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Employee News

Employee Spotlight- Meghan Rabel

Meghan Rabel, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Kerrville Meghan Rabel is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Kerrville branch. She has been with SouthStar since the acquisition of the Kerrville branch and holds over a decade of experience in the finance industry. Meghan greatly enjoys building relationships with her customers. She strives to form trust and familiarity to provide the best banking experience possible. Off the clock, she is a busy mother of two boys and many cats and dogs. However, when she can get a moment to herself, she enjoys doing puzzles or catching a movie (preferably a chick flick). Meghan also loves the outdoors and has a great appreciation for nature. Her favorite destination is the mountains in Wyoming, and she dreams of seeing the Northern Lights one day.

Congratulations Gillian Bowman!

Congratulations, Gillian Bowman! SouthStar Bank would like to recognize Gillian Bowman for completing the process to become a Certified Fraud Examiner! The process included four separate exams, which covered the topics of Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Law, Investigation, and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. Gillian joined the Audit department for SouthStar Bank in April 2022. During her short time with the bank, she has already made a huge impact and was awarded the 2022 Rising Star award for Support Operations. As a valued member of the team, SouthStar Bank is looking forward to Gillians’ continued success with the company.

Employee Spotlight- Matthew Danielson

Matthew Danielson, Assistant Vice President/Portfolio Manager | SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building Matthew Danielson works as a Portfolio Manager at the SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building. He has worked in banking for more than four years and is approaching his second anniversary at SouthStar Bank. Matt graduated from Upper Iowa University and moved to Texas with his fiancé, whom he is looking forward to marrying in May of this year. During his tenure with SouthStar Bank, Matt has excelled due to his mentality. Matt is always excited for new challenges and looks forward to helping clients achieve their end goals. The diversity of opportunities and clients allows Matt to engage and learn with each project, contributing to his development and growth within the Loan Department. Outside of work, Matt enjoys the outdoors. Whether it be fishing, hunting, golfing, or boondocking on the beach, Matt enjoys indulging in the spoils of nature in a multitude of ways.

Employee Awards & Anniversaries 2022

RIDE FOR THE BRAND The Ride for the Brand award recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond to uphold the SouthStar Bank. 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. STAR LEADER 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. TRAIL BOSS 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 I appreciate those who helped set the path for success. PRESIDENT’S AWARD 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. RISING STAR AWARD 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. INVESTAR SUPERSTAR 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. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT SouthStar Bank takes great pride in supporting our communities. The Community Involvement Awards recognize 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. STAR SERVICE AWARD The Star Service Awards recognize 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 ANNIVERSARIES 25 YEARS: Linda Martinez […]

Employee Spotlight- Mary Hall

Mary Hall, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Calvert Mary Hall is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Calvert branch. She has worked in the banking industry for over 10 years, with seven years spent at various SouthStar Bank locations in Robertson County. Mary most enjoys working in the Calvert branch because it allows her to interact with the great people of Calvert and customers from Bremond, Hearne, and Franklin. Away from the bank, Mary is a proud wife and mom of two kids. She enjoys spending her free time reading, traveling, thrifting at local garage sales, attending football games, and volunteering with her church.

Portfolio Loans

Portfolio Loans | SouthStar Bank What is a portfolio loan? A SouthStar Bank portfolio loan is originated and funded right here at our institution, and never moves into the secondary mortgage market. It’s called a “portfolio loan” because it’s always going to stay in our portfolio. That means we can rely on our relationship with the customer to determine loan eligibility even if they don’t meet the typical mortgage profile. For example, meet Annie. Annie is a freelance marketing consultant with variable income.  Her credit score has taken a few hits but we’ve known Annie for years. She’s been a customer in good standing and a part of our community for a long time. Her business is picking up, and she’s starting to get back on her feet. Purchasing a home could improve her stability, her credit, and her children’s lives. She may even want to purchase a four-plex, so she can start earning some rental income on the other three units.  Annie comes to SouthStar Bank and meets with one of our loan officers to discuss the Star Advantage Loan. We look at her plans, her property, and total financial picture and make a decision about whether she’ll be a good risk. If we agree the loan makes good business sense, we move forward, even though she would not have been eligible for a loan through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Are portfolio loans a good idea? A portfolio loan generally isn’t riskier for the consumer than any other kind of mortgage. It is riskier for the banker, which means it can come with higher interest rates and fees. Whether they are a good idea for you depends on your unique situation and goals. Would you be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage with just a little more work and time? Do you have aspirations towards becoming a landlord or real estate investor? Are you trying to purchase a non-traditional property or unique property? Of course you should carefully consider the total picture before you make your final decision. Our loan officers are happy to discuss the risks and benefits of a portfolio loan in your specific case. How do you qualify for a portfolio loan?  Applying for a portfolio loan isn’t just about forms and numbers. It’s about your story. Be prepared to sit down and discuss yours. Tell us what your assets are, what you hope to accomplish, what’s behind, and what’s ahead. Be thorough and be transparent, even if you think parts of your situation might create an issue. We might be willing to work with you anyway, or we might be able to walk you through specific steps you can take to address areas of concern. What are some common uses for a portfolio loan?  Many of our customers have used portfolio loans to: Purchase a residence after a bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, or divorce. Purchase a residence while self-employed. Purchase a residence as a foreign national. Purchase a rental property or a fix-and-flip […]

