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Employee News

Congratulations Riley Martine! New Assistant Vice President

Riley Martine has been promoted to the role of Assistant Vice President at the SouthStar Bank Southwest Austin branch. She will continue in her role as Portfolio Manager and will also be taking on the official role of Executive Assistant to the Chief Lending Officer. Her initiative, positive attitude, and ability to multitask have given Riley a great reputation amongst her coworkers and clients. Riley is looking forward to continuing to assist in the management and growth of the bank’s portfolio. “I love learning and SouthStar never ceases to give me the opportunity to do so,” she says. In her free time, Riley enjoys running, reading, and going to concerts. Her biggest personal achievement was when she completed the Austin Half Marathon in April 2021. Congratulations Riley!

Employee Spotlight- Kristen Hendry

Kristen Hendry, TMLP Clerk | SouthStar Bank Calvert Kristen Hendry has been a member of the SouthStar Bank team for about a year as a TMLP clerk in Calvert. In her role, Kristen is responsible for communicating with the other mortgage companies. She enjoys getting to know the people on the other end of the line and learning about the differences in economies. Her friendliness and professionalism have allowed Kristen to build lasting professional relationships that she is proud of. Although Kristen is new to the industry, she is proud of the professional growth and confidence that she has gained over the year. She constantly strives to learn something new and continue to grow in the TMLP department. Outside of work, Kristen spends her time with her husband and their daughter, Hailyn. They enjoy fishing, playing outside, reading, painting, cooking, and taking care of the family chickens. A personal goal of Kristen’s is to one day plant and successfully grow her own garden to enjoy.

Employee Spotlight- Kimberly Watson

Kimberly Watson, Senior Vice President/Branch Executive | SouthStar Bank Southwest Austin Kimberly Watson currently serves as Senior Vice President of Lending and Branch Executive at the SouthStar Bank Southwest Austin Branch, specializing in portfolio mortgage loans, lot loans, and construction lending. She’s worked for the bank for 9 years in various roles.  Her ability to build long-term relationships with her customers has led her to over 20 years of success in the banking industry. Helping clients put together a financial plan to build, buy or refinance their home is Kim’s favorite part of her lending job. She loves being the guide in her customer’s journey to the home of their dreams. Kim enjoys being involved in the Dripping Springs community as an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. In May of 2022, Kim completed the Leadership Dripping Springs program which gives participants a deeper knowledge and understanding of community challenges and opportunities. Outside of work, Kim enjoys spending her free time at home with her husband, daughter, and extended family. They also enjoy fishing, boating, and hot rodding with friends. One item on Kim’s bucket list is to enjoy a chartered trip on a yacht like her favorite tv show, Below Deck. Kimberly Watson, NMLS# 794827

Congratulations Miguel De La Riva! New Branch Executive

Congratulations to Miguel De La Riva on his promotion to Branch Executive of the Harker Heights branch! Miguel De La Riva was promoted to Branch Executive at the Harker Heights Branch. He joined SouthStar Bank at the beginning of 2022 with over 20 years of industry experience. In his long career, Miguel has funded everything from small business loans, home loans for first-time buyers, and multi-million-dollar commercial real estate transactions. In his new role, Miguel is excited to continue working with the team in Harker Heights, or as he calls them, the Harker Heights Heroes. He also enjoys serving his community and is looking forward to continuing to get to know the citizens of Harker Heights and the communities surrounding Ft. Hood. He specializes in using his strong analytical and problem-solving skills to find solutions for complex loans. “ I always look forward to helping more people accomplish their goals and realize their dreams,” he says. “Helping the clients who were told ‘it cannot be done by everyone else is one of the best parts of my job.” Miguel is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and bilingual in Spanish. Outside of work, Miguel enjoys spending his time in the great outdoors, enjoying various bodies of water with his wife and loyal dogs. Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 980470

Employee Spotlight- Kerri Gonzalez

Kerri Gonzalez, Assistant Vice President/Branch Manager | SouthStar Bank Leander Kerri Gonzalez is the leader of the SouthStar Bank Leander Operations team. She joined the bank as the Branch Manager in the Summer of 2022, bringing over 19 years of industry experience to the team. In her role, Kerri enjoys working with people, both customers and coworkers, to improve their quality of life. “Helping someone achieve their financial goals and seeing how that makes a difference in their situation is priceless,” she says. Kerri is also proud to be a leader and spokesperson for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is always striving to learn more about how to bring people together in understanding and knowledge, and in 2017 she achieved Platinum level in the Masters of Diversity Awareness program through Comerica Bank. When Kerri isn’t working, she is spending time with her three kids at the pool, watching movies, and reading as many books as she can. Along with her other hobbies, Kerri also enjoys traveling anywhere with a beach. Her favorite travel destination is Destin, Florida, for its beauty and all of the happy memories that have been made by her family. She hopes to one day take her travels away from the coast and across the pond to Scotland, England, Austria, and Italy. Something that most people don’t know about Kerri is that she participated in and completed the California CrossFit Games in 2009 and 2010.

