Heroes and Legends

of Community Banking

L.F. "Alec" Bridges

A Visionary in Community Banking
In 1957, Alec began his banking career as a Statement Clerk for Sulphur Springs State Bank, while finishing school. In 1984, he became President and Chief Executive Officer and transitioned into Chairman of The Board for Alliance Bank in 2004. He has served as a past Director for IBAT and IBAT Services. Alec was a Director for TIB-The Independent BankersBank and and previously served on the Banking Commissioner's Advisory Board.

Cindy Blankenship

Co-Founder, Bank of the West, Irving
Chairman, IBAT Leadership Division, 1991-1992, Board Member, 1999-2010 Chairman of the Board, 2003; Chairman, IBAT Education Foundation, 2002-2006; Southwest Graduate School of Banking Graduate, 1984-1986; and a member of Class XXVII, Board of Trustees, SWGSB Foundation, 2000-2008; Dean For Bankers, 2005-2006, Chairman, Board of Trustees, 2006-2007; Texas Tech School of Banking, Board Member, 1997-2003; IBAT Chairman's Award, 2003; "25 Women To Watch," American Banker, 2005

Charles T. "Chuck" Doyle

A Legacy of Serving Community Banking
Born in Mangum, Oklahoma in 1934, he moved to Galveston County, Texas where he served his community as a Banker and as Councilman and Mayor of Texas City. His many roles of service include: 50th President of the Independent Community Bankers Association of America (ICBA) Washington, D.C.; Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Federal Advisory Council, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 1996, 1998; Mayor, City of Texas City, Texas 1990,2000

Charles E. "Stormy" Greef

Preeminent Attorney for Bankers in Texas
30 years of unparalleled service. Shareholder, Jenkens & Gilchrist, a Professional Corporation (1976-present); Yale University 1971; The University of Texas School of Law Q.D. with Honors 1974; Associate Editor, Texas Law Review; IBAT Education Foundation, Board of Directors

Robert A. & R.C. (Riter) Hulsey

Success With a Focus on Values
The American National Bank of Texas was established in 1875 in Terrell and is one of the oldest banks in Texas. It has remained independent and survived and thrived through wars, financial upheavals and times of prosperity. Even more important than image or size is its system of values. It was built as an institution that believed in the value of people and communities. Through five generations, it continues the legacy to ensure the foundational values of the bank will endure far into the future.

Tom C. Frost

Fourth Generation Frost Bank Leader
Tom Frost began his banking career in the mail room at Frost Bank, advancing to President at age 34. He steered the bank through the economic downturn in the 1980s, when Frost was the only top 10 bank in Texas to survive. Tom answered his own phone and knew that a handshake was as good as his word. He cherished his employees and highly regarded them as the frontline to excellent service.

John "Briggs" Todd

Firm Believer in Banks Serving Communities
Opened Greenville Avenue State Bank, Dallas in 1946. Graduated from Stonier in 1948. From 1953-1964 served as President and Chairman of First State Bank, Abilene and was instrumental in forming and financing several West Texas banks. Numerous civic and business awards including Rotary District Governor, twice. Great believer in "The heart of banking is watching businesses succeed."

Charles G. Cooper

Texas Banking Commissioner
Charles G. Cooper was appointed Texas Banking Commissioner on December 1, 2008. His career in the banking industry spans over 45 years. He served as Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) Board of Directors, 2016 - 2017. Charles Cooper is revered by the Texas banking industry as a "tough, but fair" regulator and for his steadfast support of the community bank business model and the elimination of unnecessary burdensome regulation.

H. Gary Blankenship

Passion for Independence & Entrepreneurial Spirit
Born in Lockney, Texas in 1940. Began his banking career as a National Bank Examiner with the OCC stationed in Denver, Boulder and Grand Junction, Colorado. Chartered Bank of the West in 1985. Serves as Chairman and CEO of Bank of the West and Greater Southwest Bancshares. Community Service: Director, Irving Chamber of Commerce; Director, Irving Symphony; Director, Dallas Summer Musicals

D. Kenneth Greer

An Encourager to Those Around Him
Ken's dedication to community is evident through his work with numerous civic and non-profit organizations. He has been recognized with the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award for Service To Youth, Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, Franklin County Man of the Year, Franklin County Hall of Fame, IBAT Chairman's Award, Texas Hero for Children by the Texas School Board, and many other honors. He served as director on the IBAT Education Foundation Board.

