David Bartlett, Arkansas Tech University alumnus and retired leader in the Arkansas banking industry, was the keynote speaker at the 2016 College to Career Conference hosted by the Arkansas Tech College of Business on Thursday, Nov. 10.
Bartlett graduated from Arkansas Tech in 1977 with an accounting degree and began his banking career in 1979 in the State of Texas.
Over the course of a dozen years working in banks at Dallas, Plano, Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Bartlett often found himself working alongside graduates from some of the largest universities in Texas.
“I quickly realized that I had gained the same knowledge that they did and that I could compete with them,” said Bartlett during his remarks at the College to Career Conference.
A native of Fort Smith who was raised in Russellville, Bartlett returned to his home state in 1991 as president and chief executive officer of Worthen National Bank in Hot Springs. Six years later, he and a group of local investors founded Alliance Bank of Hot Springs.
When Alliance Bank merged with Simmons First National Corporation in 2003, Bartlett became chairman of Simmons First Bank of Hot Springs. He was later promoted to president and chief operating officer of Simmons First National Corporation in 2006 and chief banking officer for the organization in 2013.
Bartlett retired from Simmons First National Corporation on Jan. 15, 2016.
During his remarks at the College to Career Conference, Bartlett spoke to faculty and students from the Arkansas Tech College of Business about career opportunities in banking and associated regulatory agencies as well as trends in the banking industry.
Bartlett pointed to three factors that contributed greatly to his career: surrounding himself with good people (family and business associates), full utilization of his educational opportunities and a willingness to sacrifice personal time for work.
In addition to Bartlett, 16 Arkansas Tech alumni gave of their time earlier in the day at the College to Career Conference to serve as panelists during sessions specific to the major fields of accounting, business data analytics, economics and finance and management and marketing.
Those alumni panelists, listed with the year they graduated from Tech and their current employer, were:
- Elliott Brown, Class of 2012, Farmer’s Bank
- Sarah Casey, Class of 2015, Acxiom
- Timothy Deatherage, Class of 2014, Acxiom
- Cody Dennis, Class of 2012, Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit
- Dylan Edgell, Class of 2016, Dillard’s
- Mike Fields, Class of 2012, Walmart
- Molly Gibson, Class of 2015, Beall Barclay
- Andrea Hull, Class of 2013, Certified Public Accountant in Russellville
- Joseph Hunt, Class of 2016, Dillard’s
- John Lassiter, Class of 2016, Dillard’s
- Lindsey Mullen, Class of 2013, Sam’s Club
- Sarah Noel, Class of 2015, Acxiom
- Amanda Sparks, Class of 2013, Walmart
- Alex Tabor, Class of 2014, Winrock International
- Courtney Trevillion, Class of 2013, Highlands Oncology Group
- Kelby Wiles, Class of 2015, J.B. Hunt
Photographed (from left-to-right): Dr. Stephen Jones, associate dean, College of Business; Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman, vice president for academic affairs; Leigh Whiteside, vice chair of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees; David Bartlett, keynote speaker at the 2016 College to Career Conference; Dr. Robin E. Bowen, president; Michael Hutchison, vice president for advancement; and Dr. Jeff Robertson, interim dean of the College of Business and dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences.