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2015-03-26

Barlow retires from Hondo National Bank

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Jim Barlow, popular president of Hondo National Bank-Bandera Banking Center, has announced his retirement at the end of this month - and the entire community is invited to give him a "Cowboy Capital" send-off.
"The decision to retire was bittersweet for me. Since the 1950s, Bandera has always been a stopover after working - and playing - on my mother's ranch near Tarpley," Barlow said. "Since coming here with Hondo National Bank, I've been welcomed by the community and have made many close personal and business friends."
He continued, "Bandera has an excitement unmatched by any other town. Events are put on through the hard efforts of many folks who unselfishly look for the betterment of this community. I now look forward to being more of a spectator."
Barlow became president of the Hondo National Bank-Bandera Banking Center on August 1, 2005. "At that time, he brought 22 years of banking experience and knowledge to the position," said Tim Giles, president and CEO of Hondo National Bank. "Jim's leadership for the past 10 years has contributed to the steady growth of the Bandera branch."
In fact, under Barlow's watch - and despite a slowed economy - the bank increased the size of its facility in 2011.
At that time, he said, "In the past few years, we have seen growth and changes in operation that warrants expansion and adaptation. The increased volume required additional staffing and more room." The expansion enabled some operations to relocate to private offices, which enhanced customers' privacy and added extra protection against identity theft.
However, not content to offer his banking expertise to his clients, Barlow has also served the Bandera community by being involved in a variety of civic projects. He has served on the board of directors of the Bandera Community Foundation as a director and treasurer; Bandera Business Association, director and president; and as a director with the Bandera County Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, Barlow has been chairman for nonprofit community events such as Celebrate Bandera and RiverFest. "Jim, along with his excellent staff, have become familiar faces both in supporting and working at Bandera's community events," Giles said.
Staff of the Hondo National Bank-Bandera Banking Center, 355 Highway 16 South, will host a Farewell Open House for Barlow and his wife, Bette, from 10 am to 3 pm, Tuesday, March 31.
"We're extending an invitation to the entire community. We want everyone to drop by for food and refreshments and to bid Jim and his wonderful wife auf wiedersehen and good luck in the future," Giles said.
For his part, Barlow doesn't plan to let any grass grow under his feet during his "retirement." His future plans include focusing on his cattle ranching operation located near D'Hanis.