Today@Sam Article

Jill Sharp Vaughan Named SHSU Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair Of Banking

July 8, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Jill Sharp Vaughan Sam Houston State University College of Business Administration has named Jill Sharp Vaughan as the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking. In this position, she will oversee the college’s accredited Bachelor of Business Administration and Executive MBA degrees programs in Banking and Financial Institutions.

Established in 1997 under the leadership of the founding chair, the late James B. Bexley, the primary mission of the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair is to prepare students for careers in banking and to provide educational programs for community bankers.

“We are so fortunate to have Jill Vaughan join SHSU as the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking,” said Mitchell J. Muehsam, dean of the College of Business Administration. “SHSU has a long-standing reputation for preparing students for successful careers in banking, as well as serving the banking community. Jill’s wealth of experience in the banking industry, combined with her passion for serving others, makes her the ideal person to build on this history of success. We look forward to her using her expertise in leading the program to new heights.”

Vaughan, an SHSU alumna, will join the university in January upon retirement from Zions Bancorporation where she currently serves as executive vice president of Southwest Regional Credit.

“I have been truly blessed working for a great organization and with people for the past 25 years that I consider my friends and family. The many opportunities presented to me by the Zions/Amegy organization allowed me to find success in a very fulfilling and rewarding career which made it difficult to retire.”  Vaughan said. “This next opportunity is a once in a lifetime chance to recruit and educate students to join our great industry, while working from my own alma mater. It allows me to continue to serve the industry that has been so good to me and my family for the past 38 years.”   

Upon receiving her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance at SHSU in 1982, Vaughan began a successful career in banking. From 1986 to 1996, she served as the senior lending officer and later president of ProBank in The Woodlands. Vaughan then joined Klein Bank and Trust as an EVP with oversight of the Montgomery County Commercial lending market. After the bank merged with Amegy Bank of Texas, Vaughan served as EVP for Regional Commercial Lending where she managed various geographies within the Harris County and Montgomery County Regions. In 2016, she transitioned to an enterprise role at Zions Bancorporation as Southwest Regional Credit Executive, supporting Amegy Bank, National Bank of Arizona and Nevada State Bank.

SHSU's Jill Sharp Vaughan and James B. Bexley at 2018 SHSU Texas Bankers Hall of Fame event.
Jill Sharp Vaughan and founding chair James B. Bexley at the 2018 Texas Bankers Hall of Fame.

Vaughan has spent the majority of her career working with community and regional banks and has enjoyed a background in not only front-line lending, but also in operations, credit and risk. A third-generation banker, she has deep roots and a strong passion for the industry. 

Active in her community, Vaughan has served on numerous boards in leadership positions for Conroe-Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County Community Foundation, Lone Star College Foundation, Montgomery County United Way and North Houston Association. She also served as an elected Trustee for Montgomery Independent School District for 14 years and a Trustee of Region 6 Education Service Center. 

Vaughan has also remained active at SHSU, serving on the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking Advisory Board and on the Advisory Board of the College of Business Administration. In 2006, she became an inaugural member of the SHSU College of Business Administration Hall of Honor. She was later inducted into the Texas Bankers Hall of Fame in 2018.

“The banking industry is something I have great passion for. I grew up in a community banking family watching my dad, grandfather and grandmother share a life of love for banking,” Vaughan said. “The fact that SHSU has this wonderful program, generously endowed is an incredible benefit to our banking industry. This next chapter in my life has very special meaning to me. I can’t think of a bigger honor than following in the footsteps of my friend and mentor, Dr. Jim Bexley, to continue his passion and good work for our industry as the next chair.”


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