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First State Bank expands with new name

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Pictured: Courtesy photo
Bank officers Tom Gould, Roy Thompson and Chéri Teague, seated, join Texas Hill Country Bank staffers to celebrate its expansion and name change. Standing are Alicia Perkins, Linda Upchurch, Diana Perez, Dana Hoesen, Shannon Williams, Brad Roberson, Stormy Boyd, Stephanie Willsden, Nicole Lawlis and Sandra Baker. New signage went up this week.

Bandera First State Bank customers were the first to hear the big news last week about the bank's expansion and new name. In a letter to customers, bank president and CEO Roy Thompson let loyal clientele know that the bank is opening a full service branch in Kerrville on June 23. The new branch is located at 719 Hill Country Drive.
To reflect the expansion, the bank has also changed its name to Texas Hill Country Bank.
Thompson said the expansion into Kerrville and the new name reflect the basic philosophy of the bank to serve customers in the Hill Country. "We have been very active in lending, especially to small businesses, in Bandera County and the adjoining counties," he said.
"Kerrville offered a lot of opportunities for us and we wanted a name that fits our vision of the future," he added.
Opening a new branch and changing the name involved a lot of paperwork, Thompson said. "We're a state bank, but because of the FDIC, we have to abide by federal rules, too. Because of the soundness of our bank, we were able to move ahead with the changes."
In 2012, Bandera First State Bank was named one of the "safest banks in America." Only 359 banks across the nation made the prestigious list compiled by financial writer Sara Glakas.
Although its name will be changing, Thompson says the fundamental policy of the bank to serve its customers will definitely not change.
"Our bank is locally owned, with local directors...our staff are largely small town folks who want to be here... our 150 shareholders are from the Hill Country and San Antonio," he explained. "We focus on our customers' needs. We get to know them and they are not just a credit score."
Because of their local ties, the people at Texas Hill Country Bank "have a vested interest in being supportive of the community."
Just a few of the many community activities and groups that have benefitted from the support of Bandera First State Bank include the Bandera Economic Development Corporation, Bandera County Helping Hand, the National Day of the American Cowboy and numerous rodeo events. Children and youth of the community have been supported through scholarships, circus tickets and sponsorships for the American Legion Boys State and the Boys and Girls Club of Bandera County.
Despite the fact that the bank is certainly smaller than the larger national banks, the Texas Hill Country Bank offers a comprehensive package of banking services. "Our online banking and bill pay services are free," Thompson added. They are currently the second largest bank in Bandera County by market share of deposits.
The bank's expansion is a reflection of the economic recovery Thompson is seeing signs of across the Hill Country. "After the '08 crash, people took about five years to rebuild. People who had planned to retire felt like they had to continue working. Now, they are ready to go ahead with retirement plans, but those plans are more conservative."
Thompson said signs of growth can be found in increasing utility hook-ups reported by Bandera Electric Cooperative, single family building permits collected by Bandera County and construction start-ups.
Texas Hill Country Bank will have a soft opening at the new branch starting on June 23. The bank plans a more elaborate celebration in August at both locations.
Chairman of the bank's board is John Boyle, Jr.; directors are J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., Thompson, Michael J. Boyle, Patrick M. Boyle, James W. Gorman, Richard T. Schlosberg III, James A. Wilson and Don D. Lee.
Current officers are Thompson, president and CEO; Cheri D. Teague, executive vice president, cashier and CFO; Tom Gould, senior vice president, lending; Jaki Perkins, vice president, consumer lending; Brad Roberson, vice president, commercial lending; Stormy Boyd, vice president, Kerrville branch manager; and Sandra Baker, assistant cashier.