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As women in banking, it is important that we lift each other up and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. The entire purpose of the Girl Banker blog is to do just that! The Girl Banker of the Week series serves as a way to highlight Girl Bankers everywhere by telling their stories and motivating and encouraging other women in banking. It also is a great way for women in banking to connect! Read below about this week’s Girl Banker of the Week!

Jill Bright | SVP, Business Development Officer | Grand Savings Bank

When I started the Girl Banker of the Week, I found it important to highlight women from a wide variety of banks, positions, backgrounds, etc. While I am obviously incredibly biased to my bank, Grand Savings Bank, I also wanted to convey that the purpose of this blog is to advocate women in banking, not just my employer or even myself for that matter. However, its high time I throw GSB some love and I’m excited to recognize Jill Bright, SVP, Business Development Officer of Grand Savings Bank in Rogers, Arkansas.

Personally, out of my 17 years of banking, I have yet to meet a community banker that truly has the customer’s best interest at heart like Jill Bright does. I have witnessed firsthand her compassion for taking care of people and it is truly a reminder of why we community bankers do what we do. While attending a community function, I observed a gentleman approach Jill, take her aside and proceed to tell her how she literally saved his family’s finances when they had lost all hope. The interaction had taken place several years prior, but he described how she took the time to sit down with him and his wife and explain that everything was going to be ok and that she wouldn’t let them leave her office until they figured out a solution. Obviously, we all teared up as the gentleman told his story. Before he walked away, he told Jill, “you gave my family hope when no one else did. Thank you for taking the time to work with us.”

That, my fellow girl bankers, is a lesson to ALL of us. We all can get caught up in our busy schedules and get so task focused that we forget why we are bankers in the first place. You never know what a few minutes or even hours could mean in a customer’s life. Here is Jill’s Girl Banker story.

Girl Banker Story
Jill, a 32-year banking veteran, moved to Rogers, Arkansas from Joplin, Missouri in 1978. She graduated from Rogers High School in 1985 and attended Arkansas Tech University.

She began her banking career at Independence Federal Bank in Springdale, Arkansas in 1986. Jill always had the goal to be a banker in her hometown of Rogers and I think it is safe to say that she knocked that goal out of the park. She was hired in 1987 by First National Bank, which was later acquired by Arvest Bank. During her 18 year tenure at Arvest, she served as a teller, teller trainer, lead teller and teller operations manager. In 2005, Jill left to start a new bank in Northwest Arkansas, Parkway Bank, which was later purchased by Citizens Bank in 2015. She served as branch manager and was later promoted to Director of Marketing and Business Development.

In 2017, Jill says that she made the best decision of her career by joining Grand Savings Bank as SVP, Business Development Officer. “I really wanted to get back to real community banking. I love being a part of this amazing team!”

Commitment to the Community
If anything can be said about Jill Bright, its that she is EVERYWHERE in Northwest Arkansas! She loves all things community and NWA. She serves on the Rogers Lowell Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Chamber Audit Committee, and is a Chamber Ambassador where she received the 2014 Ambassador of the Year Award. She also has a seat on the Rogers Rotary Club Board of Directors, is a Paul Harris Fellow, and is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Benton County. Jill is also a former board member of the Arkansas Crisis Center Board and is a member of Cross Church in Rogers.

Jill, her husband, Richard, and daughter, Lauren.

Fun Facts
Jill has been married to her husband, Richard, for 30 years and has one daughter, Lauren, who is 28. When she isn’t serving her community or bank, she loves reading, boutique shopping, and spending time with her family and friends. Most importantly, she loves her dog, Berklee.

MOTIVATION | “My motivation is helping people. The more we give, the happier we feel. It gives me a sense of fulfillment and purpose to be able to help others.”

Join me as we celebrate this week’s Girl Banker of the Week, Jill Bright!

Know someone who should be the next Girl Banker of the Week? Send nominations to thegirlbanker@gmail.com!