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Employee Awards & Anniversaries 2023


The Ride for the Brand award recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond to uphold the SouthStar Bank brand. In the cowboy days, when you worked for a big ranch or participated in a trail drive, the cowboy was loyal to the Brand he “rode for.”  Guys that rode for the brand had deep connections representing the ranch that transcended their daily work.  To strengthen our culture, we continue to need employees that are a good example of this type of steadfast loyalty and who support our mission, vision, and values.

  • Loan Officer- Jeff Harris
  • Operations- Kyla Gesell
  • Support Operations- Keely McCarthy
  • Support Lending- Laura Desselle
  • Mortgage Support- Taryn Vandenberg
  • Internal Operations- Karen Mode


The Star Leader award is a special award given to applaud and promote the work and contributions of our most senior team. These individuals articulate a compelling vision for the institution and have inspired others to that vision. They actively support all aspects of our Bank’s advancement and show the highest commitment to professional growth. Recipients deserve exceptional notice and praise.

  • Steffani Scarborough
  • Trey Bertelson
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We also wanted to recognize a few individuals who have stepped up in their leadership roles. On a cattle drive, Trail Boss is the one in charge of the entire operation – keeping track of all the different elements of the drive, selecting routes, and making key decisions. Our Trail Boss awards go to those who have helped guide our teams, selected routes for new and expanded operations, and supported key initiatives to exceed expectations. We can all agree that this year brought many new challenges, and the executive team appreciates those who helped set the path for success.

  • Miguel De La Riva
  • Patty Barron
  • Carl Bozon
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This prestigious recognition is awarded by the bank president, David Kapavik, to the individual he and the executive team feel has made the strongest contribution to the organization over the past year in each region. They review many aspects including performance, leadership, service, and related organizational benefits.

  • Urban North – Jesica Garza
  • Urban South – Mark Kelly
  • Rural North – Billy Fleming
  • Rural South – Robert Simper
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These individuals have been with the bank for less than two years, but have already made our star shine brighter. These emerging leaders were selected by the executive committee in each department because of their exceptional growth and contributions to the organization, as well as increased levels of leadership, responsibility, and sphere of impact.

  • Loan Officer- Ivan Garcia
  • Operations- Kerri Gonzales
  • Support Operations- Matthew Curren
  • Support Lending- Bryce Wyatt
  • Mortgage Support- Brittany Smith
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This award recognizes one individual who has embraced our partnership with Hilltop Securities. We look forward to the continued growth of this relationship and the benefits it provides for our clients.

  • Kacy Kirk
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This award recognizes one individual who has embraced our partnership with Merchant Services. We look forward to the continued growth of this relationship.

  • Kyla Gesell
MerchantServices Kyla


SouthStar Bank takes great pride in supporting our communities. The Community Involvement Award recognizes one recipient in each of our four regions for exemplifying the community bank spirit through active involvement in worthy causes and initiatives throughout the area.

  • Urban North – Shirley Sears
  • Urban South – Ivan Garcia
  • Rural North – Debra Morris
  • Rural South – Pam Browning
Community Collage


The Star Service Award recognizes one recipient in each of our four regions for service above and beyond the expected norm. Recipients consistently demonstrate exceptional knowledge of our products and services, as well as an intuitive understanding of our clients’ needs. Recipients consistently exemplify the SouthStar mantra of providing friendly, flexible common-sense financial services

  • Urban North – Davonica Rembert
  • Urban South – Riley Martine
  • Rural North – Roni Nickelson
  • Rural South – Dayton Mejias
Star Service Collage


25 YEARS: Pam Browning

20 YEARS: Betty Roznovsky

15 YEARS: Kristy Green, Deanna Ford, Debra Morris

10 YEARS: Dawn Embry, Tina Zan, Lindsey Morkovsky, Kimberly Watson, Mariela Tinajero, Lucia Fernandez, Sara Huggins, Mary Hall

5 YEARS: Amy Coldeway, Terry Thompson, Trey Bertelson, Tyler Narro, Pamela Barbeau, Jim Trungale, Sche Kehner

RIDE FOR THE BRAND NOMINEES: Amy Coldeway, Blake McNicoll, Dayton Mejias, Debra Morris, Felicia Hamilton, Greg Holub, Jeff Harris, Jennifer Bellavia, Karen Mode, Kay Lynn Rothbauer, Keely McCarthy, Kyla Gesell, Laura Desselle, Melissa Chavez, Miguel De La Riva, Patty Barron, Sam Bell, Taryn Vandenberg

