ELS Spotlight With Kyle Schlenker

Kyle Schlenker is Vice President of Commercial Lending at First Financial Bank in Cherry Valley, Arkansas.

I began my banking career when I took as job as loan officer trainee at Cross County Bank, where I worked for 11 years and was a vice president and branch manager. I left banking and worked as a grain merchandiser and seed salesman for a few years. Since 2016, I have been with First Financial Bank (formerly First National Bank of Wynne) where I am Vice President of Commercial Lending, specializing in Agricultural Row Crop Lending. I currently serve as Chairman of Group 1 of the ABA. I am also a fourth generation rice, corn and soybean farmer with my father.

What is the greatest advice you have ever been given?

“There is only way to do something, THE RIGHT WAY!” (Quote from my Dad)

What does effective leadership look like to you?

How you lead, affects how you are followed. The morale of your business is the key to success of that business. You must use every opportunity that you can to boost morale of your coworkers so that you can all be productive. Positive attitudes will equal positive results, but everyone must buy into the system you are trying to create. Great leaders are not always popular.

The ELS Spotlight is an ongoing series to highlight our Emerging Leaders from around Arkansas.