President and CEO
White River Bancshares/Signature Bank of Arkansas
Gary Head began his banking career in 1983 with McIlroy Bank and Trust in Fayetteville and was recruited in 1984 by First State Bank where he served as vice president, commercial lending. Head graduated from the SMU School of Banking in 1987 and that same year, rejoined McIlroy — which became Arvest Bank — as VP for commercial loans. During his tenure with Arvest, Head served as loans division manager and EVP/sales manager. In 1999, he was named president and CEO of Fayetteville operations. Head maintained that position until May 2004 when he resigned to launch Signature Bank of Arkansas.
Signature officially opened its doors on May 9, 2005, and under Head’s leadership has grown to sit on the cusp of becoming a $1 billion bank. Head is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the SMU and LSU (master’s) schools of banking. He serves on the boards of many Arkansas organizations including the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce (vice chair), the Northwest Arkansas Council, Ozark Guidance Center Foundation, Pagnozzi Charities, Goshen Fire Department, Arkansas Independent Community Bankers Board and the Washington Regional Medical Center Foundation.
Life begins at 50, the saying goes, to which the incomparable Phyllis Diller once replied, “Maybe it’s true that life begins at 50. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out or spread out.” (The women and men included on the following pages, at least, will find that funny … not to mention, they actually know who Phyllis Diller is.)
Fifty is the new 40, or something like that, but in this Ponce de Leon age of youth worship, we at AMP thought it would be nice to recognize those business leaders in Arkansas who aren’t under 40 or in their 20s. Once one hits the milestone age of 50, life doesn’t stop, after all. For many, it speeds up. Nominated by readers, the leaders recognized in AMP’s inaugural Fifty Over 50 list haven’t slowed down — they have realized more success, achieved new goals and even launched entirely new chapters. And we salute them.
The vigor of youth is a beautiful and necessary thing. But so is the wisdom and discernment of age. Besides, like the saying goes, 50 is nothing more than the new 40, right?
The members of AMP’s inaugural Fifty Over 50 list were nominated by readers. They represent a broad spectrum of Arkansas business, industry and politics. They are former state legislators, business owners, CEOs
and more who represent industries ranging from farming and construction
to restaurants and retail.
Some of them started on an upward trajectory early in their careers and haven’t slowed down. Others began new chapters later in their journeys and achieved success — and made profound impacts on their communities — in new ways.
We’re proud to recognize these women and men-… experienced, seasoned Arkansas leaders whose collective journey is just beginning.
Click here to see the full list of 2022 AMP Fifty Over 50!