STAR SERVICE NOMINEES: Aften Serrano, Amanda Aaron, Amber Gallagher, Amy Coldeway, Andrew Denny, Anthony Albino, Barbara Armstrong, Betty Roznovsky, Bill Staley, Blake McNicoll, Brandy Rumfolo, Brianna Tirado, Bryce Wyatt, Christine McGinnis, Davonica Rembert, Dawn Embry, Dayton Mejias, Deanna Ford, Debra Morris, Diane Romo, Dylan Wald, Faith Shrader, Ibrahim Madni, Jenny Currie, Jeremy Pauza, Jesica Garza, Jesse Miller, Jo Ann Biezenski, Jordan Collier, Julie Gamez, Kacy Kirk, Kali Gaskill, Karen Mode, Kathryn Davis, Kay Lynn Rothbauer, Kerri Gonzalez, Kimberly Moore, Kristin Ross, Kristy Hollis, Laura Desselle, Lauren Roznovsky, Linda Van Doren, Lindsey Morkovsky, Lucia Fernandez, Mariela Tinajero, Mark Kelly, Mary Hall, Matthew Curren, Matt Danielson, Meghan Rabel, Melissa Chavez, Melissa Greger, Melissa Swift, Melissa Thompson, Michael Hanna, Michelle Felde, Miguel De La Riva, Monica Leal, Patty Barron, Riley Martine, Roni Nickelson, Ryan Noyce, Samalia Huggins, Samantha Alexander, Sara Huggins, Sarah Ortega, Sche Kehner, Shelby Mossman, Steffani Scarborough, Terry Thompson, Torie Adkins, Trey Bertelson, Tyler Narro

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT NOMINEES: Aften Serrano, Amanda Aaron, Andrew Denny, Bill Staley, Brent Gibbs, Bryan Buck, Davonica Rembert, Debra Morris, Faith Shrader, Gary Mobbs, Ivan Garcia, Janet Raabe, Jeff Harris, Jesica Garza, Jesse Miller, Jo Ann Biezenski, Julie Gamez, Kacy Kirk, Kandice Bethke, Kerri Gonzalez, Kimberly Moore, Kimberly Watson, Kristy Hollis, Kyla Gesell, Laura Blackstock, Laura Desselle, Linda Martinez, Mariela Tinajero, Mary Kujawa, Melissa Gregor, Melissa Swift, Melissa Thompson, Michelle Felde, Miguel De La Riva, Pam Browning, Pam Barbeau, Roni Nickelson, Ryan Noyce, Samalia Huggins, Sara Huggins, Shelby Mossman, Shirley Sears, Tina Zan, Torie Adkins, Trey Bertelson

Congratulations to all award recipients and nominees!

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.

Christmas at SouthStar Bank

Join us in giving back this holiday season.

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A number of our locations are serving as donation drop-offs for a variety of local causes. Our locations will be accepting new, unwrapped donations for all ages.

For over 100 years SouthStar has strived to make a positive impact on the lives of our customers and the communities we are so thankful to be a part of. Help us make this holiday season special for children in need!

Franklin | Toy Drive

  • Donation Deadline: November 27th

Bee Cave | Toy Drive

  • Donation Deadline: December 1st

Steiner Ranch | Coat Drive

  • Donation Deadline: December 2nd

Southwest Austin | Toy and Food Drive

  • Donation Deadline: December 7th

Round Rock | Toy Drive

  • Donation Deadline: December 11th

Georgetown | Toy Drive

  • Donation Deadline: December 13th

Kerrville | Toy Drive

  • Donation Deadline: December 20th
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Welcome Jorden Caudle

Jorden Caudle, Credit Analyst | SouthStar Bank Leander Annex

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Jorden Caudle has joined the SouthStar Bank family as a Credit Analyst. Jorden received her degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has one year of experience in the banking industry. Jorden is looking forward to learning and growing in her position with SouthStar Bank and hopes to contribute to the growth of the credit department. Outside of the office, Jorden enjoys spending time with her friends and family, playing volleyball, and visiting the lake in the summer months.

Welcome Brittany Mantey

Brittany Mantey, AVP & Branch Manager | SouthStar Bank Round Rock

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Brittany Mantey has joined the SouthStar Bank Round Rock branch as an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager. Brittany brings with her 12 years of experience in the banking industry, including a decade at her previous financial institution, where she worked her way up from her original teller role to her final position of Branch Manager. Her previous experience at a small-town community bank taught her the value of building lifelong relationships with her customers. Brittany is excited to join the SouthStar Bank family and looks forward to building relationships within the community and bank-wide.

Outside of the office, Brittany enjoys spending time with her family, competing in BBQ cookoffs, and traveling, with their favorite destination being Destin, Florida. She spends much of her time with her children, accompanying them to sporting events and even coaching their softball team.

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