Call for Entries

The call for entries is officially open for the 2020 Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Awards! This marks the 29th year of celebrating the vital role your bank plays in your community and with both your customers and employees. We know you've faced unprecedented challenges the past few months and believe it is more important than ever to recognize the exceptional projects you’ve taken on throughout the past year. We look forward to celebrating your best-of-the-best efforts in bank culture, community service, financial literacy, marketing and architectural design.

To ensure it is not a burden to create a BOCB entry, this year's submissions will be electronic and include a written summary and short video (optional but highly encouraged). See additional details on the entry form. The entry deadline is Friday, June 26. Please contact IBAT’s Lindsey Gehrig with questions or to discuss entry ideas.

COVID-19 Resource Center

The following resources were developed by the IBAT Compliance team to help community bankers navigate the COVID-19 situation most efficiently:

Pandemic planning is the latest topic covered by Compliance Pathways, IBAT's new member service. All members are able to view the Compliance Pathways pandemic planning training free of charge.

Compliance Pathways offers a collection of practical tools, resources and training modules created by the best of the best in bank regulatory counsel to help your team overcome the daily burden of community bank compliance. Contact Kelly Goulart or Karen Neeley for more information about Compliance Pathways. 

Action Needed on Brief Survey

Please consider completing a brief survey to help us make our case to the FDIC and Treasury, it would be much appreciated. We recognize that you are tremendously busy during this crisis, but real-world observations on the importance of expanding FDIC coverage will make a big difference in convincing the powers that be that this increase is necessary for community banks.

COVID-19 Statement

Austin, Texas - Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Williston issued the following statement in regard to the safety and soundness of the banking system during the COVID-10 pandemic. 
“IBAT, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), wants to remind and reassure Texans—and those across the country—that the safest place for their money is in a federally insured bank, which all Texas community banks are. Since 1933, no depositor has lost any FDIC-insured funds. The safety and soundness of the entire banking system is, and will remain, secure and unchanged.
“If a bank has announced limited branch hours or specific lobby closures, it is in preparation to remain open and ready to meet all customers’ financial needs throughout this pandemic—however long it may last. Texas community banks are committed to protecting the health and safety of both customers and employees. Full banking services can be accessed through other locations (if a specific branch is closed) or by utilizing technology, drive-through services and/or person-to-person telephone interaction.
“Consumers should be aware of recent scams in which bad actors pretend to be FDIC representatives to perpetrate fraudulent schemes. The FDIC warns that consumers may receive false information regarding the security of their deposits or their ability to access cash—this is a scam. The FDIC does not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information, so please never respond to these requests. 
“To reiterate, the safest place for Texans to keep their money during this time of uncertainty is a bank, where they will always have full access to it. On behalf of the Texas community banking industry, I urge consumers to not let fear drive decisions and instead rest assured that our banking system remains safe and sound.”
About the Independent Bankers Association of Texas 
Formed in 1974, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) represents Texas community banks. The Austin-based group is the largest state community banking organization in the nation with membership comprised of more than 2,000 banks and branches in 700 Texas communities. Providing safe and responsible financial services to all Texans, IBAT member bank assets range in size from $21 million to $31 billion with combined assets statewide of $193 billion. IBAT member banks are committed to supporting and investing in their local communities.

Credit Consultation Hotline

As IBAT recently added an accomplished 30-year credit officer (Christy Hester) to our staff, beginning today we will be offering a Banker Hotline for members as they manage through the current upheaval within our markets and communities. 
Christy Hester is available to answer questions, offer guidance and provide tools for portfolio analysis, loan grading, workout situations, regulatory examinations and a variety of other credit administration issues. Christy may be reached at 512-677-9248 or chester@ibat.org during business hours.

Compliance Pathways

IBAT is pleased to announce the launch of Compliance Pathways, a collection of practical tools, resources and training modules created by the best of the best in bank regulatory counsel to help your team overcome the daily burden of community bank compliance.

