Independent Banker, the flagship publication of the Independent Community Bankers of America, recently published its third-annual list of “40 Under 40: 2021’s Emerging Community Bank Leaders.” According to the magazine, “The competition highlights young community bankers who stepped up to help their banks navigate a chaotic year. They delivered economic relief. They introduced new technology. They kept their communities close when they had to be distanced. Most importantly, they found opportunities to lead when their banks and their customers most needed them.”
The recipients were recognized under a variety of categories aligned with their banking achievements over the past year. As expected, several winners are from Texas-based community banks, including:
Daniel Galindo, 36, senior vice president and director of community development and strategy at Woodforest National Bank in The Woodlands. He was recognized for his customer and community service. Galindo serves on numerous boards, including the executive board of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He has been nationally recognized for his work in affordable housing development, entrepreneurship and other areas.
“I’m an immigrant. I came from Mexico at a very young age,” Galindo told Independent Banker. “I remember people from a bank around my high school coming in and teaching us financial education. I would then go home and help my parents with their financials. I was 10, 11 years old. A lot of immigrants come to the United States and don’t trust the bank, because in their country, the banks have done them wrong, or there’s no consumer protection. I have a goal to ensure that every American understands the financial landscape and how to utilize that vehicle to create wealth for themselves.”
Galindo also touted the innovations at Woodforest National Bank: “The program I’m most passionate about is our bank’s accelerator program, the Woodforest Foundry. It’s a concept that really focuses on mindset development for entrepreneurs, versus growing a business. There’s a difference. If you want somebody to scale their business, you teach them how to do a business plan. But if you really want to take that business to a whole other level that they never even imagined, you’ve got to go for the DNA [and] you’ve got to go for the entrepreneurial mindset.”
Apryl Salazar, 37, vice president compliance and BSA officer at Texas Bank and Trust in Richardson. She, too, was recognized for her customer and community service. “In 2019, Salazar set out to help branches understand the importance of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and how they could give back to lower-income areas,” Independent Banker notes. “Despite the pandemic, those branches doubled their CRA reportable loans and employees volunteered 1,000 community service hours.”
Ryan Coaxum, 35, vice president, Guaranty Bank & Trust in Austin. He was recognized as a star lender on this year’s “40 Under 40” list. “Coaxum’s leadership style is inspired by his father, a pastor,” according to the magazine. “He forms genuine relationships, breaks down barriers and speaks to people of all backgrounds. As a lender, Coaxum has a personal mission to expand community banking to minority customers and small business owners, so they have a seat at the table.”