Employee Spotlight- Keely McCarthy

Keely McCarthy, Marketing Coordinator | SouthStar Bank Round Rock Keely McCarthy is the Marketing Coordinator at SouthStar Bank. She started with the bank as a Marketing Intern in January 2020 and was promoted to her current position after her graduation from Sam Houston State University. Keely’s favorite aspect of her position is getting to work and interact with a variety of team members across the bank. She enjoys getting to continuously learn something new by assisting all of the bank departments. Her biggest career highlight was receiving the 2021 Rising Star Award, which is awarded to those who have been with the bank for less than two years and have exhibited exceptional growth and leadership. Away from the bank, Keely enjoys reading, watching movies, and completing jigsaw puzzles. One of Keely’s passions is traveling, some of her favorite past travel destinations include the U.S. Virgin Islands, Boston, and La Jolla, California. While she has not taken her travels internationally yet, she hopes to one day add stamps from Canada, Ireland, and Europe to her passport. A fun fact about Keely is that her favorite way of touring a new city is via Segway, and she hopes to someday travel the United States via train. 

Employee Spotlight- Kathryn Davis

Kathryn Davis, Personal Banker| SouthStar Bank Leander Kathryn Davis is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Leander Branch. She joined the team in 2020 with three years of industry experience. Throughout her time with the bank, Kathryn is most proud of the amount of professional growth she has made. She enjoys learning something new every day in her role and hopes to continue to grow in her knowledge of the banking industry. Away from the bank, Kathryn enjoys honing her skills in nature photography, participating in community outreach programs, and playing with her dog, Mercy.

Welcome Shirley Sears

Shirley Sears, Vice President of Lending | SouthStar Bank Leander Shirley Sears is a native Texan born in Fort Worth. She has been a resident of the Cedar Park/Georgetown area for the last 35 years, where she raised her three children with her husband, Chris. In her role with the SouthStar Bank Leander team, Shirley will specialize in refinances, construction financing, and mortgage lending. While Shirley enjoys helping her customers build their dream homes, she loves building relationships with them even more. Making her clients feel comfortable and building trust with them is Shirley’s top priority. “A home is a place of comfort and peace,” she says. “Being able to help my customers fund their refuge is the ultimate reward.” In the professional community, Shirley is involved in Professional Women of Williamson County and the Williamson County Association of Realtors. At home, she enjoys exercising, listening to live music, being outside by any body of water, and spending time with her family. Welcome Shirley! NMLS# 1464584

Welcome Tyler Lucas

Tyler Lucas, Vice President of Lending | SouthStar Bank Southwest Austin Tyler Lucas is a Vice President of Lending located in Southwest Austin. An alum of Texas Tech and Western Governors University, Tyler has spent the last ten years in the banking/financial services industry, with most of his experience focusing on commercial lending. For him, the best part of his job is being his customers’ trusted advisor for achieving their dreams. “I truly love and have a passion for helping people,” he says. “Whether they are an individual buying their dream home or a small business owner looking to expand, I will always strive to help them accomplish their goals.” In the Austin community, Tyler is a member of the Texas Tech Alumni Association and the Risk Management Association. He is also a member of the Young Men’s Business League, a social service organization for young professionals. Away from work, Tyler enjoys checking out the Austin live music scene, fly fishing, cheering on his beloved Red Raiders, and spending time with his wife Wesley and their two children, Warren and Wyatt. Welcome to the SouthStar Bank family, Tyler! NMLS# 2118548

Employee Awards & Anniversaries 2021

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. Loan Officer- Jesica Garza Operations- Julie Gamez Support Operations- Derek Kapavik Support Lending- Blake Feste Mortgage Support- Dawn Embry Executive- Cole Schindler 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 to 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. Brent Gibbs Kevin Knesek TRAIL BOSS This year, we also wanted to recognize a few individuals who have stepped up in their leadership role. 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. Bryan Buck Jo Ann Biezenski Ryan Noyce Trip Ray 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. Urban North – Curtis Wren Urban South – Elise Giles Rural North – Roni Nickelson Rural South – Tamara Siegel RISING STAR AWARD We have a new award category this year recognizing our Rising Stars. 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. Operations- Melissa Chavez Support Operations- Keely McCarthy Support Lending- Shelby Mossman Mortgage Support- Christine McGinnis INVESTAR SUPER STAR New award! This award recognizes one individual who has embraced our partnership Hilltop Securities. We look forward to the continued growth of this relationship and the benefits it provides for our clients. Tina Zander COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT SouthStar Bank takes great pride in supporting our communities. The Community Involvement […]

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