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What People Are Saying About SWGSB

"SWGSB gave me a new perspective on banking. The connections forged at SWGSB are genuine and lasting. The information I learned was practical and timely. The program as a whole gave me an increased sense of confidence in my knowledge and abilities as a banker. Of particular note was the BankCEO simulation program, which allowed me to apply what I learned - from top to bottom."

Armando Fletes
Vice-President, Small Business Lending
LegacyTexas Bank

"SWGSB has played a very important role in my career. The relationships I have built with fellow bankers from SWGSB have been rewarding and they are something I truly cherish. I still keep in contact with several of them today. The BankCEO program gives everyone in the class a true understanding of how to 'run the numbers' of a bank. The Living Case Study presents an outstanding opportunity to learn how your peers manage their institution. You are able to learn firsthand the trials and tribulations of their success. You even have the opportunity to let them know what you might do differently.

"SWGSB is more than two weeks in Dallas, the Bank CEO or the living case study. SWGSB is a lifetime of memories, friendships and a unique perspective on all of the important aspects of becoming a leader in your industry. Having talked to other bankers that have attended other banking schools, no one puts more emphasis on leadership than SWGSB. I am very proud of my SWGSB degree and everything I learned from the experience."

Clayton W. Hart
Senior Vice-President
Renasant Bank

"SWGSB provides its students the opportunity to understand the banking industry well beyond what takes place in their current role or within their own institution. Through a collection of complementary courses, and capped off with the BankCEO program, SWGSB helps its students to comprehend the potential benefits and ramifications of each decision that is made within their bank.

"The network of contacts that you will build in the three years of SWGSB will become an asset that you will treasure for the remainder of your career.

"With so much regional economic growth and opportunity, there is not a better banking school in the country than the SW Graduate School of Banking. If you are serious about your career in banking, the SWGSB program will not only improve your current skill set but will also introduce you to what your competitors are doing well."

Hazem Ahmed
Executive Vice-President
Integrity Bank, ssb

"The combination of knowledgeable, engaging instructors, living case studies, and BankCEO provided an experience unmatched by anything else in my banking career. By far the most important resource you leave with from SWGSB is a network of highly effective leaders in your industry. This school is essential for anyone desiring to hold an executive level management position within their organization."

Jonathan C. Holmes
Vice-President
The Valley State Bank

"The living case study is fabulous. How often do you get to question management at a bank other than your own? I learned so much from each bank defending their positions as to how and why those decisions were made."

David C. Allumbaugh
Regional Vice-President
Tri Counties Bank

"SWGSB provided me with three key benefits. First, I learned technical knowledge about the banking industry, including what regulators look for and what differentiates a sound bank from an unsound one. Second, I met some incredible contacts, including professors that were subject matter experts. I also made some wonderful friends and banking world contacts among my classmates. Third, I gained the credentials of a banking school graduate from the most highly regarded banking school program in the country."

Doug Webster
Vice-President
IBERIABANK

"SWGSB is an incredible experience. The intensity and the competitiveness of all the sessions helps build leadership skills needed in today's banking industry."

J. Rick Jamieson
SVP/Director Correspondent Lending
TIB-The Independent BankersBank

"SWGSB's supportive staff, elite studies and the one-of-a-kind BankCEO simulation provided me with a thorough and outstanding understanding of the banking regulatory mandates and the risks associated with a bank's day-to-day operations. SWGSB's BankCEO simulation gave each student a rich understanding of the impact of a bank CEO's pivotal decision making. It takes into account a bank's many moving parts, from critical day-to-day operations, social and corporate responsibilities to regulatory compliance mandates. Yes, you will become a well-rounded banker, regulator or financial industry expert after completing SWGSB!

"If you desire to join the best and the brightest financial and regulatory industry experts, I highly encourage "you" financial institutions, regulators and financial industry professionals to attend one of, if not the most elite and prestigious graduate school of banking programs in the Country. You, too, can be the best and enhance your career. Be a SWGSB Graduate!"

