Emerging Leader Awards

Recognizing future bank leaders

Nine Texas bankers have been selected by the Texas Bankers Foundation as Emerging Leaders in the banking industry. The award, created last year by the Texas Bankers Foundation in partnership with the Bank Leadership Council, honors bankers who have had a positive impact in the banking industry and are expected to become leaders in their banks.

Nominations forms for the 2021 Emerging Leader Awards are now available. The deadline for the 2021 nominations will be Friday, April 30, 2021.

Emerging Leader Award recipients will receive:


  • The Emerging Leader Award, which will be presented during the 2021 TBA Convention in Austin.   
  • A comp registration to a TBA conference, school or annual convention (excludes MDP and the Banker Forums).
  • Nominees and recipients will be recognized in the Texas Banking magazine, press releases and/or in TBA’s social media posts.
  • Emerging Leader Award recipients will be invited to serve a one-year term on TBA’s Bank Leadership Council (BLC).

2020 Recipients

Heather Cicirello, Commercial Bank of Texas, N.A., Lewisville
Vice President, Branch Manager and Lender
Cicirello has been with Commercial Bank of Texas her entire 10-year career. She began her career as a teller, then was promoted to a loan clerk and assistant vice president/loan administration/scanning department manager. She has been in her current position since 2015. According to her peers, she is a leader both in the bank and in the Lewisville community.

Hazel Davis, Jefferson Bank, San Antonio
Vice President/Compliance & Community Development Officer
Davis joined Jefferson Bank in 2013 as a vice president, fair lending and CRA officer and then transitioned to her current position because of her regulatory compliance expertise and experience working with the community under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Shea Ferland, FirstCapital Bank of Texas, Midland
Senior Vice President/Team Resources Manager
Although Ferland did not join the banking industry until 2008, she has had a positive impact on FirstCapital Bank in just a few years. According to her colleagues, she is responsible for moving the bank forward by keeping a strong work culture and encouraging employees to be involved with the community.

Bowden Jones Jr., FirstBank Southwest, Amarillo
Executive Vice President, Chief Consumer Officer
Jones has been a banker for more than 20 years, but in just one year at FirstBank Southwest, he was instrumental in creating the bank’s new position of chief consumer officer and has provided, implemented, rolled out and trained employees on the bank’s first Customer Relationship Management.

Lance LaRue, Lovelady State Bank
Information Technology Officer and Director
LaRue oversees the bank wide technology platform, which includes maintaining regulatory audit standards; implementation of new hardware and software programs; management of third-party vendors; and managing online banking services for consumers.

Joshua Loden, Broadway Bank, San Antonio 
Executive Vice President/Middle Market Manager
As manager of the bank’s middle market line of business, Loden leads one of the most critical groups within the bank, bringing loan and deposit products and services to the bank’s largest commercial clients.

Natalie Lynch, Austin Bank, Texas N.A., Jacksonville
Executive Vice President and Advisory Director
Lynch leads a team of eight lenders and seven loan assistants. She and her team have developed new strategies for ongoing loan growth, obtained greater lending process efficiencies and evaluated new lending products/technologies.

Jeri Ann Penny, Citizens State Bank, Buffalo
Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Advisory Director
Penny has been a banker for 25 years and a key and critical member of Citizens State Bank’s management team for the last four years. According to her colleagues, she is a key player in setting the personality and tone of the bank and excels in carrying out the bank’s mission to be a true community partner.

Ashley Shoop, First National Bank Texas, Killeen
Senior Vice President/Applications Solutions
Shoop has been with First National Bank Texas her entire 23-year career, working full time while completing both her undergraduate and MBA degrees. Plus, her contributions to the bank are extensive, including leading strategic projects such as Teller Capture, Digital Banking and Branch Platform.

Emerging Leader Award logo

2021 Emerging Leader Awards Nomination Form

The deadline for the 2021 nominations will be Friday, April 30, 2021.