Forty under 40: Zach Ledford


Zach Ledford was looking for a new opportunity when he transitioned from a career in supply chain to banking. He also wanted to return to his hometown of Fort Smith to raise his family.

In 2017, he joined First Security Bank in Fayetteville as a business development manager. He worked under mentors Adam Rutledge and David Russell, and within 15 months was tapped to lead the bank’s expansion into Sebastian County and became one of the bank’s youngest market presidents.

In late 2018 he returned to his hometown and First Security Bank opened the first Fort Smith branch as a downtown commercial bank. The second Fort Smith location opened last spring and another branch is expected to open in early 2024 in Chaffee Crossing.

He oversees 14 employees in the Fort Smith market and focuses on customer service and employee development. He also manages a corporate loan portfolio and works on projects with clients internally.

Prior to banking, he worked for Fayetteville-based Blackhive, a staple food company in supply chain and procurement. He was one of the business partners and worked there for about 11 years. He helped transport food to and across the United States for clients.

He previously worked at ABF Freight, an ArcBest LTL carrier based in Fort Smith. He worked for the company while in college and took a job in the Dallas area after graduation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith in 2005.

Ledford serves on the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee of the Mercy Foundation and the Advisory Board of Arkansas Colleges of Health Education. He enjoys spending time on the lake and hunting.


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