Penny King
Community Affairs Specialist
FDIC Atlanta Regional Office

"I really enjoyed my SWGSB experience. I think it is an unmatched networking opportunity as well as a chance to hear about different strategies being used by banks around the country. The instructors are top notch and excited to participate in the program. I think the experience and relationships I developed during my three years at SWGSB will pay dividends for a long time to come. I am proud to add SWGSB to my list of academic and career accomplishments."

Eric Rosiak, CPA
Managing Director
Commerce Street Capital, LLC

"I gained invaluable knowledge from SWGSB. The classes gave me very useful insight into how a bank functions as a whole. This is not something I see on a daily basis with my focus being commercial lending. The classes from SWGSB brought it all together so I have the big picture now. There is nothing like the SWGSB experience."

Brian Bowers
Vice-President
The Bank & Trust of Bryan/College Station

"The SW Graduate School of Banking is an elite program for bankers looking to advance their career. At SWGSB, I learned the importance of analyzing bank performance through the Living Case Study. The Living Case Study is an excellent way to gain new ideas and insight into what other bankers are doing - that one may be able to bring back and implement within their own institution. One of the most valuable things that I took away from SWGSB was the ability to network with my peers. The opportunity to network with bankers, examiners, and instructors from across the country is what makes SWGSB a 'must attend.'"

Justin B. Goranson
Vice-President
The First National Bank of Fairbury

"When I was approached about attending SWGSB, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard many things but until I experienced it myself it was something that I faced with a little apprehension. What I found was one of the best experiences of my professional career. SWGSB gave me a broader view of all areas of the bank as well as networking skills and leadership capabilities that I use each and every day. I was able to complete four papers that I was proud of and pass all my tests with flying colors. SWGSB is truly a school built on leadership, responsibility, respect and the courage to overcome your fears and achieve greatness."

Leigh-Anne Taylor
Senior Vice-President/COO
NBC Oklahoma

"What I gained is a better appreciation of decisions that senior management must make on a daily, weekly and monthly basis as they relate to interest margin, efficiency ratio, earnings, staffing, etc. In working with BankCEO, we were able to see firsthand how our decisions impacted the bank as a whole.

"Although writing the papers was a chore, it helped me to gain knowledge in areas I thought I knew well and knowledge in areas of banking that I am not familiar with. Much of what is learned comes from the instructors at SWGSB. They have put together a great team of instructors who bring a new perspective on banking and how to approach ideas and situations within your bank."

Brenda Williams
SVP/Project Manager
Austin Bank

"Over my banking career I had always wanted to attend SWGSB, but never seemed to find the time or resources to justify going. Late in my career I finally made the decision to attend, and I can certainly attest that I should have made this decision much earlier in my career. While I certainly learned about new and important issues facing our industry, I also made some great contacts that have enriched my efforts to have a fulfilling career. I cannot state strongly enough how much I would recommend this experience for bankers of all levels, experience and age."

Jimmy Carmichael
Market President
The National Banks of Central TX

"SWGSB was entirely relevant to my position as a bank examiner. It served as a refresher of banking concepts and provided valuable insights into strategic planning for commercial community banking. The comprehensive BankCEO simulation was very effective in giving an examiner valuable insight as to what bank management has to deal with in making decisions that affect the overall financial condition of the institution. I don't know of any other course that could as effectively communicate the effect of competition on community banking than BankCEO. While examiners tend to concentrate on ROA, this experience provided good practical knowledge about the importance of ROE in for community banks. By being surrounded by bankers, I obtained a more comprehensive understanding of the effect of regulatory matters and I am better able to relate to bankers when identifying regulatory issues. A strong reputation is one reason I chose to attend SWGSB; however, this experience still managed to exceed my expectations."

Joseph Washington
Examiner(IT)
FDIC

"Having SWGSB as part of my educational career has meant more than I ever thought it would, going in as a freshman. The lessons learned in the group settings - from the case studies and the Bank CEO project to the friends I still stay in touch with years later - have added to the foundation that has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. I can't imagine not having this experience to better prepare me to be a first-class banker, especially in today's ever changing environment!"