Compliance Pathways is led by a legend, IBAT General Counsel Karen Neeley, and is supported by IBAT Regulatory Compliance Manager Kelly Goulart, who has earned his own following. We strongly believe Compliance Pathways is the perfect way to capture the walking knowledge that is Karen Neeley, with resources developed with real-world practicality in mind.  

Additionally, IBAT has teamed up with law firm Pringle & Pringle to deliver PRINGLE® Products that cover the most common areas of need for bank safety and soundness, including risk management tools.

Click here to learn more.

Calling All Bankers

Registration is now open for IBAT’s 28th Annual Congressional Visit, April 28-30, 2020 in Washington, D.C. This year, the event will be held in conjunction with ICBA’s Capital Summit, which will allow attendees to participate in all ICBA events, along with the IBAT events you know and love.

There is no cost for bankers to participate in the fly-in. IBAT associate members may attend all IBAT events free of charge, but must register and pay to participate in ICBA events. A full schedule and registration links for both bank members and associate members are available here.

Cybersecurity Summit

You can never be too prepared.

With ever-increasing cybersecurity risks, it’s safe to say that you can never be too prepared. In fact, a recent survey of bank executives found that a cybersecurity hack is their biggest threat. Attendees of IBAT's top-rated Cybersecurity Summit will learn the necessary steps to ensure their banks are safeguarded against advanced adversaries. Leading experts in cyber crime, risk management, and IT examinations and more will share insights and real-world lessons they've learned. Register and learn more here.

2020 M&A or Stay Summit

The community bank M&A event of 2020.

If you plan to attend only one merger and acquisition educational event next year, IBAT's M&A or Stay – A 2020 Mergers & Acquisitions Workshop for Community Banks is the one. Created specifically for community banks and once again presented by two leading M&A advisors, M&A or Stay will help you make a critical assessment about the strategic plan for your bank. This summit will help bank directors, CEOs and senior officers acquire the essential skills needed to successfully navigate the current community bank M&A environment. Register here.

Tour de Texas

Join IBAT Chairman Richard Scanio, President and CEO Christopher Williston and Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper, as well as representatives from IBAT, ICBA and The Baker Group, at one of the many stops around the state during our 2020 Tour de Texas. Round one runs from February 24-26 with meetings in Sulphur Springs, Graham, Amarillo, Lubbock, San Angelo and Irving. Round two will follow March 24-26 with meetings in LaGrange, Galveston, Houston, Kilgore, Waco and San Antonio. View the full schedule and register your team for the always-popular regional meetings.

Strategic Management Forum

The Strategic Management Forum—brought to you by IBAT, The Baker Group and FinPro—is a one-day program specifically developed for the management team at Texas community banks. Intended to serve as a precursor to the bank’s formal strategic planning process, this new program provides an overview of various topics that warrant further exploration by forward-thinking community banks,

Register today to join us in Tyler on December 3 for this exciting new program.

2020 Winter Summit XX

One of our most popular programs, Winer Summit XX attendees learn from senior regulators and expert banking attorneys about the economy, interest rate trends and investment strategies, among other topics. This event offers the rare opportunity to have face-to-face time and informal conversations with those who regulate and impact the community banking industry, including leaders from the Texas Department of Banking, FDIC, OCC, Fed and The Baker Group. Winter Summit XX will once again be held at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa located in Avon, Colorado at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, and the schedule will allow plenty of time for recreational activities. Register now to join us January 26-28, 2020 and please note the deadline to secure a discounted hotel rate is Friday, January 3.

Salary Survey

If you participated in IBAT’s 2019 Texas Community Bank Salary and Compensation Survey, click here to access your free report. The 140-page comprehensive report is an all-encompassing resource on salary, compensation and benefits. If you'd like to drill down the data, the custom reporting tool allows you to create a report that compares your bank with similar institutions based on size, geographic region, ROA and other factors. If you didn’t participate but are wondering if your bank’s salaries and benefits are competitive in the marketplace, the report can be purchased by IBAT members for $450. Please contact Lindsey Gehrig with questions or to order the report.

