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Author: Keely McCarthy

Employee Spotlight- Estefania Torres

Estefania Torres, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Hearne Estefania Torres is a Personal Banker positioned out of SouthStar Bank’s Hearne branch. Estefania has been with the team for a little over a year and enjoys continually learning something new about her role every day. As one of SouthStar Bank’s bilingual team members, Estefania has been essential in building lasting relationships with all of the bank’s customers. When Estefania isn’t working, you will find her shopping with her family, journaling, and listening to music. The number one item on her bucket list is to one day visit her grandparents in Mexico.

Employee Spotlight- Donny Lehmann

Donny Lehmann, Vice President of Lending | SouthStar Bank Kerrville Donny Lehmann joined the SouthStar Bank Kerrville team in October 2021 during the acquisition of Community First National Bank. After 20 years in banking, Donny knows that no two loans are alike. He views every new customer as an individual and works to find the unique loan solution that fits their specific needs. Walking homebuyers through the process and eventually assisting them with fulfilling their homeownership goals is Donny’s favorite thing about lending. Maintaining an active role in the community, Donny is involved with the Kerrville Board of Realtors, the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of First United Methodist Church. He is also active in his kids’ extracurricular activities specifically the Golf and Drill teams. Donny enjoys hunting, golfing, fishing, watching the Dallas Cowboys, and spending time with his family. A surprising fact about Donny is that he really enjoys cooking and his favorite food to make is BBQ. His favorite vacation that he has taken was to the French Quarter in New Orleans because of the food and atmosphere. Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 428594

Congratulations Curtis Wren! New Executive Vice President

Congratulations to Curtis Wren on his promotion to Executive Vice President! Curtis has spent the last four decades in banking and finance. He has been with SouthStar Bank for the last eight years, where he has made a significant impact on the Bank’s loan approval process as a Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. In his role, Curtis is responsible for the Credit Administration Group and the administration and maintenance of the Bank’s Lending, Appraisal & Evaluation, and Environmental policies, and the adherence to them in analyzing, underwriting, and approving loans. Prior to his promotion, Curtis was awarded the 2021 President’s Award, which is given to the individual who has made the organization’s strongest contribution over the past year. As Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, Curtis will continue to share his extensive knowledge and experience with the loan officers and credit analysts. “I don’t look at lending just from the viewpoint of the collateral and cash flow,” he says, “I look at lending in the context of the request and as making a smart investment in the people behind the request, and I will continue to share that philosophy.”  A proud member of the Georgetown community, Curtis is involved with several local organizations including Main Street Baptist Church, Ducks Unlimited, and the Coastal Conservation Association. He has also held leadership positions with the Georgetown Rotary Club where he was the Director and the Sargent-at-Arms. In his free time, Curtis enjoys barbecuing, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends, particularly his four grandchildren. Two of  his most significant personal accomplishments are his marriage to wife, Charis, for 38 ½ years and the wonderful family they have raised. A surprising pastime is that he enjoys making renovations to his 1890s home and yard. Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 680305

Employee Spotlight- Deanna Ellison

Deanna Ellison, Loan Operations Processor | SouthStar Bank Calvert Deanna Ellison is a Loan Operations Processor at our Calvert location. In 2017, she graduated from Sam Houston State University with her Bachelors in Business Administration. One of Deanna’s favorite things about her role is getting to interact with her co-workers. A career highlight for Deanna was the amount of non-real estate loans that she booked in 2021. Deanna and her family enjoy sports, fishing, and taking advantage of the outdoors whenever possible. One of their favorite activities is taking care of the family animals. Currently, they own, one dog, Brahman cattle, two horses, chickens, and ducks. One of her kids’ favorite hobbies is collecting all of the different colored eggs, as of recent, they had collected blue, green, white, and brown eggs. Deanna also loves to spend time in her garden. Her favorite things to grow are cucumbers for canning and sunflowers which is her favorite flower.

Welcome Emily Gamez

Emily Gamez, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Bee Cave Emily Gamez is joining the SouthStar Bank team as a Personal Banker at the Bee Cave location. A proud roadrunner, she graduated with her Bachelors from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2020 and is currently working towards getting her MBA from UTSA as well. While Emily is new to banking, she is excited to use her top-notch customer service skills and small-town touch to build strong relationships with her customers and co-workers. Away from work and her studies, Emily enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and exploring all of the unique things and places Austin has to offer. Welcome to the SouthStar Bank family, Emily!

