Texas Tech University

21 Bankers Graduate from 2017 School of Banking

Chelsea Grunden

School of Banking Graduation

The Rawls College would like to congratulate 21 members who completed their second, and final, year of the Texas Tech School of Banking. The School of Banking, which recently held its 44th annual session Aug. 13 to 18, educates tomorrow's community banking leaders and provides practical insight that can be used in their current roles.

The Advisory Board for the school extends congratulations to the 2017 School of Banking graduates: Daniel Bailey, Amanda Chacon, Jeff Christner, James Conwright, Stephen Gutleber, Ryan Hackemack, Charles Horn, Sarah Long, Kyle Mueller, Shyla Newton, Aaron Padilla, Hogan Page, Alisha Rhoades, Scott Rose, Patrick Schully, K. Cameron Slater, Meredith Stover, Tanner Swaringen, Blane Tolleson, Craig Walters and Jake Webb.

The School of Banking kicked off on Aug. 13 at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center with a reception and welcome address by Edward Krei. Before retiring from The Baker Group as a managing director, Krei specialized in investment portfolio services, asset liability management, and financial strategies for community-based financial institutions. During his address, Krei spoke about the five keys to a bank's success: focused risk management, deepened customer relationships, resisting performance complacency, self-determination and investment in talent.

The curriculum for first-year participants focused on foundational concepts. The classes approached the complexity of the banking industry through interactive lectures, providing participants with a wide range of practical methods to address the requirements of successful community banking. During the week, first-year students had classes such as Accounting and Auditing of Banks, Fraud Management and Managing Bank Performance Analysis: Risk and Return.

"As a recent graduate from the Rawls College of Business, the School of Banking provides a great education to all aspects of banking, giving me a head start in my career," Craig Grossman with the First Bank & Trust in Lubbock and first-year student of the school said. "Networking with the other students has been a big plus."

The curriculum for second-year participants focused on applying concepts learned during the first year. The agenda emphasized team decision-making, teamwork and organizational skills necessary to run a profitable and efficient financial institution. Second-year students took a Bank Financial Analysis & Performance Comparisons class and worked with bank industry simulators Quickbank and Bank Dynamics.

"I have been in banking for 17 years and thought that I just about had it all figured out until I attended the TTU School of Banking," Alisha Rhoades with First Federal Community Bank, SSB in Paris, Texas, who recently graduated from the school, said. "This two-year program has been the best overall learning experience of my career. I now have a broader understanding and feel more confident in my ability to contribute to all areas of my bank, not just lending."

Students had the opportunity to attend a moderated Q&A with Robert Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, on Aug. 17. Kaplan answered questions from moderator Steve Scurlock, executive vice president at Independent Bankers Association of Texas, as well as questions from students in the audience.

After the Q&A, the School of Banking hosted a wrap-up event at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center. Dean Margaret Williams, Ph.D. and professor of management, touched on important qualities of leadership and recognized Randall James, retired Texas Banking Commissioner and School of Banking Advisory Board Chairman and Dr. Scott Hein, professor and E.W. Williams Centennial Bank Chair in Finance, for their unwavering dedication to the School of Banking. Both James and Hein will be retiring from their role within the School of Baking.  View pictures of bank school events.

The School of Banking, which was established in 1973, provides future leaders in the financial services industry with the skills, tools and perspective necessary to advance their careers and help their banks prosper. Graduates of the two-year school have up-to-date knowledge of all major areas of banking and a strong start on the life-long learning needed for successful banking careers. Many leaders in the banking industry today in the southwestern part of the country are proud alums of the Texas Tech School of Banking.