Employee Spotlight- Mariela Tinajero

Mariela Tinajero, Assistant Electronic Funds Manager | SouthStar Bank Gonzales Annex Mariela Tinajero has been a part of the SouthStar Bank family for the last nine years. She works out of the Gonzales Annex as an Assistant Electronic Funds Manager. In her role, Mariela is responsible for managing all electronic transactions, including wires and ACH payments. Her always-ready-to-help attitude has earned her great respect around the bank. One of Mariela’s most significant career achievements was being awarded the Ride for the Brand award, which recognizes the individuals who have gone above and beyond to uphold the SouthStar Bank brand and standards. In her free time away from the bank, Mariela loves going on motorcycle rides with her husband, working out, and traveling with family. Something that might be surprising about Mariela is that one of her bucket list items is to travel to New York City.

Congratulations Blake Feste! New Senior Credit Officer

Congratulations to Blake Feste, recently promoted to Senior Credit Officer! Blake has been a part of the SouthStar Bank team since 2017 and was previously an employee of former Lone Star Bank from 2013 to 2015. Blake has excelled in his role at the bank to uphold the overall quality of the Bank’s credit extension. He will continue to provide support and direction in loan policies and procedures, working with Credit Analysts and Regional Credit Managers to promote loan growth while balancing risk controls for the bank. Outside of work, Blake held a position as Co-Chair of Programs on the board for the Young Men’s Business League of Austin for 5 years. Blake and YMBL worked to raise money each year to send low-income youth to summer camp, assisting approximately 1,000 kids each year. As of 2022, he is an Alumni Member but continues to be heavily involved in the efforts of the non-profit organization. Blake and his wife, Ellen, live in Northwest Austin with their 3-year-old son, Liam. They enjoy traveling and cheering on his alma mater, the TCU Horned Frogs, during football season. Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 683300

Employee Spotlight- Marci Clanin

Marci Clanin, Portfolio Manager | SouthStar Bank Georgetown A member of the SouthStar Bank Georgetown team, Marci Clanin is a Portfolio Manager for the lending department. An alumna of The University of Texas at Austin, Marci joined SouthStar Bank earlier this year. Since she is still new to the industry, Marci’s favorite aspects of her job are the constant learning and fast-paced environment. When Marci is not at work, she manages her other full-time job as a mom to her 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and catching up on her favorite reality tv shows. Two surprising items on Marci’s bucket list are cage diving with sharks and owning a full-sized pig that she would name Chet. Marci Clanin NMLS# 2068290

Congratulations Jesica Garza! New Branch Executive

Congratulations to Jesica Garza on her promotion to Branch Executive! Jesica Garza has been promoted to Branch Executive of the SouthStar Bank Georgetown Branch. Jesica has been with SouthStar Bank for three years as a portfolio lender, specializing in land and construction financing. She has multiple years of prior experience in mortgage lending and has also taught mortgage and real estate investing courses to continuing education students as a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist. A local to Georgetown, Jesica proudly graduated as a Georgetown Eagle in 2004 and continued on to Texas State University to pursue her degree in International Relations. As Branch Executive, Jesica is looking forward to broadening and sustaining the branch’s relationships with the community. Active in the community, Garza previously served on the Austin Board of the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women. In addition, she stays involved with her husband’s non-profit, Flatwater Foundation, and its mission to provide access to therapy for families coping with a cancer diagnosis. Jesica and her husband, Mark, have two kids: one son and one daughter. Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 1508061

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