D.E. (Gene) Benham

Co-Founder of IBAT, Visionary of the Industry
The institution known today as City Bank had its beginnings on August 2, 1941, in a small West Texas town when five men founded the First State Bank of Morton. In spite of major hardships during its first five years, the bank thrived during the next ten years and moved into the present location of our Morton Branch. In 1962, it was purchased by local businessmen and farmers, including D. E. (Gene) Benham. Gene and his wife, Marie, hosted many gatherings to discuss the role and need for a strong community bank industry.

Walter Gardner Hall

A Citizen First and Banker Second
A conservative banker, his civic work was felt throughout Galveston County after he demanded, and obtained, a fair and equitable tax revaluation program affecting every piece of real estate in the county. He was responsible for assuring the county an adequate water supply and other vital health programs. "I have been called a liberal and I suppose by some measure I am. This is because I know that change is inevitable, and orderly change is the most desirable kind."

Robert D. Hankins

Staunch Supporter of the Industry and IBAT
Robert D. Hankins began his career at the Federal Reserve in 1973 as an analyst and examiner in Kansas City. He joined the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank in 1979 and served the bank and the banking industry with integrity for 39 years until his retirement in 2012 as Executive Vice President. He is held in the highest esteem by the community bankers of Texas; he has demonstrated the qualities of open communication, firm but fair and consistent enforcement, abundant knowledge of the issues, and a humble demeanor.

Harlan R. Heitkmap

A Banker Who Understood the Value of People
Began banking at The International Bank, Corpus Christi, 1973, Elected Chairman, 1986 Merged four banks with The International Bank to form ValueBank, Texas, 1991 Elected Chairman, President, and CEO of First International Bancshares, Inc. in 1997 Chairman, IBAT 1997, Board and Committee member, 1988-2004, Chairman of IBAT Services Inc. 1994-1995, Chairman of The Independent BankersBank (TIB) 1997-1999

Kenneth Irwin

Seeker of Opportunities
Assistant Cashier to Chairman, President & CEO, Gruver State Bank; Former Mayor of City of Gruver; Former Director and President of Texas Tech Univ. Agriculture Credit School; Former President of North Panhandle Bankers Association Former Member of Community Banking Advisory Board. Distinguished Service Award Recipient, Texas Tech Agricultural Bankers in 1987; Former Director of Independent Bankers Association of Texas IBAT Chairman Award Recipient in 2004

Ramona Jones

Longtime friend of Texas Community Bankers
Ramona joined IBAT in 1979. For 30 years, she led IBAT Services, IBAT's for-profit subsidiary, saving IBAT members more than $25 million. She guided this subsidiary from its infancy, and was responsible for developing a board of directors and creating the process that ensured endorsed product offerings were community bank specific and driven by the members' needs. Known for her keen eye for detail and superb negotiating skills, she was affectionately called by many "the Velvet Hammer."

Edward A. Krei

Industry Supporter Through Teaching
Edward A. Krei, a former senior partner with the Baker Group, an investment firm based in Oklahoma City, specializing in investment portfolio services for community based financial institutions. Ed served as a faculty member of numerous banking schools and speaks frequently for financial institution regulatory agencies and trade associations. He has advised central banks in Eastern Europe and Russia. Ed has been a board member of numerous civic and charitable organizations.

S. Scott MacDonald

Professor of Finance, Author and Developer
In 1998, S. Scott MacDonald, Ph.D., was chosen to be President and CEO of the SWGSB Foundation, taking the school to national prominence. Dr. MacDonald has co-authored the nationally bestselling book, Bank Management, developed a widely-acclaimed Bank Simulation program, and is a frequent speaker at banking schools and professional programs. His work has been featured in professional and academic journals; he has served as an advisory board member of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas.

