Little Rock Soiree

Women to Watch 2014

Sonya Schmidt Murphy

Business Development Officer, Arvest

LinkedIn: Sonya Schmidt Murphy
I serve as business development officer for Arvest, which is Arkansas’ largest bank, with the mission of “People Helping People Find Financial Solutions for Life.” I connect great prospects and customers to the appropriate specialist. I particularly enjoy working on special projects that enhance our customer service, relationships and community outreach. As I look back at my career path in retail, banking, education, healthcare and nonprofit management, the skills and lessons learned have brought me to this very place and equipped me for the challenges and opportunities to come.


Why do you love your career?
The ability to strategize with colleagues, customers and community leaders to ask questions like, “why are we doing this, how can we do it better, why not, and if not us and not now… who and when?”

What are your goals for the future? 
I am creating an epic goal to commemorate a significant birthday a little down the road. My mother-in-law learned to play the piano when she was 50. Ok, it’s in print now; I have to do it!

What’s a fun fact about you that would surprise people?
I absolutely love speed and heights. I surprised my husband when I joyfully hung upside down on the tallest platform to zip across the trees in Costa Rica.

Knowing what you know now, what’s the best advice you could have given yourself when you were first starting out?
Cherish the people in your life that wish you well and reciprocate by kind words and deeds. Let no one but God and yourself define who you are, where you have been and who you were meant to be.

How do you define success?
Knowing that I have been a part of an endeavor, whether small or large, that helps a person, group or community achieve the next level of wellbeing. I truly believe in being part of the tide that rises all boats.

Who is your role model?
My parents Linda and Ken Schmidt. They taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, being respectful to all people and to care for family and community in a way that far exceeds ordinary expectations.

How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I have known and worked with the leadership of Arvest for almost two decades, primarily in nonprofit and community collaborations. The culture the company portrays to those outside Arvest is the same as I experience now as an associate.


Restaurant: Michel’s in Honolulu
Song: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Book: The Shack by William P. Young
Gadget: Torch for crème brulee
Vacation Destination:  Florida 30A