A Wright County native with two decades of community banking experience has been hired as Security Bank of Southwest Missouri's new president.
Jim Roark will take over the day-to-day operations of the local bank, according to Gary Fields, Security Bank chief executive officer.
"I've been searching for a president for the last nine months," said Fields. "After advertising the position, I found Jim and approached him. His whole experience has been in community banking."
Roark comes to Security Bank after working eight and a half years at the Bank of Mansfield where he served as chief executive officer. He also worked for 10-plus years at First Home Savings Bank in Mountain Grove. Prior to his two banking positions, Roark worked for the State Tax Commission for eight years as a field representative.
Roark was raised in Mountain Grove and graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelors degree in facilities management. Upon graduation, Roark worked in special events management for the University of Texas Special Events Center in Austin, Ticketmaster and the Superdome in New Orleans before making a career change that led him to banking.
"My style just fit better with community banking than in larger banks," said Roark. "People in small towns think differently and operate differently than people in larger cities. I am familiar with what people's needs and desires are in a smaller community, and Cassville is very similar to Mountain Grove and Mansfield where I worked previously."
Fields said Roark is a good fit for the position of bank president.
"He was a Wright County kid, which is like being a Barry County kid," said Fields. "He also has experience running all aspects of a bank in a small town setting, which is really hard to find any more."
Roark's wife, Lee Ann, teaches fifth grade in the Springfield Public School System and is two years away from retirement. The couple have one daughter who will graduate this year from the University of Missouri at Columbia and a son who is currently attending Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield.
Fields said he will be turning over the day-to-day operations of the bank to Roark but will retain his position as chief executive officer. Fields will also continue to serve as a member of the bank board.
"I hope everyone will give Jim the same support they've given me over the years," said Fields.
Security Bank of Southwest Bank is an independently owned financial institution with a main office in Cassville and branch locations at Exeter and Wheaton.