George Martinez

Community Bank Founder & IBAT Past Chairman
Born in Alice, Texas in 1941; B.A. in Business Administration and Economics from Rice University in 1963; Chairman, Sterling Bancshares, Inc. and Sterling Bank, which was recognized as Fortune® 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2003; One of the founders of the bank in 1974; Past Chairman, Independent Bankers Association of Texas; Presidential Appointment to National Infrastructure Advisory Council in 2002; Active in civic and community organizations, serving on board of several nonprofits

Michaux Nash, Jr.

Community Bank President and Founder
Dallas National Bank, Chairman of the Board, CEO, President & Founder; EastPark National Bank, Dallas, Chairman of the Board, CEO & Founder; IBAT Education Foundation; Sportsman Conservationists of Texas (SCOT), Past President; Dallas Ecological Foundation; IBAT Board of Directors (1994-2000); Independent Bankers Association of America, Board of Directors (1984-1991); United States Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Award Recipient (1992); Greater Dallas Crime Commission, President and Chairman (1982-1986)

Karen M. Neeley

Former IBAT General Counsel
Karen M. Neeley is the quintessential fair minded Texas attorney and teacher who has dedicated her career to assisting community banks with the complexities of the regulatory scheme that governs them, in ways that have been both innovative and cost effective. Through her work, she has maintained a respectful relationship with the regulators who have oversight over her clients.

Stan Paur

Financial Industry Spokesman
Chairman of PULSE, a Discover Financial Services company and operator of the PULSE ATM/debit network, 2006 to 2009. Prior to that, he served as President and CEO of the Houston-based company for 23 years. He served as a spokesman for the financial industry on key developments affecting electronic payments. He assisted community banks in Texas and across the United States in their appreciation and understanding of evolving payments products and is a frequent speaker at national and international forums.

Bill J. Kacal

Longtime friend of Texas Community Bankers
Bill Kacal served the industry as a trusted advisor and audit partner with Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. (formerly Touche Ross). In 1985, he led the team that developed the first computerized standard set of workpapers for auditing community banks called BankPro. Bill has been a frequent contributing writer to the IBAT magazine, the American Banker daily newspaper, and other industry publications; he has been a sought after speaker at IBAT meetings, and adjunct professor at the SMU and Texas Tech Schools of Banking.

R. Scott Heitkamp

ValueBank Texas President and CEO
BBA, Finance, Texas Tech University; Chairman, ICBA, 2017-2018; Chairman, IBAT, 2011-2012; Chairman, Driscoll Hospital Development Foundation Board of Directors; Board of Directors, Texas State Aquarium; Chairman, San Patricio County Economic Development Corp.; President, Aransas Pass Rotary Club; Member, Board of Trustees, Southwest Graduate School of Banking; President, IBAT Leadership Division; Advisory Director, Texas Tech School of Banking

John "Big John" S. Shivers

Leaders in Community Banking
John began his banking career as a correspondent banker in Austin, with Capital National Bank in 1962. He became President of Southwest Bank in Fort Worth in 1976; elected Chairman in 1985. One of the first to recognize the need for an organization such as IBAT and was instrumental in its formation. He was Director of The Independent BankersBank (TIB) 1990,96, and President of ICBA 1994,95. Under his direction, Southwest Bank became one of the largest independent banks in North Texas.

Christopher L. Williston, CAE

IBAT President and CEO, 1989-2017
Youngest person to ever be credentialed as a Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives (26); Chairman, TSAE, 1999-2000; Distinguished Executive of the Year, Texas Society of Association Executives, 2003; Recipient, Chairman's Award, Texas Society of Association Executives, 2006; Board of Directors: The Independent Bankers Bank; Pulse EFT Association; Subchapter S Bank Association; SWGSB; Texas Tech School of Community Bank Management; IBAT Education Foundation; ICBA

Ervan Eugene Zouzalik

Community Bank Contributor
His Contributions to Community Banking in Texas Include: Vice Chairman, Flatonia State Bank, Flatonia; President/CEO, South Central Texas Bancshares, Flatonia; President/CEO, Central Texas Bank, Flatonia; Chairman, Texas United Bancshares, La Grange; Chairman, State Bank, La Grange; President, South Central Texas Bankers Association; Director, The Independent BankersBank (TIB), Dallas; ICBPAC & Bank Services Committee, Independent Community Bankers of America; Chairman, IBAT

