Siloam Springs Volunteer Makes Tails Wag

Friday, October 13 at 06:15 PM
Category: Arvest Community News
Bittersweet may be the best word to describe the emotion Tina Berrios feels when she gets a text message from one of the local animal shelters she serves.
Berrios, president of the nonprofit, Tailwaggers*, Inc., said the texts usually convey this message: “Guess who got adopted?”
That message means one of the cats or dogs Berrios and other volunteers have spent hours befriending and socializing has a new home. It means the animal is leaving the shelter, which can be somewhat sad for those who have spent time with it.
The upside of those text messages, however, is greater.
“What’s most rewarding,” Berrios said of the time and energy she devotes to Tailwaggers, “is when there’s a dog that’s been there two or three months, when I get that text: ‘Guess who got adopted?’”
It’s been years since Berrios and her family moved from California to Siloam Springs, where she was surprised by how many stray animals she encountered. A longtime animal lover, Berrios began volunteering at the city’s shelter in hopes she could make some of thew animals more adoptable.

These days, Berrios not only volunteers her own time, but runs Tailwaggers. The organization’s mission is to improving the lives of pets and pet owners through education, spaying/neutering, fostering and adopting otherwise abandoned, abused and neglected animals.

Fundraising, beefing up volunteer lists, organizing educational outreach efforts and more can be a demanding – and sometimes thankless – job. When those text messages hit her phone, however, Berrios knows that all the effort is worth it.
“I love this job,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Berrios is the 23rd person to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference. 
About Arvest Bank
Arvest Bank operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.
 Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.


Tags: Northwest Arkansas, People Helping People, Siloam Springs

Conversations from the Top Oct. 25 in Kansas City - Dr. Angie Besendorfer

Wednesday, October 11 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest Community News
Dr. Angie Besendorfer, chancellor of WGU Missouri, will be the guest of honor at the seventh session of Central Exchanges’ 2017 Conversations from the Top series. Arvest is proud to support this moderated fireside chat with executive women in leadership throughout Kansas City.
Dr. Besendorfer will share her insight on Wednesday, October 25th from 12:00pm to 1:15pm at Central Exchange South (6201 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS). Registration is required.
During the Conversations from the Top series, you will hear inspirational stories and insight from women who have faced challenging issues throughout their journey to the top of their field and October’s speaker, Dr. Angie Besendorfer, is no different. Besendorfer champions college attainment for working adults who wish to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree and leads the efforts to connect students and community stakeholders with WGU’s online competency-based model of higher education.
Besendorfer has spent 23 years in the field of education in Missouri, implementing innovative and technology-focused learning strategies. Before joining WGU Missouri, Besendorfer was the assistant superintendent of Joplin Schools for eight years leading advancement in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and facilities. She was also an adjunct professor at Missouri State University, teaching in the master’s program for Educational Administration.
Among the innovations Besendorfer has championed is a focus on digital learning. She took the lead in the Joplin district’s recovery after an EF-5 tornado hit 10 schools. As the leader in designing and building cutting-edge new schools, Besendorfer guided the community to re-imagine high school education.
Besendorfer holds a bachelor’s in education from Missouri Southern State University, a M.S. in Elementary Administration from Central Missouri State University and a doctorate in Education Leadership from the University of Missouri. 
Besendorfer has been a featured presenter at the International Leaning Forward Conference, the National Institute of Medicine, and has presented widely on 21st Century Education. She is a member of the regional Workforce Investment Board and the Mercy Hospital Community Advisory Board. Besendorfer is active with the area Rotary Club, museum complex, and Chamber of Commerce. Besendorfer has also received several accolades for her work including the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award, the AASA Women in School Leadership Award and the Tri-State Business Journal Most Influential Woman.
More information here*.
Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.
Tags: Kansas City

