George Gleason, II

View Gleason's Odyssey medal acceptance speech. 

George GleasonGeorge Gleason has served for over 31 years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. and its predecessor institutions. Gleason purchased controlling interest in what was then known as Bank of Ozark in 1979. He was just 25 years old. During his 31 years as Chairman and CEO, the Company has grown over 100-fold and now has 86 offices in six states and total assets exceeding $3 billion. The Company trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and has consistently been among the top performing financial institutions in the country.

Prior to his successful banking career, Gleason practiced law with the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. He has been actively involved in many other business and investment interests including real estate, timber, farming and retailing.

Gleason is a life long Arkansas resident and graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in Dardanelle. He attended Hendrix College where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Economics. At Hendrix he achieved the unprecedented accomplishment of graduating in just two years and won the Mosley Award for economics. He then attended the University of Arkansas School of Law where he graduated first in his class and received the senior scholar key. He subsequently wrote the top paper on the Arkansas Bar Exam.

Throughout his adult life, Gleason has been active in many church, ministry and civic organizations. Previously he has been selected as an “Outstanding Young Arkansan” by the Arkansas Jaycees and as “Industrial Developer of the Year” from the Third Congressional District. He has founded or worked on behalf of numerous local and national ministry organizations with a strong emphasis on youth ministry.

Gleason has been happily married to Linda Diane Gleason for 24 years. They have four children and four grandchildren. In addition to their professional and civic endeavors, the Gleasons are avid collectors of art, sculpture and antiques with an emphasis on 19th century European.