Milton McGee

Citizens National Bank, Henderson
The epitome of a community banker, a Christ–like leader in all he does. Lives by the Golden Rule and practices what he preaches! Accomplishments include: Began his career with Arthur Anderson, New Orleans; Controller, RepublicBank in Henderson (1977–1982); President, RepublicBank in Henderson (1982–1986); President and CEO, NCNB Texas (1986–1989); President and CEO, Citizens National Bank, Henderson (1990–2010); Vice Chairman, Citizens National Bank in Henderson (2010–2012); Director and Chairman, TIB N.A.; Director and Chairman, Independent Bankers Association of Texas; CEO, Texas Leadership Bank; Director, Mills County State Bank, Goldthwaite; John R. Alford Award for the 1983 Outstanding Young Man of the Year; 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award, Rusk County; Inductee to the Texas Bankers Hall of Fame, Sam Houston State University. Most important title: POPS

Peter Weinstock, J.D.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Dallas
Peter Weinstock exemplifies the vision for the future of community banking while defending its great strength in history. A preeminent attorney for community bankers in Texas and across the United States, with thanks from your clients and friends in the community banking industry for more than 35 years of unparalleled service. Peter is a strong supporter of IBAT, having written for many of its publications, given numerous speeches at various events and frequently participated in the attorney panels at the IBAT Annual Convention. He also served as a member of the IBAT Community Bank Charter Task Force and ICBA’s General Counsels’ Advisory Group.

Charles Neff

Integrity Bank, Houston
Charles "Mack" Neff is the true embodiment of a community banker. Throughout Mack's distinguished 45-year career, his dedication to bettering both the Texas community banking industry and his beloved Houston community has never wavered. He proudly led three community banks-Texas Capital Bank, Houston National Bank and Integrity Bank-all of which prospered under his leadership, knowledge and impeccable decision-making. Outside of the tremendous value he brought to his banks, Mack's volunteer leadership in the industry is second to none. Mack served on nearly every committee, board and advisory group possible, including his prestigious role as IBAT chairman in 1995. It is solely due to men and women like Mack Neff that Texas has such a strong and vibrant community banking industry. He is a leader, mentor and friend whose impact is immeasurable.

Scott Doors

AudioTel Corporation, Addison
Founded in 1993, AudioTel Corporation specializes in software for financial institutions. We create innovative software, including Internet Banking, Telephone Banking, Cash Management, and a full line of Imaging products, that has empowered over 1,200 banks nationwide. Audio Tel is based in Addison, Texas, just 20 miles north of downtown Dallas.

Cliff McCauley

Forst Bank, San Antonio
George "Cliff" McCauley has been a pillar of the Texas community banking industry for the majority of his 40-year career. While Cliff devoted this career to Frost Bank, his leadership was spread across many organizations that focused on higher education, community banking and the greater Texas economy. He embodied Frost Bank's core values of integrity, caring and excellence in all that he did. Cliff has also been a devoted stakeholder within the industry. His involvement with IBAT began in 1995 and peaked during 2007-2008, while he served as IBAT's Chairman. Additionally, Cliff has served on the boards of IBAT Services and the IBAT Education Foundation, the Texas Finance Commission and the ICBA Federal Delegate Board. He is a leader by nature and his impact on Frost and community banking is immeasurable.

Gayle M. Earls

TIB - The Independent BankersBank, Dallas
Community Banking Partner, Leader & Advocate; Graduate of Texas Tech University, 1959; Began his banking career with Houston Bank & Trust/Interfirst Bank; Named President/CEO of TIB - The Independent BankersBank in 1986; Federal Advisory Council member representing the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (2003-2005); Advisory Director of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT); Member of Texas State Banking Commissioners Council; Vice Chairman of SBC Cotton Bowl Association; Former Director of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ( 1994-1999); Former Director of Independent Community Bankers of America ( 1991-1999); First elected Chairman of Texas Tech Banking School Advisory Council; Former member, Bankers Advisory Council, Conference of State Bank Supervisors (1989-1998)

American Bank

Corpus Christi
American Bank was founded in 1970 by a group of investors to serve the developing Southside of Corpus Christi. Led by George Hawn, Frank Scanio Jr., and Al Jones, the Bank was started with a foundational philosophy that remains the same today - provide superior banking products and services through the personal attention of highly knowledgeable and experienced banking professionals. Decades later, American Bank is still locally owned and operated, and still providing high touch as well as high tech services.

