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Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight – Melissa Greger

Melissa Greger, Assistant Vice President & Loan Operations Processor | SouthStar Bank Calvert Melissa Greger is an Assistant Vice President and Loan Operations Processor at the SouthStar Bank Calvert Branch. Melissa holds more than three decades of experience in the banking industry and is approaching a quarter century at SouthStar Bank. The proudest moment in her career came when she received the title of Assistant Vice President, something she had strived to achieve for many years. In her role, Melissa loves collaborating with the Loan Officers and Loan Coordinators across the bank to help make borrowers’ dreams come true. Hearing the excitement in the borrower’s voice when they purchase their new home brings her great joy. Melissa regularly attends Salem Lutheran Church, where she has been a member for 22 years. She is also a part of the top fundraising Relay for Life team in the entire Bell County area. Melissa also participates in the Feed My Sheep outreach program in Bell County; this program allows people from the community to help prepare a meal once a month for people experiencing homelessness. When Melissa finds time to herself, there is nothing she loves more than fishing. Rockport, Texas, is her home away from home, with her family making multiple trips down south each year. She says there is no better sight than watching the sun go down while hauling a massive red drum. One item on Melissa’s bucket list is to take her fishing skills to Louisiana for a guided fishing trip.

Employee Spotlight – Lora Scasta

Lora Scasta, Assistant Vice President of Lending | SouthStar Bank Hearne Lora Scasta is an Assistant Vice President of Lending at the SouthStar Bank Hearne Branch. Lora was with the bank for two decades before taking a brief one-year hiatus and returning in the Fall of 2023. Lora is ready to hit the ground running in her second stint with SouthStar, as she looks forward to furthering her knowledge and expertise. She enjoys being able to help people on both the lending and deposit sides of banking, leaning on her wealth of experience to guide her peers. Lora also thrives working in a team environment and loves to be able to help her customers and coworkers in any way possible. Outside of work, Lora is very active in her church community, her local Chamber of Commerce, and the Salvation Army. She also loves traveling, especially if there is a beach within reach. Lora has traveled to a number of tropical destinations, including her favorite place to visit, Destin, Florida. A surprising fact about Lora is that the first concert she ever attended was George Strait at G. Rollie White Coliseum when she was 12.

Employee Spotlight – Brittany Edwards

Brittany Edwards, Loan Operations Processor | SouthStar Bank Calvert Brittany Edwards is a Loan Operations Processor at the SouthStar Bank Calvert branch. Brittany began her career in banking with SouthStar Bank two and a half years ago and has quickly adapted to the industry’s unique challenges. Brittany received the 2022 Shining Star Award after just a year with the bank and is excited to continue to grow her knowledge and impact. She finds joy in helping customers build their dream homes and appreciates being a part of an industry that strives to exceed customer expectations and put a smile on every face. Outside of the office, Brittany enjoys attending her child’s sporting events, spending time with family, and enjoying the great outdoors.

Employee Spotlight – Samalia Huggins

Samalia Huggins, Commercial Loan Closing Coordinator | SouthStar Bank Harker Heights Samalia Huggins is a Commercial Loan Closing Coordinator at the SouthStar Bank Harker Heights branch. Samalia attended Miller-Motte Technical College and has worked in the banking industry for five years. She is proud to be a part of an organization that puts its customers and employees first. Samalia enjoys assisting customers in making their dreams come true, whether that be assisting them with purchasing their first home, buying an investment property, or taking out a loan to help someone get back on their feet. Samalia believes helping people is her gift from God, and she works tirelessly to help as many people as she can. Outside of the office, Samalia attends as many Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce events as possible to network and connect with community members. She also enjoys cooking, braiding hair, working out, and spending time with her family, especially her two grandkids! Samalia’s favorite travel destination is Guatemala, a long-awaited vacation she was able to take for her birthday after her kids surprised her with tickets. If she could meet anyone in history, living or dead, she would meet Nelson Mandela, whom she looks up to for standing on his views regarding peace no matter the obstacle or circumstance.