Maureen Carollo
Senior Vice-President
NBC Oklahoma

"When I first arrived at SWSGB in 2009, I was not real sure what to expect. But, what an experience I gained in three short summer sessions! The relationships with other bankers proved to be one of the most beneficial aspects of the program. We discussed the effects of the economy, procedures and policies from our respective institutions and shared ideas on how to be better bankers in general.

"Charles Wilson taught retail banking our freshman year and was a very inspirational instructor. One thing I still use today from his class is 'Everything speaks.' His ideas, philosophies and manner of teaching kept the class involved and motivated. His style and commitment to banking was realized in all the courses I attended at SWGSB.

"Being at SWGSB during the great recession was a good time to be learning more about the economy and the future of banking. The Living Case studies provided much insight into what community banks across the country were doing different in order to provide a good return to their shareholders in a depressed economy. These banks (CEOs/CFOs) gave us a look inside their management, hiring/staffing philosophies and financial management of their respective institutions.

"Overall, the SWSGB experience is reaping many rewards for my career in banking today. If I had the chance to do it again, I would choose SWGSB."

Daryl Lindsay
New Mexico Divisional President
First Savings Bank

"Although there are numerous aspects of the curriculum that make the SWGSB program so valuable, it was the Living Case studies that made it all worthwhile for me. The opportunity to closely study and learn from high-performance banks from different regions and states is priceless. The process is so much more than simply analyzing their UBPR. At SWGSB, you get to actually meet the executives of these great institutions and hear directly from them their strategies of dealing with competition, how they are making themselves more efficient, what they think the future holds for the industry, etc. When I was going through those classes, I knew that my competition back home wasn't getting the same insight that I was right then, and that made the process invaluable not only for me but for my institution as well."

Todd Green
Vice-President & Controller
Hot Springs Bank & Trust

"SWGSB is a top notch banking school with a great curriculum and exceptional professors. BankCEO, leadership training and the relationships are all part of the SWGSB Experience, which rates second to none!"

Chris Evatt
Branch Manager
First Financial Bank, N.A.

"SWGSB provided me critical insight to the inner workings, operational environment and the management philosophy of successfully-run financial institutions. SWGSB is a must have experience for those seeking to understand the mechanics of bank operations, the banking industry, and the leadership guiding them."

Clay Hosterman
Principal
Treasurer's Choice Processing

"I am very fortunate to have been able to attend SWGSB. In the mid 1990s, our long-time president asked me to take over someday for our small community bank . . . when I was ready. Our soon-to-be president at the time attended SWGSB earlier. He told me there was a huge advantage in what I would learn. The information that I would glean from my peers and instructors at SWGSB would help me achieve my goals. I did and I have. I was promoted to president and CEO on June first of this year. Still a little early to say how I'll do. But without SWGSB, I'm not sure I would have had the courage to attempt such a role in today's banking world. I'm proud to say I'm an alumni of SWGSB and would encourage all to attend - especially those who would like to make a career of banking."

Cathy (Missildine) Howell
Marion State Bank

"SWGSB equipped me with the education and foundation to effectively and efficiently grow our financial institution during one of the most volatile economic times in decades. Without the confidence and core knowledge I received from SWGSB, I am certain we would have fallen victim to the collapse of our industry during that time."

Bryan R. Alexander
Market President, EVP & Chief Lending Officer
Collin Bank

"I was a senior vice-president of a fairly large community bank when I completed SWGSB in 1987. Three years later I became the CEO of that bank and serve as CEO. I simply would not have been prepared to step up to so rapidly had it not been for the holistic training and education I received at SWGSB. I have sent a number of my senior officers there since and the bank has benefited greatly from their training. It is an arrow you must have in your quiver if you plan to further advance your career in banking."

