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Karen Shaw wanted to pursue a professional career in business that would provide ample opportunities to serve others, be intellectually stimulating, and be always in demand. She found this and more with accounting.
“I loved numbers from a young age, and my accounting lessons came naturally to me even though I was constantly a creative thinker,” said Shaw, a chartered accountant. “Over the years, I have developed a love for mentoring and have wanted to use my talents and leadership skills to develop, empower and manage a team of finance professionals.”
Today, she is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Citizens Bank, which has $ 1.2 billion in assets, in Batesville. Shaw joined the bank in January 2003 and served as Senior Vice President and Loan Review Manager until 2013 when she was promoted to her current role.
Shaw grew up in the Cleveland community of Conway County and graduated in May 1994 with highest honors and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Arkansas at Conway.
She landed her first job out of college with the Little Rock office of Ernst & Young, where she advertised.
lic for eight years before moving to Batesville.
During her tenure with the firm, Shaw rose through the ranks of audit employee to senior accountant to audit manager working with clients in the financial services, healthcare, transportation and communications industries.
She is a member of the Advisory Board of UCA College of Business and the Board of Trustees of the American Red Cross Serving Greater Arkansas and Treasurer of the nonprofit Christmas Brings Hope.
Shaw is also an active member of the Arkansas State Society of CPAs and co-founder of POWER (Professional Relations Organization for the Empowerment of Women).