Texas Bankers Hall Of Fame Announces 2017 Honorees
April 4, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
Written by Dr. Jim Bexley
Five individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the banking world, their communities and the state will be honored during the Fifth Annual Texas Bankers Hall of Fame Gala held in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville on April 27.
B. A. Donelson, Jack Griggs, George Martinez, Milton S. McGee Jr., and the late Milton L. Payne are the 2017 honorees and will be recognized as bankers who have made a positive impact on the banking profession and pioneered the Texas banking industry.
The Texas Bankers Hall of Fame was established by the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking in Sam Houston State University’s College of Business Administration.
B. A. Donelson
B. A. Donelson received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics with a minor in finance from Texas Tech University in 1958.
Donelson returned to his hometown of Stratford after graduation and began a farming and cattle business. In 1967, he was approached by The First State Bank of Stratford to see if banking might interest him as a career. Continuing to farm and ranch, he became a banker.
Once his career in banking began, civic involvement became a large part of his career. The creation of the Stratford Area Foundation and the Stratford Education Foundation count as the highest among his favorite civic projects. Donelson was also one of the founding members of the North Panhandle Bankers Association, an active political group of bankers from the upper Texas Panhandle during the 1980s and 1990s.
Other activities included serving banking interests on the national and state level with American Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of America, and the Independent Bankers of Texas as chairman from 1990-1991. Along with these activities, Donelson taught at Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the Texas Tech Intermediate School of Banking in Lubbock.
Past banking leadership positons include president, chief operating officer and director of First National Bank of San Antonio; chairman of Sanderson State Bank; chairman, president and CEO of Plaza National Bank and of Plaza Bancorporation; director of Compass Bank-Dallas; and chairman of First State Bank of Abernathy. Jack Griggs combined a career in banking with that of a university professor and dean. Currently, he serves as president, director and CEO of Southwestern Bancorp, Inc.; chairman of Texas Heritage Bank; director of Liberty Capital Bank; director of Liberty Capital Bancshares, Inc.; director of GrandWorks, Inc.; and director of Lytle Lake Water Control and Improvement District. He is on the Board of Trustees of Abilene Christian University and is an elder in the church he and his wife attend.
Non-banking business leadership positions held include service on the board of the holding company for Blue Cross and Shield operations in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Illinois; Casa Bonita, Inc., LaQuinta Motor Inns, LC; Hester Capital Management Company; Burger Street, Inc., Recreation Ventures, Inc., and Kent Oil Company.
He graduated from ACU with honors in May 1964, completed requirements to become a CPA, and entered the University of Texas at Austin, completing an MBA and a Ph.D. in finance and entrepreneurship. Griggs has taught at UT-Austin (where he was later named a senior fellow at the IC2 Institute), Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, and Abilene Christian University, where he also served as dean of the College of Business.
George Martinez currently serves as chairman of the Board of Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. and chief executive officer of Allegiance Bank, which he co-founded in 2007.
Martinez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and economics from Rice University in 1963. From 1964 to 1972, he served as the financial officer of Retzloff Chemical Company, a manufacturer of chemical products for agriculture and the oil industry.
In 1974, he co-founded Sterling Bank, where he served as chief executive officer from 1980 to 2001 and retired as chairman emeritus in 2005. Martinez served as chairman of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas in 1992-93. He was appointed in 2002 by President George W. Bush to serve on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.
Today, he is a director of NCI Building Systems, Inc., one of North America’s largest integrated manufacturers of metal products for the nonresidential building industry.
He serves on the boards of the University of St. Thomas and the Council of Overseers, Emeritus—Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. An advocate for early childhood education, he also serves on the board of Collaborative for Children.
He is a former chairman of the Center for Houston’s Future, and a former board member of CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare, Greater Houston Partnership, Greater Houston Community Foundation, and the Houston Zoo, Inc., among other organizations.
Milton S. McGee, Jr.
Milton S. McGee, Jr. currently serves as a bank consultant throughout East Texas. He is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University and an MBA from Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe. He attended the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University and the National Commercial Lending School, sponsored by American Bankers Association.
After obtaining his MBA in 1972, McGee worked for Arthur Andersen & Company until 1974, when he transitioned as partner with Bradley, Heller & Company, CPAs.
In 1977, McGee began his banking career with RepublicBank Henderson, serving as controller, vice president and president, and later serving as president and chief executive officer in Brownwood. In 1986, he became president and chief executive officer at NCNB Texas, N.A., and in 1989, accepted the position of chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Kilgore Federal Savings and Loan Association.
In 1990, he began his long-standing career with Citizens National Bank serving as president and chief executive officer, also assuming the role of president and chief executive officer of Henderson Citizens Bancshares and HCB, Inc. He served as vice chairman of the board from 2010 until his retirement in 2012. After his career with CNB, he accepted the position of president and chief executive officer of Texas Leadership Bank in Royse City, where he worked until 2015.
His commitment to community banking led him to serve as chairman of the board of The Independent Bankers Bank, chairman of the board and board member of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, and board member of Texas Bankers Association. From 2010 to 2015, he served as IBAT ambassador of goodwill/advisor to management on a part-time basis.
McGee serves as a director for Mills County State Bank and advisory director for multiple banks in East Texas. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Howard Payne University, and formerly, as finance committee chairman, and serves in leadership roles with the Henderson Industrial Trust and Henderson Memorial Hospital, among other organizations. He is a former president of the Rusk County Chamber of Commerce and board member of the Henderson Economic Development Corporation.
Milton L. Payne graduated from Carthage High School in 1940 and attended Sam Houston State University until he was drafted by the United States Army Air Corps in 1943. He served for three years in the European Operation as a control tower operator. When he was discharged in 1946, he returned to SHSU where he graduated in August 1947 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He was a member of the first graduating class of Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in 1960.
Payne began his career with First State Bank and Trust Co. in the summer of 1941 as a part time bookkeeper and continued to work summers while on break from college until his induction into the military. He became a fulltime employee in 1948 after graduation. Payne served First State Bank & Trust Co. in many capacities: vice president, president, chairman of the board and senior chairman of the board, a position he held until his death in 2012.
Payne was a member of Central Baptist Church of Carthage. He served on the Industrial Development Foundation Board, Panola County Chamber of Commerce, Panola County Cattleman’s Association, and the Development Board for East Texas Baptist University. The Texas Bankers Association honored him in 2010 for serving in the banking industry for 69 years.
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