First Security Bank President John Rutledge is Fired Up

John Rutledge seems like just an ordinary guy, the guy next door.

He’s young, good looking and successful, but not all business. He loves spending time with his beautiful wife, Melissa, and their sweet 21-month-old daughter, Mary-Margaret. These days his moments of free time are few and far between, but when he gets a break, he likes to golf, snow and water ski, hunt and ride bikes and horses. And like many other men, he’s also an all-around sports enthusiast and master of the grill.

But what sets the First Security Bank president apart as anything but ordinary is his genuine personality (he’s always wearing an easygoing smile) and his commitment to the community, be it through rolling out the Teal Grill for the communities First Security Bank serves, or donating his time and energy to help raise funds for nonprofit events. “I have always looked for opportunities to support groups and organizations that help those less fortunate who have been dealt some tough circumstances,” he said.

His current project is helping improve awareness and support of Methodist Family Health’s 4th annual Walk for Children and Families, which will be held on the Big Dam Bridge at 6 p.m., Friday, August 6. The cause is especially important to Rutledge, as he says he grew up in church with kids from the Children’s Home. And although it’s his first year serving on the walk committee, he’s no rookie when it comes to getting people pumped up and involved. As a bank president, it’s all in a day’s work.

Methodist Family Health is the management company of Methodist Children’s Home, Methodist Behavioral Hospital and Methodist Family Health Foundation. MFH traces its roots back to 1899 when it operated as Arkansas Methodist Orphanage and addressed the needs of orphaned and dependent children. Over the decades that followed, the organization changed and grew, and was eventually renamed Methodist Children’s Home.

In 2001, Methodist Children’s Home founded Methodist Behavioral Hospital, Inc., in Maumelle. The two entities joined in 2003 to form Methodist Family Health, which provides the only comprehensive behavioral healthcare system to children and families of Arkansas, and Methodist Family Health Foundation, the fundraising, development and public relations arm.

The annual Walk for Children and Families is one of the organization’s most significant fundraisers. In its fourth year this summer, proceeds from the walk will help provide a makeover for the Children’s Home on Fillmore Street, which houses 100 children, mothers and families, says Maggie Beeler, the foundation’s assistant director of development. “The Children’s Home was built in 1945, making it 65 years old,” said Beeler. “It is in need of an extreme makeover to improve the safety and comfort of the home…we have about 10 babies, 20 toddlers, 46 teenagers and 24 mothers who call the Children’s Home their home each night.”

The entry fee for the walk is $20 per person or $50 per family, and includes walk registration and t-shirt, live music, ice cream and pizza. “We are still seeking sponsors for the upcoming walk and also gifts of in-kind services to help with our exterior and interior needs, such as roofing, siding, windows, doors and much more,” said Beeler. “We are hoping that participants and sponsors will find this opportunity one that will make a huge difference in so many lives here in Arkansas,” said Beeler. “At MFH, our goal is to provide compassionate loving care to all who might need it, and our kids definitely need that help and support.”

The “Teal” Plate Special

Soirée: What’s with the Teal Grill?
Rutledge: The Teal Grill is a great way for us to serve our customers, their organizations and our communities. My involvement is just a reflection of the involvement of my associates. Our people are so gracious with their talents and time. They truly work very hard to make our communities better. We have had the Teal Grill at events for small groups, but we have also had thousands we’ve fed at just one event.

What are three things you always have in your fridge?

Milk for breakfast, juice for my daughter and salsa

What is your favorite type of food?
I don’t pass up much!

Favorite thing to cook at home?
Something on the grill.

Most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
Mountain oyster

What do you never, ever want to eat again?
Mountain oyster

Favorite comfort food?
Salsa and chips, I have a problem stopping.

Where do you go for lunch?
I have a long list of favorites, but I prefer home cooking.

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