James R. Hamby
CEO
Vision Bank

"Having recently completed the SWGSB experience, I came away not only better prepared to be a better asset for my institution from a technical standpoint, but found it to be a great opportunity to establish and grow relationships with our colleagues around not only the great state of Texas, but regionally and nationally. When I first started SWGSB, I had no clue what to expect. Now that have completed SWGSB, I can say with confidence: any banker with aspirations of not only being part of upper management someday but also being on the cutting edge of the banking industry, should take the SWGSB challenge. SWGSB instills not only a challenging academic environment to push your development but also serves to be an awesome leadership laboratory. I would encourage all aspiring young bankers to go to SWGSB. Further, I would encourage our community banks nationwide to send their bankers to SWGSB. They will come away with an inspired outlook - to shape the banking industry as time marches on."

A. Brannon Kroll
Vice-President
Frost Bank

"The SWGSB program is responsible for one of the most professionally and personally rewarding experiences of my life. SWGSB game me the opportunity to make some first-class professional connections and equally important personal friendships that have stood the test of time. The curriculum, teachers and administrative staff are second to none and are directly responsible for giving me the tools and confidence that is needed to successfully navigate the challenges facing banks today."

John Ory
SVP/COO
Community National Bank

"The opportunity to leverage the knowledge and experience of so many financial professionals is exceptional. The program has allowed me to expand my professional capacity. We typically spend so little time expanding our knowledge base and field of vision as our careers develop. This program allows the freedom of discovery and critical thinking with many who can challenge our thought processes."

Camille Ussery
Senior Vice-President
ViewPoint Bank

"It is rare that a week goes by at my bank when I don't make a reference to something that I learned at SWGSB. The educational process is so well-rounded that I find myself leaning on things I learned about leadership, credit, ALCO, you name it. Almost any situation I find myself in as a banker, there is something I learned at SWGSB that will guide me in the decision-making process."

Shon Aguero
Regional President
Landmark Bank - Oklahoma

"As a young banker, I begged to go to SWGSB and, to be able to attend, I had to give up my two weeks of vacation every year, which meant I went three years without any vacation. However, this was a great investment of my time because it prepared me well for the mid-80s, which was the most difficult time in Texas banking. When I attended, SWGSB had a very well rounded and solid curriculum, and I am extremely impressed with the way they have continued to update and improve the curriculum to meet the banking needs of today. The school plays a vital role in our company's management development program, and we continue to look at SWGSB as a great investment."

F. Scott Dueser
President & CEO
First Financial Bankshares, Inc.

"I am a huge believer in SWGSB. When I went to work for Guaranty Bond Bank at the end of 2001, I told them as I came aboard that it was important for me to continue my education by going to a graduate banking school. That following spring I enrolled in SWGSB and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my banking career. The course material was spot on for allowing me to become a more complete banker. When I went to work for Guaranty Bond Bank I knew it was a good bank. Upon completing my education process at SWGSB I realized it was a great bank through the vigorous analysis work that was required in analyzing one's current bank employer.

"I would highly recommend SWGSB to anyone wanting to enhance their banking career."

Robert Irwin
President-Texarkana
Guaranty Bond Bank

"The SWGSB experience benefits both young bankers who need to shore up their understanding in areas of banking that they have yet to experience - as well as more experienced bankers needing to stay on top of the many regulatory changes and competitive challenges facing all bankers these days. As a graduate of SWGSB myself, I can say from firsthand experience: No banking school is better equipped to address the many areas of bank training as SWGSB. I have seen a noticeable difference in the type questions the bankers that I have sent to SWGSB ask in our bank meetings when they return from their annual session."

David Lacy
President & CEO
Community Bank & Trust

"My experience at SWGSB was much more than a graduate school of banking education. Being from North Dakota, I found it wonderful to meet new people and learn more about the culture and banking environment in other areas. Being teased about the North Dakota accent was another learning experience as we believe we don't have an accent up here.

"Along with the business classes, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to listen to leadership speakers and those with other topics. This gives one an appreciation for growth and development, and enhances coaching employees in the same manner.

"The team activities, such as BankCEO, gave us a chance to dig deeper into challenges of running a bank in addition to listening to professors in a classroom. It facilitated building great relationships with fellow students as we made decisions as an executive team. Of course, the best part was that our team won the competition that year!

