BY JACLYN ROSE –
First Financial Bank was opened in El Dorado, Arkansas in 1934 and is a locally owned bank that has a Board of Directors with roots in their hometown. They are a completely Arkansas owned bank. With several branches in Arkansas, their Mortgage Branch also serves the state of Mississippi, while their Agriculture Branch has offices in Arkansas, as well as Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Delaware and their Farm and Ranch division includes offices in Kentucky and North Carolina.
In 1995, First Financial Bank opened an Agriculture Branch in Mena that is connected to their branch in Morrillton, Arkansas. Mandy Godfrey began working then as a Loan Packager. Mandy and her husband, Sheriff Michael Godfrey, moved to Mena in 1991, when the Sheriff went to work as a Park Ranger for Queen Wilhelmena State Park. The couple has been married for 24 years and have two children, Ashlyn, a senior at Arkansas State University, and Justin, a senior at Mena High School. In June of 2015, First Financial Bank brought in Scott McKennon as the Vice-President of the Morrilton, Mena, and Pocahontas Branch. He brings with him almost thirty-two years of lending experience, having spent twenty-seven years with Farm Credit and four years with Arvest Bank. McKennon has been married to his wife, Karen, for six years and they have two children and two grandchildren. Cheryl Stubbs has also worked at the Mena location, as a loan assistant, for the past 10 years.
The First Financial Bank located in Mena serves the people of Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma by offering loans with a 20 year fixed rate. Though 99.9% of their loans are poultry, and they are recognized as the largest poultry lender in the southeast, they also offer loans on cattle, hogs and bare land farms. In the 20 years they have been in Polk County, they have provided the area with $120,000,000 in loans. They are an FSA and SBA preferred lender.
First Financial Bank in Mena is located at 524 DeQueen Street and is opened Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm. You can reach them by calling 479.394.2318 or toll free at 888.245.6268. They are online at www.ffn1.com.
“Farming is a family business and we are thrilled to offer them the ability to stay together and work together as a family,” said Godfrey. “It is rewarding to see a farm family grow and succeed,” added McKennon.