Some might say that Alex and Will Gladden were destined to be together. The couple’s fathers knew each other for many years before Alex and Will officially met. Will’s father, King Gladden, started Community First Bank in Harrison in 1997, and Alex’s father, Gary Head, followed a similar path a few years later.
“My dad, like King, had an entrepreneurial spirit and took a similar leap of faith with King’s encouragement and started Signature Bank of Arkansas in 2004,” Alex said. “We used Community First Bank’s banking charter until we were able to secure our own in 2005. Although Will and I have been teased it was an arranged marriage, we didn’t really connect until we were both out of college.”
Will added, “I invited her and some of her friends out to Beaver Lake one summer, and we just instantly clicked. We married two years later on the same lake, and somehow now it’s been 11 years of marriage, and we have a 7-year-old daughter named Kingsley.”
Alex now serves as the Springdale market president for Signature Bank, and Will serves as the market president for Fayetteville. While they do share similar careers, the two offer their available time to different organizations. Alex most recently joined the Fayetteville Junior Civic League, Make a Wish Foundation and the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. Will is a board member of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Arkansas and chair for UCP’s Northwest Arkansas council.
The couple has come a long way since its “boy meets girl” days. Now faced with the task of making time for each other, their daughter, work and community involvement, the Gladdens make the most out of finding a balance.
“We have come to know our balance will change often, sometimes in a minute,” Alex said. “Our daughter was born with a heart condition, and that pretty much stopped whatever balance we thought we had created in its tracks. We learned quickly how important having a strong tribe in our corner really is. We are extremely blessed with amazing friends, family and teammates that continue to help us push forward in times that we have needed to lean on others.
“It also has offered us a much different compassion and viewpoint to be able to share that same love and respect with others. I have come to learn that everyone is going through something and when we all work hard to show each other grace in those moments, we all end up with a much better balance.”
The couple has come a long way since its “boy meets girl” days.