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Checking in with Carolyn Grieve

Fast Facts
 about Carolyn Grieve

Business Development/ Adventure Coordinator

Arvest Bank- Benton County

Bella Vista, Arkansas

What began as the purchase of the Bank of Bentonville in 1961 became today’s Arvest Bank, currently located in more than 120 communities. With over $15 billion in assets, the bank is currently the largest in Arkansas, ranked by deposits. The travel program is open to all Benton County customers, with 125 participating in 2015.

Born: Denver

Education: Business accounting degree

Employment:  Grieve spent 20 years as a real estate broker before she joined the Real Estate Appraisal Division of Arvest Bank. Switching focuses, Grieve accepted her current position at the bank two years ago. 

Family: Five brothers, three sisters and four lovable dogs

Hobbies: Grieve inherited a green thumb for gardening from her dad, who was a professional landscaper and nature lover. She also enjoys golf and walking her dogs.


After a hectic day that pulled her out of the office until almost 5 p.m., Carolyn Grieve noticed an email announcing an opening in the business development department at Arvest Bank. She was intrigued. Grieve already worked at the bank and had been on the lookout for an opportunity to move to a different department.

“It didn’t say much about the position, except that it closed at 5,” said Grieve, business development and adventure coordinator for Arvest Bank Benton County in Belle Vista, Arkansas. “Barbara Sullivan, who’d been there for 23 years, was retiring. Since she obviously liked it, I applied, although I didn’t know what it was.”

Over the course of four interviews, Grieve learned more about the position. Though she had no previous experience in travel planning, she leaped at the chance to manage the bank’s travel club.

Two years after applying for the job on a whim, Grieve has shaken things up at the Arvest Bank’s travel club with outside-the-box trips and new initiatives designed to grow participation and loyalty.

Learning Curve

With a professional landscaper for a father, Grieve learned the gratification of seeing things grow when she was a child. The patience involved in nurturing plants aided Grieve during her first few months of leading the bank’s loyalty program.

Although Grieve had spent most of her career as a real estate broker in Bella Vista, she felt enthusiastic about moving from the bank’s Real Estate Appraisal Division to business development.

“I thought the position sounded like fun,” said Grieve. “I was ready to tackle a new project. I went into it knowing I was going to give it my best shot to build the program and do a better job than anyone else.”

Not only had Grieve never planned group trips, she also hadn’t traveled much. A boss who was unfamiliar with the program also complicated matters.

“It was so new to my boss, too, because he had been given the responsibility for this right before he gave it to me,” said Grieve. “After my first month, I knew as much as he knew. It was a little like the blind leading the blind.”

She first gained real confidence in her job during the Missouri Bank Travel Conference, which she attended because of Bella Vista’s proximity to the Missouri border. She also soon found value in the Select Traveler Conference.

“The conferences were very informative and gave me an opportunity to see what was available in travel,” said Grieve. “Select Traveler shed a new light on the job, because it reached farther geographically than Missouri.”