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Old and New

A Note From the Chairman

My kids may not even know what a Big Chief tablet is. It was the brand of writing pad that everyone used when I was in grade school as we learned to print letters and later write in cursive. At the start of each school year I received a brand new, clean, crisp Big Chief tablet along with fresh pencils and other supplies, some of which were never seen before such as that first protractor or slide rule.

Yes, I am old, but that is not the point. Rather, I am referring to the feeling that accompanies something that is brand spanking new. That new car smell or the unfurled edges of new paper only scratch the surface of the phenomena that new is where excitement is most readily found. It is through new experiences that our imaginations get engaged and our inner Lewis and Clark comes alive in the adventure.

Pioneering the new and different requires more of us than business-as-usual. Exploration takes courage and a commitment of time, resources and a degree of sacrifice. And, there is risk.

I recall years ago when I owned a truck trailer manufacturing company. We were forever designing and building something new to solve an application problem for our customers. These experiments were exciting to unveil but not always successful. I recall one in particular that involved a giant, 2 foot by 3 foot, coiled spring. The customer who tested it gave it the nickname, “ACME,” as in Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. It was definitely exciting, somewhat entertaining (looking back), but not very successful. Like the coyote, we did keep trying, and over the years, our efforts led to many innovations that led to our company’s success.

Can banking be equally exciting as a frontier for exploring new? I think the answer is both yes and no. First the no. As Houston’s largest community bank, we have instituted numerous advances and enhancements over the years but our founding purpose of building a community-minded, relationship bank remains firm. To that end, Allegiance is not an experiment. We live by lessons learned over centuries as we build partnerships with customers.

The thrill of victory belongs to our customers. We are just there to help.

As to the aforementioned yes, banking is observably changing rapidly with advances in technology. Allegiance Bank is no exception as we have already implemented and continue to pursue new, exciting solutions with regularity. For example:

  • Our new, updated core system is currently being rolled out into our branch network which presents vastly greater speed, accuracy and ease of use that benefits customers and bankers alike.
  • Our treasury management products, payment services, mobility solutions, online banking, and even our expanded branch network enhance convenience and function.
  • With great anticipation, we will be opening a new bank office in Houston’s east end (Navigation) in a few months which further deepens our hometown presence.

Indeed, new is exciting! Another really great part are the people we get to consort with every day who are awesome. I constantly get compliments about them, particularly from customers, occasionally from their spouses. I read recently where another bank in our area said they were pleased to be hiring new, great bankers to which I thought, “Wait a minute, all the great bankers already work for us!”

Not to invite trouble, I’ll add that the Houston region actually does have a lot of bankers who I have come to know and respect. But, ours are my favorite and with Employee Appreciation Day coming soon (March 6), my sincerest appreciation is hereby extended. Allegiance Bankers stand united to build better, stronger communities in the Houston region. Doing so involves much that will be new and exciting, but also a relationship that can be counted on and that won’t be going away.

Allegiance Bank Chairman Steven Retzloff

Steve Retzloff, Chairman

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