From Morning Coffee to Lights Out: A Day in the Life of Jim Cargill

Jim Cargill is president and sales manager of Arvest Bank in central Arkansas. He serves on the boards of Our House, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Little Rock Regional Chamber and the UALR Foundation, to name a few. An avid cyclist, Jim led the start of the Gran Fondo cycling challenge on May 21.

2:42 a.m. “The unintended awakening.” An idea or task pops into my brain and won’t leave until I fire off an email to those I need to make aware of this idea at 2:42 a.m. Hit “send,” back to sleep.

4:55 a.m. My daily alarm goes off. Get up, take my Arvest name badge off my pajamas and place on my suit. Slip on workout clothes and head to the treadmill, iPad and chocolate muscle milk in tow.

5:10 a.m. Read my daily devotional from “Jesus Calling,” crank up the treadmill, turn on the local TV news and read emails and today’s loan committee package.

5:55 a.m. Head downstairs to make a cup of coffee and a cup of hot tea for Kathleen (because you have to start the day with a happy wife), then shower and dress for work.

6:50 a.m. Head to Starbuck’s after preordering my daily favorite coffee via the iPhone app. Listen to KARN news to catch up on the stories I missed while I was “watching” the TV news earlier.

7:20 a.m. Arrive at the bank. Exchange greetings with the tellers and Andre, our friendly security guard, all of whom arrived at work while I was still on the treadmill. They are always smiling and happy. Check more email and review more reports.

8:30 a.m. Loan Committee meeting. Discuss several great new projects going on in central Arkansas.

9:30 a.m. Hold a monthly “one-on-one” meeting with one of my direct reports and discuss the great progress his team is having.

10:30 a.m. Meet with the Arvest Private Banking team at our UAMS branch to review their numbers and call plans in serving the needs of our Private Banking clients and prospects.

11:50 a.m. Arrive at “Our House,” an inspirational charity for working homeless people, for a board of directors meeting. Great news about new support programs and facilities planned to help the homeless plug back into opportunity. I’m amazed at how much energy and creativity the people on this staff and board have to help others. You have to love the spirit of Arkansas volunteers! For lunch we have delicious U.S. Pizza salads provided by a U.S. Pizza executive who serves on the board.

1:30 p.m. Back at the office to return telephone calls and answer more emails.

2:30 p.m. Meeting with my marketing team to review our “One Million Meals” campaign. Arvest made a decision that the beneficiary of our collection activities for this year’s campaign will be the Arkansas Food Bank (the merged entity of what was previously the Arkansas Rice Depot and the Arkansas Food Bank). Our central Arkansas team is confident we’ll beat our record of $35,340.57 that we generated in last year’s campaigh.

4:15 p.m. Jump in my car and head to the Big Dam Bridge for a ride, with my Orbea bike in tow. Hoping nobody can see me, I do a “superman” wardrobe change in the car (Once the Arvest Pit Stop Pavilion is built this year, I won’t have to do this) and hit the River Trail for an hour and a half. I realize I’ve got to increase my training time on the bike to get ready for the Arvest Little Rock Gran Fondo.

6:15 p.m. Get home. I’m late. A quick shower and change and Kathleen and I are out the door to a dinner event to honor the Rev. Hezekiah Stewart and his great work to provide for those who need a little extra hand. Great food, great cause and more evidence of folks in Arkansas with big hearts helping each other.

9:15 p.m. We’re home. Slip the name tag back on my PJs and Kathleen and I grab a nice glass of red wine and hit the couch to watch an episode of “Billions” that we’ve recorded for just these times. Kathleen wakes me up – I’ve missed the last 20 minutes of the show –-time for bed. Oh well, that’s why we record these shows.

Plan B: My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were in banking, so I think they had predetermined I would be a fourth-generation banker as well. However, I was a certified scuba diver in seventh grade and loved the water and animals. For a brief point in my junior year in high school, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I even looked at a few out-of-state colleges that were closer to the ocean. I ended up getting a percussion scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, so I decided to stay closer to home and pursue banking.

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