Associate Member Anniversaries

We appreciate our associate members that do so much for both IBAT and the community banking industry. Our sincerest gratitude to the following associate members on their 20-, 25- and 30-year IBAT anniversaries. We couldn’t do what we do without them!

20 Years:

  • Chandler Signs
  • Commerce Street Capital, LLC
  • Computer Services, Inc. (CSI)
  • Jack Henry & Associates
  • MPA Systems, Inc.
  • NFP/Equias Alliance, An NFP Company
  • Raymond James
  • Steven H. Shimotsu CPA

25 Years:

  • Fox, Byrd & Company, PC
  • FTN Financial
  • John M. Floyd & Associates
  • MG Architects
  • The Baker Group

30 Years:

  • American National Insurance Company


The 2019 recipients of IBAT’s prestigious awards are:

President’s Award – Janine Kasper, Q2 Software

Chairman’s Award – Glen Thurman, First National Bank of Moody

Leadership in Excellence Award – Commissioner Charles G. Cooper, Texas Department of Banking

Trailblazer Award – The Honorable Mary Ann Perez, Texas House of Representatives

IBAT 45th Annual Convention

We're excited to see everyine in Galveston at the end of the week! We're doubling the community banker education offered at this year’s event, and we'll also kick off with a pre-convention fishing tournament early Saturday morning then the Chairman’s Luau late afternoon. You won’t want to miss sessions by economist Dr. Ray Perryman, ICBA Chairman Preston Kennedy, inspirational speaker John O’Leary, bank advocate Dave Martin, and our "Best of" Community Bankers panel. The fan-favorite Songwriters’ Showcase and PAC Auction will also return. Learn more here.

A Helping Hand

In the wake of last week’s tragic mass shooting in El Paso, there are two organizations that have set up funds to meet the short-term needs of victims—El Paso Community Foundation and Paso Del Norte Community Foundation. Additionally, the United Way of El Paso County will fund their agencies to help with the long-term needs of victims and their families. El Pasoans appreciate anything that IBAT members are able to donate to help this community begin the healing process. #elpasostrong

Congratulations BOCB Winners

Texas community banks continue to blow us away with your Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Award submissions—and this year was no exception. In fact, we had nearly 15 more amazing entries than in recent years. IBAT bank members do outstanding work both in your communities and in your banks. Special congratulations to Texas Bank and Trust for its financial literacy entry, “The Money project,” which is this year’s Best of Show winner. Additionally, Happy State Bank’s community service entry, “The Blue Flag Campaign;” Legend Bank’s bank culture entry, “Walk This Way to Wellness;” and First United Bank’s bank culture entry, “A Calendar of Culture: How to Embody the Spirit of West Texas,” won top spots with the Community Spirit Award.

Listed below are the 2019 BOCB Gold Eagle Award winners, and all other winners can be found here. Thank you to each and every bank that entered for the positive impact you make on your community.


Architectural Design

  • First Bank, Frisco
  • Independent Bank, McKinney
  • Kleberg Bank, Kingsville
  • Western Bank, Lubbock

Bank Culture

  • First United Bank, Lubbock (COMMUNITY SPIRIT)
  • Legend Bank, Bowie (COMMUNITY SPIRIT)
  • Happy State Bank, Amarillo
  • Kleberg Bank, Kingsville

Community Service

  • Happy State Bank, Amarillo (COMMUNITY SPIRIT)
  • Centennial BANK, Lubbock
  • Fort Hood National Bank, Fort Hood
  • Woodforest National Bank, The Woodlands

Financial Literacy

  • Texas Bank and Trust, Longview (BEST OF SHOW)
  • Fort Hood National Bank, Fort Hood


  • First National Bank, Wichita Falls
  • Independent Bank, McKinney
  • Legend Bank, Bowie
  • VeraBank, Henderson

Upcoming Advocacy Training

Registration is open for the first-of-its-kind advocacy training offered jointly by IBAT and ICBA, and all Texas community banks are encouraged to participate! Join us in Arlington on July 31 for training, a reception and an evening at the Globe Life Park to watch the Rangers beat the Mariners. To learn more and register, please visit www.icba.org/texas.