Employee Spotlight – Patty Barron

Patty Barron, Vice President & Mortgage Processing Manager | SouthStar Bank Leander Patty Barron is a Vice President and Mortgage Processing Manager at SouthStar Bank. Patty has spent over two decades in the mortgage industry with 23 years of experience, including four years at SouthStar. Her long tenure in the mortgage industry has allowed her to learn all aspects of the loan process, from application to closing. Patty has worn many hats throughout her professional journey and takes pride in finding success in the various positions she has held. She has also met many amazing people along the way and still enjoys learning and growing. The ever-changing landscape of the mortgage industry keeps things interesting and exciting for Patty. What Patty finds most rewarding in her role is helping borrowers achieve their dream of homeownership. Patty has ridden horses her entire life and still enjoys riding equestrian any chance she gets. She also enjoys boating and bowling with her family, along with all the fantastic moments that come with being a mother and wife. Most people don’t know that Patty served in the United States Air Force and was stationed in England during that time. Her favorite travel destination is Europe, where she was enamored by the various cultures and food. One item on Patty’s bucket list is to learn another language.

Employee Spotlight – Lucia Fernandez

Lucia Fernandez, Assistant Electronic Funds Manager | SouthStar Bank Gonzales Annex Lucia Fernandez is an Assistant Electronic Funds Manager at the SouthStar Bank Gonzales Annex. Lucia has been with the bank for 10 years and holds 15 years of total banking experience. She received her Associate of Science Degree from Victoria College and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Houston at Victoria. As a member of the Wire, ACH, and Business Online Departments, Lucia’s position is vital to the bank’s function and customer safety. The preventative measures the bank has in place enable Lucia and her peers to protect customers and their best interests. She finds the most rewarding part of her job is being able to prevent customers from falling victim to fraud. Lucia’s role also allows her to work with the branches and develop relationships with her coworkers across all locations, which she values greatly. When Lucia finds time outside of school and work, she enjoys several activities. She has spent the last five years serving as the Treasurer for the Smiley Bantam Activity Group, which works to provide safe, fun-filled events for the children of their community to enjoy. She also enjoys going out dancing with her husband, trying new restaurants, or enjoying a good movie with her family. Her favorite travel destination is Colorado Springs, where she and her family climbed the 224 steps to see the beautiful views of Seven Falls.

Employee Spotlight – Jordan Collier

Jordan Collier, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Franklin Jordan Collier is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Franklin branch. Jordan has been with SouthStar Bank for seven months and holds two years of banking experience. The aspect of her job she enjoys most is interacting with her customers. Jordan’s love for people makes her an ideal fit for her position and allows her to build meaningful, lasting relationships with everyone who enters the bank. Outside the office, Jordan enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and foster child. Jordan spent her honeymoon in Hawaii, which has since become her favorite vacation destination. If she could speak to anyone in the world, it would be her husband’s grandma, who created a strong legacy in her family.

Employee Spotlight – Jeremy Bernal

Jeremy Bernal, Information Technology Specialist 1 | SouthStar Bank Harker Heights Annex Jeremy Bernal has worked as an Information Technology Specialist I for the last three years at SouthStar Bank. He is located at the SouthStar Bank Harker Heights annex. In his role, Jeremy works hard to assist all employees with any technical issues they may run into. He takes pride in remedying these often frustrating issues and allowing the staff to work smoothly without interruption. Outside of work, Jeremy likes to spend his time helping people who struggle with substance abuse or alcoholism. He also enjoys saltwater fishing, traveling, and spending time with friends. His favorite destination he has traveled to is London, Ontario.

Employee Spotlight – Janis Cowman-Arteaga

Janis Cowman-Arteaga, Commercial Loan Closing Coordinator | SouthStar Bank Georgetown Janis Cowman-Arteaga is a Commercial Loan Closing Coordinator at the SouthStar Bank Georgetown branch. Janis has been with the bank for two and a half years and boasts over 38 years of overall experience in the banking and mortgage industries. Prior to joining the SouthStar Bank team, Janis owned and operated her own mortgage company for several years. She credits this experience with helping her develop perspective when working with small businesses. In her position, Janis enjoys utilizing her skills to derive what she finds most rewarding, which includes delivering on someone’s dream of home ownership and helping businesses grow with commercial business loans. Janis is plenty busy outside the office as well! Following her six years of service with the United States Marine Corps she became a lifetime VFW and Marine Corps League member. At home, Janis raises Lovebirds, tending to her flock in a large outdoor aviary that now houses 45 birds! Janis’ favorite travel destination is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which she believes to be one of the most scenic and serene places on the planet. She enjoys looking for minerals and gemstones to add to her collection when she visits.

Employee Spotlight – Brianna Tirado

Brianna Tirado, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Gonzales Brianna Tirado is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Gonzales branch. She will have been in the banking industry and at SouthStar Bank for two years this coming November. In her position, Brianna enjoys the customer interactions she encounters on a day-to-day basis, striving to assist each customer in any way required. Her second favorite aspect of her job is getting to work with her fabulous peers. When Brianna is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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