In September 2014, Executive Vice President Michael Bynum joined Eagle Bank & Trust to lead the company’s expansion into Conway. An 18-year veteran of the banking industry, Bynum is the President and Chief Lending Officer of the Faulkner County Market, where he oversees all bank branches in Faulkner County. The following month, Dawn Johnson joined Eagle Bank & Trust as Vice President, where she serves as the Manager of the Conway loan production office and a Loan Assistant.
Bynum and Johnson had worked together previously at another Conway bank, where they were instrumental in opening a loan production office and a new branch. Upon learning that Eagle Bank & Trust was looking to expand its presence in Conway, Bynum and Johnson – long-time residents of Faulkner County – decided to pursue the opportunity.
"Basically, Dawn and I like challenges," Bynum said. "We like to have a vision, and have a challenge to get it done. We both had experience opening a bank and looked forward to doing it again in the Conway Market."
In January 2015, Eagle Bank & Trust opened its Conway loan production office at 805 Monroe Street. With a full-service branch in Vilonia, the loan production office in Conway is Eagle Bank & Trust’s second location in Faulkner County. The financial institution has plans to open a full-service branch in Conway subject to Arkansas State Bank Department approval.
Johnson said joining Eagle Bank & Trust was an ideal situation for her and Bynum as well as the bank. "The timing was perfect," she said. "Conway is a great market, and Eagle Bank & Trust was looking to expand. In addition, our bank had recently been purchased, so we liked the idea of working for a small community bank. It was a good fit for us."
Bynum said he and Johnson are in the process of looking for land to purchase for Eagle Bank & Trust’s full-service branch. "We’ve got our eyes on some property and are trying to get some things finalized before we pull the trigger. We’re hoping within the next 12 months to purchase some land and have a branch built."
While the existing office only offers lending services, Bynum said the future full-service branch in Conway will have additional lending and retail staff. "We will probably hire another eight employees – from loan officers to tellers," he said.
While he is confident in his and Johnson’s ability to open a new bank, Bynum realizes opening a bank branch in a new market comes with challenges. "Dawn and I have lived in Faulkner County for over 20 years and have established a strong customer base with a loyal following," Bynum said. "However, we realize that new customers will not simply walk into our door."
Bynum’s philosophy to success in banking is a simple one, but he says it is not necessarily easy.
"Building a future bank branch and expanding a team is exciting, but it’s also rewarding," he said. "In my opinion, our success will come down to four things: 1) if the customer likes us, 2) if the customer trusts us, 3) if the customer knows we’re going to take care of their business and 4) most importantly it is all about growing and maintaining long term banking relationships."
"We are committed to earning our customers’ business – whether they are applying for a consumer, home, business or commercial loan. We’re going to handle things quickly and efficiently while providing a personalized customer experience, which is central to the nearly 100-year mission of Eagle Bank & Trust."
About Eagle Bank & Trust
Locally owned and operated in Arkansas since 1919, Eagle Bank & Trust has 15 locations in 12 communities located throughout central and north-central Arkansas, including Conway, Little Rock, Heber Springs, Maumelle, Gravel Ridge, Sherwood, Vilonia, Quitman, Rose Bud, Drasco, Fairfield Bay, and Greers Ferry.
To learn more about Eagle Bank & Trust, visit eaglebank.com. To contact Michael Bynum or Dawn Johnson at their Conway office, call 501-504-2200.