Man of the Moment 2023: Kyle Penter

Centennial Bank Chief Risk Officer Kyle Penter saw banking as a natural career choice, following in the footsteps of several family members. “My mother was a career banker, and she had a very positive impact on my decision to pursue banking as a career,” he said.

Entering the industry, Kyle was placed in a management training program where he had the opportunity to work in every area of the bank. He credits this experience as invaluable. “The perspective I gained from that experience ultimately assisted me in choosing risk management as my career path.”

Beyond the family influence, Kyle credits Joe Jenkins, then CEO of Citizens Bank in Marion, for giving him the start he needed. “Every career starts with an opportunity,” he said, “and I will always be grateful for that phone call.” While Kyle has had several mentors throughout his career, Joe was the first and Kyle thinks of him often when he faces situations at work.

Kyle and his family made the decision to move from the Memphis area to Central Arkansas, to the 501, 24 years ago. “The 501 provided the opportunity I was looking for professionally, but more importantly, it offered the quality of life my wife and I were looking for in raising our son,” he said.

Kyle and his wife, Sarah, recently celebrated 29 years of marriage. “At the end of the day, she is my biggest encourager, and I’m fortunate to have shared so much with her over the years,” he said. The couple’s son, Logan, is a local attorney. Their son and daughter-in-law, Jordan, live in Conway and are expecting their first child.

“I strongly believe family is the most important thing we have at the end of the day. Life doesn’t come with a rewind button, so you should make time to be there for those moments that matter the most,” he said. Kyle doesn’t just believe in finding a good work/life balance; he lives by it and shares this openly with his staff. “[It is] my goal for them to be successful in both endeavors,” he said.

Kyle shares with others the same advice given to him early in his career. “Think outside the box. There is a world of opportunities out there waiting to be seized,” he said. 

“Challenge yourself to be forward thinking and you will not be disappointed by the results.”