tresa is an active member of the Greenwood Kiwanis Club and attends the Greenwood First Assembly of God Church. When she is not handling banking affairs, she treasures spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. She enjoys shopping, reading and attending ballgames.

Denise Kohler

VP, Assistant Trust Officer

Denise Kohler is Farmers Bank's vice president, assistant trust officer and supervises all branch operations. Denise graduated from Southside High School in Fort Smith and has attended ongoing banking courses through the American Institute of Banking. She has over 30 years of banking experience and participates in many community activities. Denise loves spending time with her family, which includes four children and seven grandchildren. She enjoys boating, traveling, four-wheeling, decorating, and antique shopping.

Jeff Wilkinson

VP, Information Technology

Jeff Wilkinson begins the fourth generation of Wilkinsons involved with Farmers Bank. Jeff serves the bank as vice president of Information Technology. A graduate of Greenwood High School, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. In his personal time, he enjoys a good game of golf and spending time with his family.

Jim Cunningham

VP, Loan Officer

Jim Cunningham is the vice president and loan officer. He began his career here in 2002. Jim was graduated from Mansfield High School and studied at Westark College in Fort Smith. From there his education included courses in both lending and management through the Arkansas Bankers Association. Additionally, he has taken courses in general banking, consumer credit and commercial lending through the American Bankers Association. He is also a graduate of Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Jim is a valued member of his community, serving as the assistant fire chief of the Huntington Volunteer Fire Department. He is treasurer of the Mansfield/Huntington Area Chamber of Commerce. In his free time he enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, and spending time with his family.

Warren Stewart

VP, Loan Officer

Warren Stewart is an assistant vice president in the lending department. He is responsible for consumer loans, mortgages and collections. He works closely with small businesses, most notably automobile dealerships, to help them manage inventories and other assets. Warren is a member of the Greenwood Lions Club and served for 19 years as the minister of music at Faith Baptist Church in Jenny Lind. He was graduated from Northside High School in Fort Smith. He has extensive experience in the automobile and banking industries. He enjoys family, church and golf.

John Bailey

VP, Real Estate and Commercial Lending

John Bailey joined Farmers Bank in 2006 and works as vice president of real estate and commercial lending. Before joining the bank, John had a distinguished 22-year career in the military. He was a commander in the 588th Engineering Battalion, the director of public works in the 235th Base Support Battalion and deputy commander for civil works in the Mobile District of the Army Corps of Engineers. He was graduated from Greenwood High School and the University of Arkansas. He is president of the Greenwood Kiwanis Club, a life-long member of the VFW and a member on the Greenwood Water and Sewer Advisory Committee and the Greenwood Veterans' Park Advisory Committee. His interests include investing and gardening.

Tammie Sutherland

Assistant VP of Operations

Tammie Sutherland is Assistant Vice President of Operations at Farmers Bank. She also serves as Secretary of Operations/Information Technology Committee and Administrative Assistant of the Trust Department. Since joining Farmers Bank in 2001, she has served primarily as Internal Auditor. She has a strong background in Operations, Information Technology and Audit, which was obtained during her 20+ year banking career.
She is a 1987 graduate of Lavaca High School and attended Westark Community College in Fort Smith. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Greenwood and serves as the Community Service Chair. As a Rotary Club member, some of her favorite Rotary Club projects include cooking and serving at the Salvation Army Red Shield Diner and volunteering with the United Way Day of Caring. Tammie resides in Lavaca with her husband Keith. She loves decorating, cooking, and spending time with her family and working on their farm.

Lisa Angel Godfrey

Assistant VP

Lisa Angel is an assistant vice president. She came to Farmers Bank with 12 years of experience in the industry. She graduated from Waldron High School and works as a volunteer for community activities sponsored by the bank and elsewhere. She enjoys yard work, hiking, four-wheeling, walking, shopping and her family, especially her grandchildren.

Tracy Payton

Assistant VP

Tracy Payton serves Farmers Bank as Assistant Vice President of Operations. She assists in the daily operations of all branch locations. Tracy is a 1997 graduate of Poteau High School, a 1999 graduate of Carl Albert State College, where she received an Associate in Arts, and a 2002 graduate of Northeastern State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. In her free time sheenjoys spending quality time with her family.

Joan Van Vactor

Assistant VP

Joan Van Vactor is an assistant vice president of lending, working mostly with consumer and real estate loans. She is a member of the Rotary Club, the Greenwood Garden Club, Friends of the Library and the United Methodist Church. Joan earned a bachelor's of science degree from the University of Arkansas. She enjoys singing in the church choir and the Fort Smith Chorale.

Julie Clark

Assistant Cashier

Julie Clark is head teller for Farmers Bank and manages the tellers, vault and operational supplies. She is a member of the Grace Lutheran Church, where she serves on the church council. Julie was graduated from Mansfield High School and attended the University of Arkansas, where she was a member of the university's Athletic Training Team. She enjoys reading, Taekwondo and her son, Ethan.

Leslie Ragan

Branch Manager

Leslie Ragan is branch manager at the Barling and Eastside Branches, as well as an assistant cashier. After graduating from high school, she studied tax-oriented finance at H&R Block. She enjoys her family, gardening, sewing and crafts.

Means Wilkinson

Mortgage Loan Officer

Means Wilkinson, Mortgage Loan Officer, is part of the fourth generation of the Wilkinson family to help lead Farmer Bank into the future. While a student at the University of Arkansas, Means served Farmers Bank during the summers as a teller and he helped the bank with community activities. He was elected by the Bank's Board of Directors to his current position in March 2012. Means is the namesake of the late Means Wilkinson who served Farmers Bank in literally every capacity for over 60 years.

As Mortgage Loan Officer, Means specializes in long-term fixed rate home mortgage loans, including conventional, FHA/VA, and USDA Rural Development loans. Means serves on the bank's Loan Committee, Risk Management Committee, Asset/Liability Committee, Information Technology Committee, and Customer Relationship Management Committee. He serves in a leading role in the bank's community involvement.

Means is a 2007 graduate of Greenwood High School where he earned two state championships in football. Following in the Wilkinson tradition, Means attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and was a quadruple legacy of the Gamma Chi Zeta Chapter of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He is the fourth generation of the Wilkinson family to graduate from the University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Walton College of Business in 2011. He is presently a student at Southern Methodist University's Southwestern Graduate School of Banking.

Shanna Crowe

Assistant VP

Shanna Crowe is assistant VP, branch manager and loan officer at the Southside location. She has 20 years of banking experience. She graduated from Northwest High School in Wichita, Ks and studied business at Wichita State.

Shanna is responsible for customer service, new accounts, investments, loans and the everyday management of the branch.

She enjoys sports, boating/skiing, the beach and spending time with her family and friends.