For 2004 Jay graduate, Case Barnwell, the opportunity to live and work within his hometown was too good to pass up.
On March 16, he was named the community bank president for the Arvest branches in Delaware County.
Initially, Barnwell served as a commercial loan officer at Arvest Bank. He was named president of the Jay and Grove branches. He follows Steve Duff, who has transitioned into the real estate market.
Barnwell has eight years of experience in the banking industry and has worked specifically in agricultural, consumer and mortgage lending, as well as bank operations.
In his new role, Barnwell will have overall responsibility for business development and team leadership in Delaware County. He will develop and manage a portfolio of agricultural and commercial loans, assume responsibility for the Delaware County balance sheet and income statement, and represent Arvest in the community.
“We’re excited to have Case serving in this new role,” said Roger Holroyd, president for Arvest Siloam Springs, in a written release. “His track record speaks for itself, and the fact he is from Delaware County should be an asset for both Arvest and our customers.
"I believe Case will have a tremendous impact on the community.”
More about Barnwell
Barnwell grew up with his parents, Eddie and Leann Barnwell in rural Zena. At that time, both of his parents were teachers within the Jay School District. After retirement, the pair began working as a football coach and dean of students, respectively, at Bentonville West High School in Centerton, Arkansas.
Barnwell met his wife, Jordyn while in middle school. While the couple dated in high school, they went their separate ways during college.
A few years ago, they reconnected and went out on a date.
"That was kind of it," Barnwell said with a laugh. The couple have been married for five years. They have one son, Caleb, who just celebrated his first birthday. Jordyn Barnwell, whose parents are Kenny and Sharon Raney of Jay, works as an optometrist at Harrel Eyecare in Tulsa.
After graduating from Jay, Barnwell attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, on a track and cross country scholarship. Eventually he found himself pursuing a degree in accounting.
"I was good at math and I like math," Barnwell said, saying one night class, with an interesting professor introduced him to the eventual career in banking.
While in college, Barnwell began working for Grand Lake Casino in rural Grove as a revenue auditor. He was introduced to banking after graduation, working at a bank in Grove.
His career has also included working as an operations manager, for secondary market mortgage in Tulsa, and as an accountant for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa.
After his wife finished her degree, the couple decided to relocate to the Jay area, in order to raise their family near their parents. The couple have purchased a family home to remodel.
Barnwell believes his experience in conventional mortgages, as well as agricultural lending, will provide him with a good background for his new position.
Working with Arvest
He sees the position as a chance to build "long-term" roots for his family, because it keeps them in close contact with both sides of their family.
"Arvest is a good solid company, with good ownership," Barnwell said. "This particular market has great management.
"Most decisions are made local. We get to make all of our decisions. We don't have to run it up the ladder."
Barnwell said he likes the ability to provide financial assistance for all aspects of life from personal and commercial property, agricultural loans, life insurance and retirement.