Texas Bank and Trust

The Pope family history in banking began with R. A. Motley, who founded First State Bank of Overton in 1912 and served as its President until his death in 1935. Subsequently, his son-in-law, John L. Pope, served as President and Chairman of the board. Mr. Pope's son, Rogers Pope, Sr., joined his father at First State Bank in 1960. He later joined Longview Bank and Trust (now Texas Bank and Trust) in 1969, and welcomed his son, Rogers Pope, Jr., to the bank in 1994. Under the Popes' leadership, Texas Bank and Trust has grown to become one of the strongest independent banks in the state of Texas. The Pope family remains steadfast in their faith, underscoring their unwavering integrity, fiscal responsibility and commitment to their employees, customers and communities.


The leading and first consulting company of its kind, John M. Floyd & Associates has provided overdraft privilege programs, as well as operational, financial and delivery system process improvement to financial institutions for more than 30 years. The company has served more than 2,000 financial institutions in 49 states and Central America, generating billions in increased pre-tax earnings for its clients. A leading provider of overdraft privilege, JMF A is also nationally recognized for training, incentive and earnings enhancement programs, as well as product, service, pricing and technology improvement consulting.

J. Pat Hickman

Happy State Bank, Amarillo
Happy State Bank is most widely known for (and proudest of) its culture, something Hickman personally cultivated. He put pen to paper and wrote out 20 core values that all employees were taught, creating a working environment built around ideals like "Family First. All the time," "Laugh at Work," and "Attitude is Everything." In 2018, Forbes Magazine named Happy State Bank the 3rd Best Bank in Texas and the 26th Best Bank in the nation. Hickman is fond of saying "I am the poster child of the American Dream!" The mission of Happy State Bank says everything you need to know about Hickman: "Work hard, have fun, make money, while providing outstanding customer service and honoring the Golden Rule."

McCoy Myers & Associates

A bank service corporation, providing a unique core application solution to the banking community. With the introduction of Meridian, the new Windows version of the McCoy Myers software, over 150 banks throughout the southwest will be a step ahead of the competitors. In-house or service bureau solutions designed and owned by bankers. Providing software and services to community banks is our only business. Accordingly, McM is dedicated to providing a quality product with superior support to community banks throughout the Southwest. McM has provided community banks with software and support since 1980. Unlike many technology corporations, McM has the ability to retain its staff and customer base.

E.W. and J. David Williams

HCSB State Banking Association | Citizens Bank
CitizensBANK, Slaton, Texas and HCSB, A State Banking Association, Plainview, Texas were founded in the early 1930s, during a time of great uncertainty, just following the Great Depression. More than 75 years later both remain independent, family owned and locally operated, guided by a principle of commitment to the communities they serve. Both were involved in the organization of IBAT in the 1970s, with J. David serving as its chairman, 2010-2011. Because of their leadership, a rock solid foundation and their belief in the cause of "building successful and meaningful financial relationships with customers for a lifetime," Citizens -in the Southplains - and HCSB - in the Panhandle and Hill Country - have grown steadily and become two of the 1nost respected independent banks in Texas.

The Baker Group

Oklahoma City, OK
A leader in assisting community banks in Texas and nationwide since 1979 in building investment portfolios that complement the bank's interest rate risk position. Developed one of the first personal computer-based asset/liability software models in 1981. In 1986 developed one of the first software tools to help community banks measure interest rate risk in the investment portfolio. Continue to develop and support proprietary financial modeling and analytic systems utilizing proven n1ethods to measure risk to community banks' investment portfolio market value, interest income and equity. Presented more than 150 investment and interest rate risk strategy seminars and educated over 5,000 community bankers over the past 25 years. Exclusively endorsed by some of the nation's largest and strongest state community banking associations including IBAT.

PULSE, a Discover Company

Houston, TX
2011-2016: Champions of Financial Literacy Presented to PULSE/Discover for their commitment to advancing financial literacy in Texas public schools through major grant funding of IBAT's Teach the Teacher program.