IBAT's New CEO


The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) is pleased to announce the selection of Christopher L. Williston, VI to serve as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer. Williston has been a member of the IBAT staff since 2009 and currently serves as the association’s chief operations officer. He will succeed his father, who has served as IBAT’s president and chief executive officer for the past 30 years, effective January 1, 2019.

Williston was selected to lead IBAT—the largest community banking association in the nation—following a nationwide search, which led to him being named as the sole finalist for the position recommended by the IBAT Search Committee. That recommendation was approved by the IBAT board of directors late last week. 

“I cannot overstate how proud I am of the work performed by our dedicated committee volunteers who worked tirelessly and with great integrity to recommend IBAT’s next president and CEO,” said Rogers Pope, Jr., search committee chairman. “Suffice it to say our vetting process was rigorous, including interviews with many qualified and impressive candidates. Throughout the process, it became clear that Christopher’s knowledge, experience, passion and vision made him the right choice to lead IBAT into the future.”

In addition to his work with IBAT, Williston is a well-respected member of the Texas association community, having recently completed his term as chairman of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). He is also a past winner of TSAE’s Young Professional Leadership Award and a finalist for the AU40 (Austin Under 40) Award. 

Christopher and his wife, Michelle, live in the suburbs of North Austin with their six children. They are active in their children’s schools and in their church home of the last 12 years, St. Thomas More Catholic Church in North Austin. 

The Willistons further serve the Austin and greater Texas community through the Mary Claire Project, a nonprofit they founded in 2015, to provide free or low-cost burial options to families who experience the loss of a child through miscarriage or stillbirth. 

“Michelle and I have a shared understanding of our family’s mission to dedicate our lives to service of others,” Williston said. “We are honored to have the support and confidence of the IBAT board to serve the Texas community banking industry and the vital role it plays in the lives of men and women who make up the places we call home.”

Williston is a graduate of Texas Christian University (TCU) and holds a master’s degree from Brite Divinity School at TCU. He is also recognized as a Certified Association Executive by the American Society of Association Executives, the sole mark of distinction for those serving in the Association industry.