Earlier this year, Chris Williston, president and CEO of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT), announced his retirement, effective at the end of 2018. He was recently honored by two organizations for his 30 years of service to the community banking industry.
The Financial Women in Texas recently honored Williston with its Partners in Success Award during the organization’s ninth annual conference in El Paso. Williston, only the second individual to receive this award, was instrumental in helping the group reorganize after Financial Women International collapsed in 2009. He provided vital administrative and financial support to the group. The award was presented by Nancy Kinder, Financial Women in Texas’ president, following Williston’s keynote remarks at the conference.
Bankers in the Sooner State also paid tribute to Williston recently. During the Community Bankers Association of Oklahoma (CBAO) convention in Oklahoma City, he was recognized with a resolution from the CBAO board. Craig Buford, CBAO president and CEO, presented the resolution to Williston.
The resolution reminded the gathering that there was a time in CBAO’s history [in the 1990s] when its membership had fallen; there was a perception that CBAO needed to provide more value to its membership. According to the resolution, an alliance was formed between CBAO and IBAT that re-energized the CBAO board and gave the organization the “shot in the arm” needed to make it the respected group that it is today.
The alliance between IBAT and CBAO formerly ended in 2004, but CBAO has become a leading community banking association in the U.S. Williston had no formal obligation to remain supportive, according to the resolution, but he did, serving as an ex-officio board member and allowing his staff to be a resource upon which the CBAO staff could call.
The resolution also recognizes that Williston is known as one of the top trade association executives in the nation. Appreciation was expressed for all he has done in support of other state community banking associations and his tireless work as a spokesman for the community banking industry.
Published in Bankers Digest October 15, 2018