Auld Lang Syne
This month’s edition of Texas Banking is focused on the busy year that was 2019. There were many accomplishments and you can learn more in the pages of this issue. But as we look back, we recall that 2019 was bittersweet as TBA mourned the loss of two industry giants this fall.
Eric Sandberg, TBA’s president and chief executive officer from 2009-2018, passed away Oct. 10 while vacationing with his wife, Melissa, in Europe. Eric loved serving Texas banks, and advocating for them through the legislative process was his passion.
As CEO, Eric focused on TBA member needs. He led the development of Compliance Alliance to alleviate the crushing regulatory burden on Texas community banks in the wake of Dodd-Frank. The service has become so successful, it now serves community banks in 48 other states. And the TBA building project, now underway, was initiated during Eric’s tenure as he looked to support TBA member activities through non-member generated revenue well into the future. Eric was a champion for Texas banking and a devoted and loyal friend to our bankers.
Then, on Oct. 18, Dr. Jim Bexley, Smith-Hutson Chair of Banking at Sam Houston State University, passed away following a lengthy illness. Dr. Bexley, too, had an immense passion for the future of Texas banking. He was a great leader, banker, educator, mentor and friend. The growth of the Smith-Hutson banking program, its influence on other university banking programs and, most importantly, the impact it had on the lives of students are directly attributable to the work of Dr. Bexley. Through these students, his legacy in Texas will be felt for years to come.
Scholarship programs have been established through which Eric and Dr. Bexley may be honored.
Contributions in honor of Eric Sandberg may be made via the Eric Sandberg Memorial Scholarship fund at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas. There was no greater supporter of UT than Eric. The scholarship will benefit a banking student in his memory. Donations may be sent to McCombs Development Office, 2110 Speedway, Stop B6006, Austin, TX 78712-1270, payable to The University of Texas at Austin. Please note the “Eric Sandberg Memorial Scholarship” in the memo line.
Memorial donations honoring Dr. Bexley may be made through the James B. & Elsie M. Bexley Banking/ Finance Scholarship Endowment Fund at Sam Houston State University.
Donations may be sent to Smith-Hutson Chair of Banking, Sam Houston State University, c/o Pam Thaler, Box 2056, Huntsville, TX 77341. Please note: “In memory of Jim Bexley.”
As we celebrate the holiday season this year and give thanks for family and friends, let us also “drink a cup of kindness yet” in remembrance of Eric Sandberg, Jim Bexley and their lasting impression on the fabric of Texas banking.