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Chambless officially takes CEO role at Farmers and Merchants, appoints Holzhauer as chief commercial lending officer



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Brad Chambless is the new CEO and President of Farmers and Merchants Bank and the Bank of Fayetteville. He succeeds Gary Hudson, who retired on Dec. 31, 2020.

Chambless joined Farmers and Merchants Bank in 2006 and most recently served as Executive Vice President and is a member of the board of directors.


Chambless is a 1987 graduate of Dumas High School and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He went on to earn a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, practicing law in Arkansas for 10 years before entering the banking industry.

“I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to lead Farmers & Merchants Bank and the Bank of Fayetteville,” said Chambless. “While our institution has successfully grown to become the 10th largest bank chartered in Arkansas, we are truly focused on serving each of the communities where we are located. I am very proud to lead a team of bankers who are devoted to serving customers at the grassroots level every day.”

Farmers and Merchants Bank, headquartered in Stuttgart, is a locally-owned community bank with 26 locations across the state of Arkansas, including eight operating as the Bank of Fayetteville. With assets in excess of $1.6 billion, Farmers and Merchants is the 10th largest bank chartered in Arkansas.

Chambless announced the appointment of Blake Holzhauer as Chief Commercial Lending Officer as of January 1, 2021.

Holzhauer joined Farmers and Merchants Bank in 2018 as Market President for The Bank of Fayetteville. In 2019, Farmers and Merchants Bank acquired Integrity First Bank, which included a branch in Bentonville, and expanded Holzhauer’s leadership role to Market President, NWA.

He previously held the position of Senior Vice-President and Chief Lending Officer in NWA for Centennial Bank. In addition to his new role of Chief Commercial Lending Officer, he will continue to be the Market President for NWA.

“Blake’s leadership skills and lending knowledge strengthens our overall growth of the bank’s commercial lending portfolio,” Chambless said. “We are committed to helping our customers achieve their financial dreams and Blake has the background and expertise to further improve our lending programs.”

Holzhauer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Finance from Arkansas University and is an alumnus of the Barret Graduate School of Banking at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.