Employee Spotlight- David Kapavik

David Kapavik, Chief Executive Officer/President | SouthStar Bank Moulton The leader of the SouthStar Bank team, David Kapavik, offices out of the Moulton Branch as President and Chief Executive Officer. David is an alumnus of Southwest Texas State University, where he received his MBA. He has worked in the banking industry for the last 34 years, spending the first seven years working as a bank examiner. In 1995, David joined the bank under its former name of First State Bank of Moulton/ Lone Star Bank as President. Following the 2015 merger of Lone Star, Texas Star, and First Star banks, David was selected to continue his role of President and CEO for the newly unified SouthStar Bank. In his position, he enjoys interacting with team members and helping develop new ideas and niche products into successes. It makes him proud to lead a team that has grown a small community bank that once held only $23 million in assets to where it is today at $1.2 billion in total assets. David is a member of multiple professional organizations, including Independent Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, Federal Home Loan Bank, and BCL of Texas. In his community, he has served on the stock show board and was a member of the school advisory committee for Shiner Catholic School. An active member of Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church, David currently sits on the Finance Council and serves as a Eucharistic Minister. One of David’s many loves in life is nature. He enjoys hunting, fishing, raising cattle, developing ranches, and improving the land for all to enjoy. He credits his agricultural experience as one of the main drivers in his career. To this day, he operates a ranch that raises Wagyu and Brangus cattle. A second passion of David’s is traveling and seeing global landscapes. His favorite destination that he has traveled to is the beautiful country of Greece. The number one item on David’s bucket list is to continue his travels with his wife Trish and their three children. David Kapavik NMLS#627916

Welcome Amanda Minniear

Amanda Minniear, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Georgetown The Georgetown team is growing with the addition of Amanda Minniear to the Operations team as a Personal Banker. An alumna of Texas Christian University, Amanda has worked in banking for over eight years and most recently held the position of Customer Service Representative. She is eager to bring her upbeat personality and willingness to learn to the Georgetown branch. Some of Amanda’s hobbies include reading, traveling, fishing, and spending time with her family. A secret talent of Amanda’s is that she can bake a very delectable dessert. Welcome Amanda!

Employee Spotlight- Clayton Swift

Clayton Swift, Junior Credit Analyst | SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building Clayton Swift is a Junior Credit Analyst located out of the SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building in Leander. Clayton joined the team during the height of the Paycheck Protection Program in May 2020 as a Lending Intern. After the completion of his internship, he was promoted to a full-time Personal Banker role in the Leander branch. He was eventually promoted to his current position, where he works on spreading financial statements and doing basic underwriting of loan packages. Clayton’s favorite thing about working in the banking industry is getting to work with and assist small businesses. “I am most proud of my time spent helping our various PPP customers through the process,” he says. “It helped grow my passion for helping the local businesses that make up our communities.” Outside of the bank, Clayton volunteers with the Austin Wildlife Rescue. The non-profit is committed to helping save orphaned and injured wildlife. They also work to educate the public on how to coexist with Central Texas wildlife. Clayton enjoys spending his free time with his fiancée, Brittney. Claytons’ hobbies include hiking, fishing, birding, and kayaking. A fan of travel, Clayton’s favorite place he has visited is Rocky Mountain National Park where he proposed.

Welcome Back Brianna Bracamontez

Brianna Bracamontez, Junior Credit Analyst | SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building Welcome back Brianna Bracamontez! After working as a Banking Intern at the Georgetown location in the summer of 2021, Brianna is returning to SouthStar Bank as a Junior Credit Analyst based in the Leander Loan Administration Building. A recent graduate from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, she is looking forward to aiding in the continuous growth of the bank. Away from the bank, Brianna enjoys spending time with her friends, traveling, reading, and running.

Welcome Dawson Sulak

Dawson Sulak, Junior Credit Analyst | SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building Dawson Sulak is joining the SouthStar Bank team as a Junior Credit Analyst. He will be based in the Loan Administration Building in Leander. Dawson is a graduate of Texas State University and is excited to bring his energy and hard work to the team. During his free time, Dawson likes to golf and travel. His favorite travel destination is Whistler Ski Resort in Whistler, British Columbia where he enjoys snowboarding. Welcome Dawson!

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