"I still display the awards from my SWGSB achievements. Most bankers from this part of the country attend graduate schools of banking in the upper Midwest area. I believe by going to SWGSB, I gained more than the education of the banking school. SWGSB does an excellent job recruiting professors and other speakers for a well rounded opportunity for learning.

"I highly recommend SWGSB to everyone seeking a great graduate school of banking opportunity. The school is in a beautiful area, very well organized with a variety of learning opportunities as well as time for leisure activities with fellow students. I am thankful to have spent time going through the program."

Polly J. Thorsness
Senior Vice-President Deposit Operations
Bell State Bank & Trust

"SWGSB is very much a mentoring experience. The atmosphere is charged with a feeling of professional accomplishment and personal growth. And it comes from an outstanding faculty chosen for their ability to train the next generation of bank leaders."

Cynthia Blankenship
Vice-Chairman & COO
Bank of the West

"The Living Case Study has proven its worth, time and again. Industry facilitators help guide the discussions and serve as mentors for our team presentations. This is where the rubber meets the road – and we gain immensely from it. I've seen firsthand how it transformed us into true leaders and innovators. With superior learning initiatives like this, it's easy to understand why SWGSB excels in leadership development."

Kevin Drew
EVP
TIB - The Independent BankersBank

"I can honestly say that I have already benefitted from my experiences at SWGSB. In the beginning I was skeptical (since I am already in a senior management role) about attending the school. What could I be taught that I did not already know after 30 years of banking? But I can truly say that what I have learned over the past two and a half years is to think strategically, to have more confidence to get outside the box. These past couple of sessions have been wonderful and I really look forward to this final year of Strategic Visioning."

Dennis Hansen
CFO & Senior Vice-President
Austin County State Bank

"One of my professional goals, very early in my career, was to attend SWGSB. I was fortunate to have had that opportunity as a young bank examiner, and my perception of the value of this outstanding program has only increased as time has passed. It has been an honor and a pleasure to continue my involvement with SWGSB as a member of the faculty, and I remain impressed with the quality of the program and the terrific atmosphere for learning and networking. More importantly, I have been so impressed with the quality and commitment of the bankers, and my optimism regarding the bright future of community banking is further enhanced with each session I have attended. This program is a 'must do' for anyone planning to make a career in the community banking industry."

Stephen Y. Scurlock
Executive Vice-President
Independent Bankers Association of Texas

"SWGSB mirrored real life in that I took away from the school what I put into the school. As a State of Michigan examiner, I already was exposed to several aspects of banking and operations. SWGSB allowed me to interact on the 'other side of the fence' and see operations and issues from management's viewpoint. I feel this aspect and the networking was essential in providing a positive experience."

Brent Moeggenborg
IT Examination Group Supervisor
Department of Insurance and Financial Services

"My experience at SWGSB was followed in about 2months with an offer of a new position managing a small trust department, with assets $10 million. After 42 years, I retired and the trust assets had grown to $2 billion. My education and contacts at SWGSB certainly helped me to surpass our goals - and my own career dreams. Keep up the good work!"

John L. Rush

"SWGSB - what an experience! At the age of 48, as a freshman, I thought, 'What have I gotten myself into?' I was completely overwhelmed during those two weeks and, then, came the paper assignments. I was ready to throw in the towel and give up. But, boy, am I glad I didn't! Writing the papers are tough, but I learned so much through this process and gained more knowledge than I could have ever imagined.

"Once I completed the freshman year, the junior and senior years followed with more ease and I had more confidence in myself. The staff and instructors are very passionate about SWGSB and are there for you every step of the way. BankCEO is a top-notch, exciting and fun simulation which provided me with a thorough understanding of a bank's day-to-day operations.

"The knowledge and friendships I gained from attending SWGSB made this experience all worth it. Graduating with Class 54 was one of my proudest moments. I encourage anyone who is considering the SWGSB experience to go for it. I am extremely grateful that I was given this wonderful opportunity."

Carolyn McGraw
Senior Vice-President/Trust Officer
Farmers and Merchants Bank

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