Excellence in Leadership Award

This award is presented annually by the Leadership Division Board of Directors during the Leadership Conference.
Nominations for this award are made the Leadership Division’s Communications Committee and are open to any Leadership Division member, except for the Division’s Executive Committee.
In addition to a personal commitment to the Division, the following criteria shall be considered:

  • Outstanding leadership and recognition within their community – role model
  • Achievements and accomplishments, which have touched a broad area of service to the Division
  • Recruitment of new members
  • Dependability – Not only commits but also follows through
  • Creates excitement about PAC
  • Selflessly donates their time to promote, support and serve independent bankers in the state of Texas—ambassador of goodwill

2013 Recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award

Gary Wells, Happy State Bank, Amarillo

Gary Wells, a Dumas native, graduated from McMurry College in 1984 and started his career with the First National Bank of Amarillo.  He joined Happy State Bank in 1991. Currently, Gary serves as Senior Banking Officer for the organization.  The bank opened its first Amarillo location in 1994 and he served as president of the office.  He was promoted to executive vice president and senior lending officer in 1997.

Additionally, he served as Bank President from 2007 to 2012. Gary has served on various boards throughout the Amarillo community over the years.  Formally, he served as is a Board Member at TIB.  He recently held the President position of the leadership division of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas.  Gary currently serves as Board Member with Texas Panhandle Builders Association.

Happy State Bank has 31 offices in 21 communities across the Panhandle of Texas.  Happy State Bank was chartered in 1908 in Happy, Texas.  In 1990, the $10 million bank headquartered in Happy, Texas was acquired by a group of Panhandle area investors and is now the second largest bank in the region. 

The Excellence in Leadership Award is presented annually by the Leadership Division Board of Directions, honoring personal commitment to the division, as well as:

  • Outstanding leadership recognition within their community;
  • Selfless donation of time to promote, support and serve independent bankers in the state of Texas; and
  • Creating excitement about political action and support for the PAC.

Past recipients include:

  • 2012 - Darrell Brown
  • 2011- Matt Doyle
  • 2010 - Craig Buford
  • 2009 - Mark Few
  • 2008 - Michael O'Rourke
  • 2007 - Craig Overstreet
  • 2006 - Pat Cargill
  • 2005 - Chris Doyle
  • 2004 - Doak Dunkin