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Texas Bankers Association Awards Presented

Cornerstone and LiFE Awards

The Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, presented the annual Cornerstone and Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) awards to four banks at a special luncheon on May 2, during the association’s 135th Annual Convention, held in Austin.

The Cornerstone Award recognizes excellence in community involvement by Texas banks. The following institutions were honored with the 2019 award:

Dallas-based Comerica Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Comerica Bank Gift of Knowledge project. The project is a part of Comerica’s Money Sense program, which is an initiative that allows students to receive high-end and engaging financial education training, the opportunity to open their first savings account and access to the bank’s personnel and banking center tours. Upon successfully completing the Money Sense program, scholars receive seed money to start a savings account at Comerica. The bank works in partnership with the City of Dallas, Project Still I Rise and the nonprofit Big Thought to bring the program to low-to-moderate income students.

Nacogdoches-based Commercial Bank of Texas, N.A. received an award for its third-annual BBQ for Badges event, honoring first responders in the community. This year’s event held extra significance to the community, due to the death of Sheriff’s deputy Raymond Brad Jimmerson, who died in the line of duty. In addition to feeding responders barbecue and donating proceeds from their employees who paid to attend the barbecue, Commercial Bank sold First Respondent Support bracelets to raise additional funds; 39 smoke detectors were donated to the local file department.

Southside Bank, Tyler, received a Cornerstone Award for its Reverse JA in the Day project. In a partnership between the bank and Junior Achievement, Reverse JA in a Day events offered students a day at the bank with lessons on career success, a bank tour and round-table discussions. In addition, they heard from panelists of bank executives and board members, who shared their career experience and discussed networking and continuing education. Twenty-two sophomores and juniors from the Young Men’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth attended the first JA in Reverse Day, with 38 high school students from Tyler ISD attending the second, and 38 juniors from the Young Women’s Leadership Acadeny in Fort Worth attending the third.

The LiFE award honors Texas banks that are dedicated leaders in promoting financial education in their communities.

Midland-based FirstCapital Bank of Texas received a LiFE Award for its Reverse JA in a Day project. As a community bank, FirstCapital recognizes that education is a vital cornerstone of the communities it serves. The bank partnered with Junior Achievement to bring the first Reverse JA in a Day in the Permian Basin region. The bank hosted 24 local high school students to learn about the banking industry, including career development. Students met with bank leaders and attended sessions that gave the students a behind-the-scenes look at the bank, taught by human resources, lending, accounting, data and marketing departments. Lessons focused on critical thinking, creativity, personal brands, communication and collaboration.

50-Year Bankers Honored

Twenty-five Texas bankers were honored with the 50-Year Banker Award during the convention. The award recognizes bankers with a half century or more of service and dedication to the banking industry.

This year’s honorees were: Geraldine Albrecht, bank officer, First National Bank of Giddings; Carroll Richard Anderson, president-Lindale, Texas Bank & Trust Co.; Bob Barnard, former president and now chairman of the board, First National Bank of Celeste; David S. Barnard (deceased), former CEO and chairman of the board, National United, Gatesville; Vera Barnett, recently retired from the board of directors, Citizens State Bank, Buffalo; Dixie A. Barron, vice president, Prosperity Bank, Lubbock; Dwight L. Berry, president and CEO, American National Bank & Trust, Wichita Falls; John R. Childers, branch president, Bank of San Angelo; Richard C. Crowe, bank president, CEO and chairman, Buckholts State Bank; Maria Davenport, former retail market manager, Austin Bank, Whitehouse; Clara Helen Edwards, assistant vice president, West Texas State Bank of Odessa, Monahans; Guillermo Garcia, executive vice president with responsibility for international customer relations, International Bank of Commerce, Laredo; John Gilliam, vice chairman of the bank, First National Bank of Valley Mills; Larry Kilgore, recently retired as senior vice president, American National Bank of Texas, Fort Worth; William C. Landiss, president and CEO, The First National Bank of Giddings; Phyllis Loyd, assistant cashier and accounts payable, accounting department, City National Bank, Sulphur Springs; Carol Noack, banking officer of teller operations, First National Bank of Giddings; Larry Parks, bank board member, American National Bank of Texas, Rockwall; James L. Perkins, president and chairman, Citizens 1st Bank, Tyler; Michael B. Phillips, special assets manager and executive vice president, Independent Bank, McKinney; Sandra Phillips, assistant vice president, City National Bank in Sulphur Springs; Elorine Sitka, marketing consultant, Yoakum National Bank; Steve Wiggs, recently retired as regional president, Austin Bank, Texas, N.A., Tyler; Constance “Connie” Lynn Wooley, senior vice president of operations – East Division, TexasBank, Stephenville; and M. Eugene Worthington, president, CEO and chairman of the board, National United, Gatesville.

Emerging Leader Award

Ten Texas bankers were honored with the Texas Bankers Foundation’s new Emerging Leader Award.

The award was created in 2019 by the foundation in partnership with the Texas Bankers Association Bank Leadership Council to honor bankers who have had a positive impact in the industry and are expected to become a leader in their bank.

Recipients were:

Tricia Atchison, executive vice president/chief risk officer, Preferred Bank, Houston; Yuli Elizondo, assistant vice president and BSA coordinator/investment, Texas Bank, Henderson; Bethany Etheredge, executive vice president, FirstCapital Bank, Midland; Evelyn Franco, vice president, Frontier Bank of Texas, Austin; Brian Humphreys, executive vice president/senior lender, Rio Bank, McAllen; Ed Johnson, executive vice president/chief loan officer, Shelby Savings Bank, Center; Timothy Luke Longhofer, executive vice president/chief credit officer, First Financial Bank, N.A., Abilene; Brigid Pitts, vice president/controller, Commercial Bank of Texas, Nacogdoches; JoAnn Sullivan, vice president/operation manager, First Community Bank, Corpus Christi; and William J. Ware, president, Amarillo National Bank, Amarillo.

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