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Hardin Receives Recognition in NWA Business Community :: News

Hardin Receives Recognition in NWA Business Community

Market President Named to 2022 Women in Business From Northwest Arkansas Business Journal

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – Northwest Arkansas Market President Jennifer Hardin has been recognized by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal as one of the 2022 Women in Business. In her role, Hardin oversees the retail and lending operations of nine bank locations in Northwest Arkansas.

Hardin was honored alongside nine other diverse female business leaders at a networking event and ceremony on June 21st in downtown Springdale. She was also featured in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and Talk Business and Politics. (Scroll down for her Q&A)

“Jennifer Hardin represents everything we aspire to be for our customers at The Bank of Fayetteville”, commented Chief Retail Officer and member of the Board of Directors Greg Connell. “Her reputation of integrity, loyalty, and rectitude among our customers and teammates make her the perfect candidate for this prestigious award.”

A Northwest Arkansas native, Hardin is a graduate of West Fork High School and the University of Arkansas. 

She is also a 2016 alumnus of the prestigious Graduate School of Banking at Colorado. Since starting her 24-year career with the Bank of Fayetteville as a part-time teller after high school, Hardin has served the financial institution as a loan processor, lender and branch manager. Most recently, Hardin held the position of Vice President, Retail Operations Officer for all 26 bank locations across the state.   

In addition to her role at Farmers and Merchants Bank and The Bank of Fayetteville, Hardin is an active member of the regional community. She is a graduate of Leadership Fayetteville and a Community Leadership Council Member of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas. Hardin is also a dedicated supporter of the local Angel Tree Project at Fayetteville High School. 

 

WOMEN IN BUSINESS Q&A
Courtesy of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal

What was your dream job as a kid and why? I wanted to be a teacher. The oldest of three, I was definitely bossy and knew I wanted to be in charge. I would line my dolls up, get out my favorite textbook and “hold class.” I always thought I would be in charge of a classroom full of kids, but banking stole my passion.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? Go for it! I never set out to have the position I have today. Work hard and surround yourself with good people. Never be afraid to put yourself out there and embrace a good challenge. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given throughout my career.

What’s the next big personal or career challenge you plan to take on? I’ve always wanted to run a half marathon. Won’t happen this year but hopefully soon.

What is a leader’s best asset? Their people. “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” — John Wooden

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life? I will forever be grateful for Mary Beth Brooks. She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, both personally and professionally. She believed in me and always encouragedme to be better. She taught me how to be a leader and that surrounding yourself with good people would always make you successful. She pushed me to leave a department or role better than I found it. Mary Beth also taught me that while the truth may sting, it makes you stronger and is just the motivation you need to be better. I strive to do the same with those who consider me a mentor.

You stay busy professionally. How do you take care of yourself and maintain good mental health? This can be a struggle at times. My husband and I love to travel and have some great friends. Spending time on our family farm or traveling with our friends are the best self-care for me.

What’s unique about your company’s culture? Our company’s culture is rooted deeply in investing in individuals, businesses and organizations that make our community a great place to live. Internally, we have a strong set of core values that our employees have embraced: “Be a good human, always find a better way, and go above and beyond to help our customers and teammates.” Our synergistic culture is all about believing in and helping each other evolve to our highest potential.

What is something distinctive that people would be surprised to know about you? ’m an avid sports fan. Woo pig sooie!

Most recent book you’ve read? “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek.

If you have a bucket list, what are the top three things on it? Run a half marathon, retire young enough to still enjoy life, and circumnavigate the world.

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Farmers and Merchants Bank, headquartered in Stuttgart, is a locally-owned community bank with 27 locations across the state of Arkansas, including eight operating as The Bank of Fayetteville. With assets in excess of $1.6 billion, Farmers and Merchants is the 10th largest bank chartered in Arkansas. 

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