50-Year Bankers Honored

The Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, honored 16 Texas bankers with the 50-Year Banker Award during TBA’s 134th Annual Convention on May 4 in Houston. This prestigious award honors bankers with a half century or more of service and dedication to the banking industry.

Randy Andrews of Longview is executive vice president and facilities manager of Texas Bank and Trust. He began his banking career at Longview National Bank while in high school through the Vocational Office Education program. He continued working part-time for the bank while attending Kilgore Junior College and East Texas State University. In 1972, he accepted a full-time position at Longview National Bank, receiving various promotions over the years. Andrews has been with Texas Bank and Trust since 1981. His favorite part of banking has been the gratification of helping others.

Alicia Cantu of Laredo is a prefunding consumer analyst for Falcon International Bank. She began her banking career at Union National Bank while attending J.W. Nixon High School through the Vocational Office Education program. Upon graduation, she accepted a full-time position in the bookkeeping department. For the next 29 years she worked in a number of departments and positions. In 1998, Cantu joined Falcon Bank and has been in the loan operations department all 20 years.

Dan Collins of Groesbeck is a member of the board of directors for Farmers State Bank in Groesbeck. He began his banking career as a punch operator in the bookkeeping department at North State Bank in Amarillo; he continued his career at Tascosa National Bank and Texas Bank, also in Amarillo. In 1982, he went to work for Farmers State Bank in Groesbeck. Before his retirement, Collins was a senior vice president-cashier of management operations and bank personnel; he also served as secretary of the board. Though retired, he is still actively serving on the bank’s board.

Kyle Cowan of Hillsboro is a member of the board of directors for Citizens National Bank. He began his career as a bank examiner with the FDIC, serving in both Fort Worth and Houston. He was president of First National Bank of Atlanta (Texas) before returning to his hometown of Hillsboro in 1973. His started with Citizens National Bank as a vice president, soon became a bank director and retired as an executive vice president in 2011. Cowan continues to serve as an active member of the board.

J. Raymond David, Sr. of Pilot Point is chairman of the board and CEO of PointBank. He began his banking career at First State Bank in Denton while in college. During his 14 years with the bank, he worked in every department, learning everything he could about the banking industry. David then went to work for Pilot Point National Bank, now PointBank, and has been instrumental in the bank’s growth from a single location bank with assets of $18 million to its current nine locations and assets of $475 million.

Maria de Jesus (Susie) Guajardo of Laredo is a loan operations officer for Falcon International Bank. Guajardo began her banking career as a secretary in the trust department of Union National Bank while attending Laredo Junior College. She continued her career as an assistant in auditor administration, the accounting department and credit administration. During her career, Guajardo worked for The Laredo National Bank, NBC Bank-Laredo and South Texas National Bank.

Lois Harris of Bowie is a special assets representative for Legend Bank. A lifetime Bowie resident, Harris began her banking career while in high school through the vocational education program at First National Bank of Bowie. After graduating, she took a full-time position with the bank, now known as Legend Bank, and has been with the bank her entire career. She has worked in many of the bank’s departments, including loan paying/receiving, lending, loan operations, investment and special assets.

William H. Harrison Jr. of Eagle Lake serves as a director of Eagle Lake Bancshares and as an advisory director of First National Bank of Eagle Lake. Harrison began his career as a trainee at Texas Commerce Bank in Houston and then later accepted a lending position with First National Bank in Corsicana. In 1978, he had the opportunity to return home to Colorado County when he was offered a position as executive vice president at First National Bank of Eagle Lake. A year later, he became the bank’s president and CEO. He led the organization of the bank’s Sub S holding company, Eagle Lake Bancshares Inc.

Jeannette Knezek of Yoakum is vice president and chief lending officer of Yoakum National Bank. She has been with the bank her entire career, which began in the bookkeeping department while Knezek was attending Baldwin’s Business College. In 1975, Knezek moved to the loan department and then advanced to loan officer. Eventually, she became the bank’s first chief lending officer. She attributes her longevity in banking to being able to adapt to challenges.

Edward L. Lette of Austin is chairman, president and CEO of Business Bank of Texas NA in Austin. He has been a licensed CPA since 1983. Lette spent the first 19 years of his career working at banks in the Brownsville area of Texas. In 1982, he founded First National Bank South Padre Island. He then opened and sold First Community Bank, San Antonio. In 2007, he founded Business Bank of Texas; the bank specializes in banking services for businesses.

Michael W. Moses of Victoria works part time as a business development representative for Texas Capital Bank Financial Institutions Group. He began his career in 1967, as a computer programmer for Victoria Bank and Trust. Moses has worked for banks in Victoria in a number of areas, including commercial lending, correspondent banking, operations, retail banking and data processing. He has also been a bank director and president of a bank life insurance company.

Tom E. Norton Jr. of Terrell has been a member of The American National Bank of Texas board of directors for 50 years. Norton is a civil engineer, businessman and real estate developer in Terrell, who has played an active role in the bank’s growth. He has served as the chairman of the director’s loan committee at the bank since the committee began. He has also served on the Terrell City Council and the Terrell Planning and Zoning Committee.

Jim D. Payne of Carthage is chairman of the board and CEO of First State Bank & Trust Company, a position he has held since 1998. He has been with the bank his entire career and held a number of positions. He has been very involved in the Carthage and Panola County community, serving as an officer or director for several organizations, including the Panola County Development Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and the Carthage Kiwanis Club.

Gary W. Shipp of Burleson began his banking career at Continental National Bank in Fort Worth as a teller trainee. He spent the first half of his career at banks in Fort Worth and one in Cedar Hill. In 1991, he joined First National Bank of Burleson as a vice president and cashier. Shipp became the bank’s president and CEO in 2007, a position he held until his retirement in 2013. Shipp continues to serve on the bank's board of directors.

Jim Tondre of Castroville is chairman of the board of Castroville State Bank. He began his career as a teller while attending St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He served two years in the U.S. Army and returned to San Antonio and Northside State Bank. Tondre later worked for NBC Bank, where he held positions of an operations officer, cashier and branch manager. In 1988, he joined Castroville State Bank, serving as president and CEO of the bank from 1994 to his retirement in 2016.

Betty L. Wheeler of Gatesville is a vice president, loan administration for National United in Gatesville. Wheeler has been with the bank her entire career, which she started two weeks after her high school graduation. Her first job was as a file clerk but she has also been an assistant cashier, assistant loan review officer, an administrative officer, credit officer and assistant vice president for the bank.