12 Ways to Lower Your Health Care Expenses

Monday, October 16 at 02:00 PM
Category: Personal Finance
You may have heard the phrase: "You can't put a price on good health." But anyone who has received a bill from a hospital or gotten sticker shock at the pharmacy, knows that health care in America today is very costly. In fact, managing rising health expenses can be one of the biggest challenges for families.
Here are some smart steps you can take to help lower your family's costs:
  1. Take care of yourself. If you eat well and regularly exercise, you can lower your risk of illness or injury.
  2. See your doctor. Preventative care is key to maintaining good health, so be sure to visit your doctor and dentist for regular check-ups.
  3. Choose a higher-deductible health insurance plan. If you're healthy and don't go to the doctor more than a few times a year, you may consider choosing a health plan with a higher deductible, which will help keep your premiums lower.
  4. Leave the emergency room for emergencies. Trips to the emergency room can be quite expensive, so try to go only when you need urgent care. For example, if you have a cold, visit your doctor before visiting an emergency room.
  5. Get a flexible spending account. If your employer offers flexible spending accounts, be sure to sign up for one. This will allow you to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses while taking advantage of tax benefits.
  6. Ask for generic drugs. Ask your doctor if there is a generic alternative for medicine prescribed, which could result in significant savings. Also, consider getting your medications at large retailers, which offer set, low prices on generic drugs.
  7. Get mail-order prescriptions. Depending on your health plan, you may also be able to lower your prescription costs by getting your prescriptions through the mail.
  8. Protect yourself. If you lead an active lifestyle, be sure to take precautions, including wearing protective equipment, such as a helmet, padding and a mouthpiece.
  9. Stay in network. If you have to see a specialist, make sure you stay within your health plan's network.
  10. Follow doctor's orders. One way to avoid illness is to follow your doctor's advice. For example, if your doctor tells you to stay in bed and rest, do it.
  11. Review your medical bills. If you receive a bill, be sure to go through all the line items to ensure accuracy. Medical bill errors are very common.
  12. Stop smoking. Smoking not only presents health risks, but also will cost you more for insurance.
Follow these steps and you just may notice a healthy difference in your bank account!
Tags: Financial Education

Simple Steps to Save Energy & Money in October

Monday, October 16 at 03:00 PM
Category: Personal Finance

When we think of the month of October, we think of vibrant fall foliage, football games, and, of course, Halloween. But there's another event that happens in October that many of us don't know about, despite the fact that it involves one of our most important and valuable resources — energy.

To promote conservation of this critical resource, October has been dubbed “National Energy Awareness Month.”

Instituted in 1991 by then President George Bush, the annual event is designed to prompt government organizations, businesses, individuals and families to take proactive steps to preserve energy.

Join the Celebration

It doesn't take a lot of effort to do your part to help conserve energy. Here are some simple steps you can take in your home that will not only make a difference in your energy costs, but also make a difference in the future of our planet.

Energy costs:

  • Start by reviewing your utility bills. This will give you a baseline of how much you are spending on energy. After you implement energy conservation steps, compare your bills to see how much you saved.

Electrical costs:

  • Turn off lights in empty rooms or consider putting some lights on timers (such as outside lights).
  • If you're not using your computer monitor for more than 20 minutes, turn it off. And shut down your CPU if you won't be using it for two hours or more.
  • Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
  • Unplug unused appliances. For example, if you're not charging your cellphone, unplug the charger from the outlet.

Heating and cooling:

  • Schedule regular, routine maintenance on your furnace to ensure it is operating efficiently.
  • Clean or replace filters in your furnaces and air conditioners to keep heating and cooling systems running smoothly.
  • Caulk or replace leaky windows.
Tags: Financial Education

Arvest Community Garden: Growing Our Community One Seed at a Time

Monday, October 16 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest Community News
In the spring of 2014, the first seeds were planted in the Arvest Community Garden in Greater Kansas City. The garden was offered as a starting point for local individuals wanting to learn more about community gardening and local garden initiatives. The garden consists of 12 raised beds, nine of which are rented or utilized by Arvest volunteers for donations.

Over the past few years, our volunteers have experience many successful harvest seasons, with this year being no different. On Friday, September 29th, our Arvest Community Garden volunteers spent hours harvesting sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Arvest was able to donate 394 pounds of sweet potatoes and 27 pounds of tomatoes to Raytown Emergency Assistance Program (REAP).

The donated goods go to REAP’s emergency food pantry which offers a well-balanced and nutritious selection of canned and dry goods, bread, vegetables, meat and dairy products. REAP strives to provide each family enough food to last two to three weeks. Arvest is proud to partner with REAP to help them meet this need.


Tags: Kansas City

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