From working in his family’s Dardanelle agricultural and business interest to growing Bank OZK into one of the most respected banks in the nation, George Gleason has never been as focused on building the biggest of something, just the best. In Bank OZK, he’s accomplished both.
Gleason, CEO and chairman, purchased controlling interest in what was then known as Bank of Ozark in 1979 (the name changed to Bank OZK in 2018) and in the span of four decades, turned the institution into a model of efficiency and profitability. The Hendrix College alum hammers home daily an inviolate corporate formula of cost control, risk management and the ability to outwork the other guy.
The proof of the methodology came during the banking and financial crisis when the bank achieved record earnings while peer institutions crashed and burned all around them.
As of the third quarter 2019, the Little Rock-based institution had been recognized as the top-performing bank in the nation in its asset size 13 times in the past eight years. Bank OZK conducts operations through more than 250 offices in Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, California, New York and Mississippi, employing in the neighborhood of 2,500 people.
Among his many accolades, Gleason has been recognized as Outstanding Young Arkansan by the Arkansas Jaycees and Industrial Developer of the Year from the Third Congressional District. He has also founded or worked on behalf of numerous local and national ministry organizations with an emphasis on youth ministry.