The scholarship, established by the First National Bank & Trust Co. of Broken Arrow in 1989, pays a share of college costs for eight consecutive semesters. Award criteria includes the recipient’s college entrance examination, grade point average, scholastic and civic leadership and financial need. To date, the bank has presented 38 First Achievement Awards with a cash value in excess of $304,000.
After watching her mother and both grandmothers battle and defeat breast cancer, McAllister, at the age of 8, said she decided she wanted to have a career that allowed her to help others. That commitment was strengthened and began to take direction with her first exposure to biology during her junior year at Union High School.
She has already been accepted at Oklahoma State University and will enroll on June 10 to study molecular genetics in its Microbiology Department. From there, her goal is to enter medical school and become either a geriatric specialist or oncologist.
McAllister earned a 3.97 grade point average placing her in the top 10 percent of her graduating class. Outside the classroom, she won Union’s Shakespeare Festival competition, served as secretary of the Medical Society, and was a member of the National Honor Society, Writers, Readers, Audiences, Performers (WRAP), Drug-Free Youth, New Drama League, Science Olympiad, Tulsa’s Louder than a Bomb and the poetry team.
In addition, she was active in People to People where she was a student ambassador, played two years in the Northeast Oklahoma all-district string orchestra and was honored as an essay winner by the Desk and Derrick Club.
She also was a volunteer on an international scale having planted trees in Australia and fought lake pollution in Italy.
In addition to her First Achievement Award, McAllister received an Academic Excellence Scholarship from OSU.
Four local business and community leaders have been elected to the Board of Directors of the First National Bank and Trust Co. of Broken Arrow.
New to the bank’s leadership group are Jeffrey D. Hewett, a Broken Arrow-based CPA; Alan M. Keller, MD; and First National Chief Operating Officer Mark A. Poole. Rejoining the board is Anne Graham, a community volunteer and principal owner of the institution.
Hewett received his BBA degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma. He began working for Sanders Bledsoe & Hewett, CPA, LLP in 1990 and currently serves as a partner and its office manager. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Society of CPA’s Peer Review Committee.
Dr. Keller completed his undergraduate studies at Oklahoma State University and received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. He completed a two-year internal medicine residency at Boston City Hospital and a two-year fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He is partner/owner of the Tulsa Cancer Institute, a post he has held since 1978.
Poole joined First National earlier this year as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. His resume includes more than 25 years of commercial banking experience. Previously, he served as Tulsa President and Chief Credit Officer of Summit Bank in Tulsa. Before that Poole was President of the Tulsa Division of Stillwater National Bank.
Anne Graham has been part of First National’s leadership since 1963 when her late husband, Scott L. Graham, became its legal counsel. He was elected board chairman in 1967. A graduate of Benedictine Heights College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, she served on the board from 1998 to 2007.
“We are privileged to have each of these outstanding people on our board of directors,” said Gregory Graham, First National Board Chairman. “They bring a unique combination of experiences and insights that will be invaluable in helping the bank continue to plot a course for future growth and stability.”
Reprinted by permission from the Broken Arrow Ledger
By Bob Lewis
Special to the Ledger
Carmen Medina Retires after 35 Years
Given Carmen Medina’s high energy level and youthful appearance, it may be hard for many of her colleagues and customers to believe she plans to bring her 35-year career to a close on June 30.
Medina, calls her position as Vice President at the First National Bank of Broken Arrow a “dream job” that she knew she wanted since she was in the seventh grade.
Born in Puerto Rico, Medina moved with her family to New York at the age of 3 and was part of the public school system there through the seventh grade. A return to Puerto Rico gave her a chance to finish school, begin what became an 8-year banking career, meet and marry Danny Medina and become the mother of two children.
In 1978, while on vacation visiting her mother and brother who had moved to Oklahoma, the couple made a life-altering decision. “When we told our friends in Puerto Rico we were moving to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the overwhelming reaction was ‘where’s that?’” Medina said with a grin. “Some of them had heard of Oral Roberts University, but that was about it.”
A year later, the family was getting settled in as Oklahomans. Danny had landed a position as an instrument technician, Carmen was an employee of a Tulsa bank, daughter Marla and son Dan were enrolled in school and they would soon welcome a new member to the family – daughter Grizellie.
“We were building a home in Broken Arrow and I knew I wanted to work here as well,” Medina said. “So I submitted an application at First National and John Herndon put me to work as a teller.”
That was one of a number of positions she was to hold over the next 35 years. They included responsibility as a personal banker, assistant manager and later manager of the newly opened South Elm Place Branch and commercial lending officer. She was elected a vice president in 1994.
Looking back, Medina said without question the most enjoyable aspect of her career has been the ability to assume a family-like relationship with so many customers. “I’ve seen them begin families, watched their kids grow up, graduate, get married and begin families of their own,” she said.
Expressing the feelings of many employees, Board Chairman Gregory Graham said, “I’m going to miss Carmen tremendously. She is a very caring person who is a real success story having worked her way up and always does right. She opened my first checking account.”
What’s ahead for the Medina clan? First up is Danny’s retirement in July and “putting the house in order,” doing things that the time restraints of their careers had not allowed them to do. Travel and spending more time with their children and seven grandchildren is absolutely on the calendar. So is volunteer work at her church and looking for an opportunity to “exercise the right side of my brain” which may include taking some courses in creative undertakings such as interior design.
While Medina won’t occupy her corner office after June 30, she makes it clear her heart will always be with that institution.
“This is such a great bank with wonderful people who care deeply about their customers and the community. They gave me a chance to live my dream and for that, I will always be grateful.”