50-Year Bankers Honored

SAN ANTONIO, May 12, 2017 – The Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, honored 12 Texas bankers with the 50-Year Banker Award during TBA’s 133rd Annual Convention on May 12 in San Antonio. This prestigious award honors bankers with a half century or more of service and dedication to the banking industry.

Gene D. Adams of Seymour is chairman of the board of First Bank & Trust. He has been in banking for 63 years, beginning at Farmer & Merchants National Bank in Abilene. He was with the bank for eight years, receiving promotions to assistant cashier and internal auditor. He continued his career at banks in El Paso, Lamesa and Plainview, before becoming president and CEO of the First National Bank in Seymour. He later organized Baylor Bancshares, Inc., purchasing banks that are now branches of First Bank & Trust.

Patty Austin of Odessa is a lobby manager of a Prosperity Bank branch in Odessa. Austin has spent her entire 50-year career at financial institutions in the Midland/Odessa area, including National Bank of Odessa, First State Bank, MBank, Claydesta Bank, Texas Bank, Home Savings & Loan and American State Bank. Her favorite part of working in the industry for 50 years has been the great customers she has worked with, including multiple generations of some families.

Dorothy Bertling of New Ulm is an assistant cashier at Industry State Bank. On Sept. 1, 1967, Bertling was hired as a teller and bookkeeper at New Ulm State Bank. She was later promoted to assistant cashier. In 1985, the bank was bought by Industry State Bank. She has remained in the bookkeeping department because she enjoys being able to assist customers with their banking needs.

Virginia Ann Bowen of Bonham is a personal banker at Legend Bank. A lifetime Bonham resident, Bowen began her banking career in October 1963 at the First National Bank in Bonham as a bookkeeper where she manually posted customers’ checks and balanced the books daily. In 1976, she was hired to work in the note department at Bonham State Bank. She’s been a personal banker since 1998. In 2008, Bonham State Bank became a Legend Bank branch.

Oranell Dunk of Giddings is a vice president of First National Bank of Giddings. In 1966, she began her banking career as a bookkeeper at First National Bank in Giddings; she has been with the bank her entire career. Over the years, Dunk advanced to head teller; to serve as secretary to early bank presidents, Monroe Hannes, Emmett Hannes and Fred Hannes; to supervise new accounts and customer service; and to her current position as vice president of specialized services.

Dale Hand of Schwertner is executive vice president/banking center president of R Bank’s Schwertner Banking Center. He started his banking career in 1963 as an outside adjuster with Associates Financial Corporation in Lake Charles, La. Hand became president and CEO of Schwertner State Bank in 1988, a position he held for almost 28 years. After the bank merged with R Bank, he stepped into his current position at R Bank’s Schwertner Banking Center.

Frank L. Law of Houston is president of Allegiance Bank’s Clear Lake office; he’s a director of the bank, a member of the executive council and a voting member of the senior loan committee. Law began his banking career at First National Bank in Waco as a mail boy while in college at Baylor University. During his career, Law opened three de novo banks — Alief Alamo Bank, American National Bank and Security Bank, N.A.

Muriel E. Lenhart of Gilmer is an assistant vice president at First National Bank Gilmer. Lenhart began her banking career in December 1966 when she took a positon as secretary to First National Bank of Gilmer Bank President Melvin Cross. She worked for her “boss, friend and mentor” until he passed away in 1993. Lenhart continued her career with the bank as a lender, loan processor and secretary.

Tom C. Nichols of Fort Worth is chairman and CEO of Carlile Bancshares, Inc. While attending Abilene Christian University in the ’60s, Nichols began his banking career as a part-time bookkeeper at First National Bank – Abilene. Upon college graduation, he joined the FDIC as a bank examiner. After leaving the FDIC, he held lender positions in various small banks in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Nichols organized Carlile Bancshares, Inc., in Fort Worth in 2007.

Darlene Schimara of Industry is an assistant vice president at Industry State Bank. Schimara has worked at Industry State Bank since 1967, spanning her entire career. In 1967, there were only four employees working in various jobs and the bank’s building was very small. The bank moved to a new location in 1973 and has expanded twice since then. During her time at the bank, Schimara was promoted to assistant cashier and later to her current position as assistant vice president.

Dianna Williams of Killeen is a vice president and office manager at First National Bank Texas. Williams began her banking career while in high school in the ’60s; she worked part time as a teller and ran the Addressograph machine at Killeen Savings and Loan. She began her career with First National Bank Texas as a personal banker. Williams has also worked as a payroll administrator, a secretary and a finance officer.

Shirley York-Jones of Houston is an executive vice president and senior relationship manager at Texas Capital Bank. York-Jones spent the first 25 years of her career, from 1967 to 1992, as a correspondent banking administrative assistant at Texas Commerce Bank. She then spent six years at Compass Bank, nine years at Bank of America and one year with the Federal Reserve Bank. She has been with Texas Capital Bank for the past nine years.


Serving Texas bankers since 1885, the Texas Bankers Association is the largest and oldest state bankers association in the nation.