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2020 Economic Impact Awards Community Involvement Champion: Pamela Yancey, Arvest Bank

Raised to Give

Posted online

When Pamela Yancey was growing up in Snowball, Arkansas, helping other people was just what was done.

Yancey says she grew up poor, with no indoor plumbing, but so did everyone else in the tiny community.

Her great-grandmother kept a much bigger vegetable garden than she needed and always canned extra for neighbors who were bound to encounter times of want. They were welcome to grab what they needed from her cellar; she just asked that they return the jars when they were empty. And they did.

“That’s the similarity of Branson and the small town of my upbringing in Snowball,” Yancey says. “That’s all we had was each other. It’s very endearing to me those same qualities are exemplified in Branson and, really, the Springfield region in general.”

As community market director for Arvest Bank, Yancey is responsible for business development, market growth and community involvement throughout the Springfield region.

Since joining Arvest’s senior leadership team in 2012, Yancey has served on a variety of boards and committees, including the budget and finance committee for the city of Branson, Taney County Partnership board, the Five for Five Branson Chamber Initiative Committee, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ozarks, The Caring People, United Way of the Ozarks and Cox Medical Center Branson.

“I kind of live and die by my calendar,” Yancey says with a laugh before noting her work is never a chore. “Every day, I get the satisfaction
of knowing that some way or somehow I’m going to get to help someone, whether that’s a financial need they may have or through a charity.”

Yancey says Arvest encourages employees to engage in civic volunteer opportunities and to make a difference by supporting community charitable organizations.

“We empower our associates to make good decisions,” she says. “We ask them what they are passionate about in their communities, where do they want to volunteer? We try to make sure they’re given the time to go do that.”

Each year, Arvest associates also are asked to recommend potential recipients of grants from the Arvest Foundation.

In the last year, about $225,000 has been distributed to more than 40 Ozarks charities.

Yancey is among those who vet the suggestions before passing them along to the foundation.

“Most of the time, we’re able to get those fulfilled,” she says.

Yancey says her workdays are packed, but there’s still plenty of work ahead.

“There are so many issues in the world right now,” she says. “I hope we as a community will come together and listen, learn and join efforts to make a difference. We can make a difference, and I want to be part of that movement.”

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