Emerging Leader Awards

Recognizing future bank leaders

The Texas Bankers Foundation, in partnership with TBA’s Bank Leadership Council (BLC), presented its first annual Emerging Leader Awards to 10 Texas bankers at TBA's 135th Annual Convention May 2.The award was created to honor bankers who have had a positive impact in the banking industry and are expected to become leaders in their bank.

Recipients are:

Tricia Atchison, Preferred Bank executive vice president/chief risk officer Houston As chief risk officer, Atchison creates and implements policy for regulatory compliance, manages the performance and tasks of five team members, serves as a key advisor with lenders and plays a critical role in various committees. Prior to her current role, she was chief credit officer/senior vice president from 2013–17, loan officer/vice president 2012–13 at Preferred Bank. Prior to her time at Preferred Bank, Atchison was loan officer/vice president at Texas Community Bank.

Yuli Elizondo, Texas Bank assistant vice president and BSA coordinator/investments Henderson In addition to her work as BSA coordinator, new accounts and accounts payable for the bank, Elizondo updates procedures and training of the bank’s account representatives through periodic email trainings, WebEx trainings, conference calls and onsite trainings. During 2018, she worked to implement aspects covering the 5th BSA Pillar, beneficial ownership.

Bethany Etheredge, FirstCapital Bank of Texas executive vice president Midland Originally from Ft. Worth, Etheredge began her commercial banking career in 2009 at Frost Bank. In 2012, she joined FCB as a senior credit analyst. After a short time at FCB, she transitioned into a lending role, which resulted in her promotion to vice president/branch president/relationship manager as well as overseeing the bank’s west branch in Midland. Most recently, she was promoted to executive vice president where she will be spearheading the bank’s new private banking sector.

Evelyn Franco, Frontier Bank of Texas vice president Austin Franco has served as vice president and branch manager at Frontier since 2018. Prior to her experience at Frontier, she worked as a branch manager and private client branch manager at various locations of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. She has 15 years of experience in finance, operations and leadership.

Brian Humphreys, Rio Bank executive vice president/senior lender McAllen Humphreys has served as executive vice president, chief lending officer and advisory director at Rio bank since 2014. In this role, he manages and assists the bank’s lending staff with credit structure, financial analysis and pre-screening loan requests. He also serves as chairman of the Officer’s Loan Committee and Director’s Loan Committee. Previous to this position, he served as senior vice president/Weslaco Banking Center president.

Ed Johnson, Shelby Savings Bank senior vice president/chief loan officer Center Johnson has served as executive vice president at Shelby Savings Bank since 2010. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president, vice president and as a loan officer. Before becoming a banker, Johnson was a county extension agent for Newton County.

Timothy Luke Longhofer, First Financial Bank, N.A. executive vice president/chief credit officer Abilene Longhofer is a graduate of FDIC’s examiner training program and served with the FDIC for almost eight years, ending his tenure as a senior financial analyst. Longhofer began at First Financial Bank in 2010 as manager of loan review and quickly progressed to a leadership position with the Bank/Holding company to chief credit officer. He is one of six standing members of the bank’s senior loan committee, the group that makes all large lending decisions for the company. He is also the credit administrator for numerous regions.

Brigid Pitts, Commercial Bank of Texas vice president/controller Nacogdoches Pitts began her career at CBTx in 2011 as the compliance resource officer and was quickly promoted to internal auditor. She then became controller in 2014. She obtained her CPA license in 2015. Pitts attended Compliance School and Internal Audit School with the Texas Bankers Association and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in professional accountancy from Stephen F. Austin State University.

JoAnn Sullivan, First Community Bank vice president/operations manager Corpus Christi Sullivan has more than 26 years diverse banking and leadership experience, including 22 years in a management capacity. Her management experience includes increasing sales, improving team performance, personnel supervision and management, insuring compliance with policies and establishing practices, interpreting regulations and developing excellent customer rapport. Sullivan continues to enhance her bank knowledge by attending webinars, seminars and schools critical to her work. She graduated from Texas Bankers Association’s Management Development Program, Class X.

William J. Ware, Amarillo National Bank president Amarillo Ware has served as the chairman of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, president of Center City in Amarillo, president of Children’s Miracle Network of Amarillo and has co-chaired the 2014 United Way campaign of Amarillo and Canyon. He recently served on the Texas Lyceum board and is now serving on the SMU 21st Century Advisory Council.

Nominations forms for the 2021 Emerging Leader Awards will be available in October 2020. The deadline for the 2021 nominations will be Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
Emerging Leader Award recipients will receive:

  • The Emerging Leader Award, which will be presented during the 2020 TBA Convention in San Antonio (date and time to be determined).   
  • A comp registration to a TBA conference, school or annual convention (excludes MDP and the Banker Forums) and up to $750 reimbursement for travel expenses to the TBA event.
  • 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).

Nominations forms for the 2021 Emerging Leader Awards will be available in October 2020. The deadline for the 2021 nominations will be Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.