FirstBank Lubbock Bancshares began with the vision of one man, Barry Orr, and a promise. Barry promised his wife and friends that he would start a bank that would become profitable through relationships, hard work and determination. "It is our goal to be the BEST community bank in the Lubbock area," states Barry Orr, Chairman & CEO. "We knew we could help build a better Lubbock by serving the needs of customers our way."
The first step involved forming an equipment finance company that could meet the equipment needs of businesses, as well as acquiring a mortgage servicing operation out of Fort Worth which was moved to Lubbock and served as the launching pad for what is now PrimeWest Mortgage.
The next step was to put together a group of independent businessmen in Lubbock who would become the cornerstone of this unique vision. That original group of investors purchased a small bank in White Deer, Texas that was finalized on June 30th, 1996. That bank was relocated to Lubbock and the first lobby doors were opened on September 12th, 1996.
All that remained was to build the right team of people. "We could dream all day long about what type of company we wanted to be, but without good, smart, energetic people, you can't even get out of the blocks," Orr added. Greg Garland was the first key component to that team. He came on board and took charge of building what has become one of the largest community banks in Lubbock.
All the pieces of Outsource Capital Group, Inc. were falling in place. The original plan of combining an equipment finance division with a community bank and mortgage company was complete.
Those humble beginnings consisted of a portable building in the parking lot of what eventually would become the corporate headquarters for the next 13 years. With just 14 employees in all three divisions, and $10 million in assets, it was clear their work was cut out for them. In just three months time, assets had grown to $44 million and six new employees were hired.
That handful of employees knew they were on to something big. And it was only going to get bigger. By December of 2000, the company consisted of more than 50 employees and reached the milestone of $100 million in assets.
This time of expansion and growth saw many key people added to the rank and file. PrimeWest mortgage added Vada White, Ron Rogers and Phebe Ellis-Roach to a growing management team. Abel Castro, with a strong regulatory background became Chief Deposit Officer at FirstBank & Trust while Brent Burrows, CPA, took the role of Chief Financial Officer after spending many years with a private audit firm.
In 2003, the second office, MidCity was completed at 22nd and Indiana. Drew Anderson served as the first president of MidCity and currently serves as Chief Lending Officer.
In 2004, the company changed its name from Outsource Capital Group, Inc., to FirstBank Lubbock Bancshares to help build a brand between the bank and the holding company.
By the time FirstBank & Trust reached our 10th anniversary, we had more than $330 million in assets and more than 125 employees.
The following year saw the acquisition of Wilson State Bank with branches in Wilson and Tahoka, Texas. "Adding those two branches really helped us enter into the agricultural market," adds Abel Castro, Chief Deposit Officer. "We know how important small communities are to the health and growth of this area and the farming and ranching industries are a big part of that."
2007 also saw the creation of FB&T Wealth Management, a wholly owned subsidiary led by a seasoned financial consultant, Mitch Watson. Now the bank could provide investment services to customers planning for retirement or financial growth.
Marketing was a focus in 2008 as the board decided to hire Bill deTournillon to create an internal marketing and business development department. deTournillon was formerly the CEO of a regional television station and his expertise helped transform FirstBank & Trust into a full-service retail banking facility.
In 2009 we reached another milestone of $500 million in assets and our little family had grown to include more than 150 people. 2009 also saw the opening of our new multi-million dollar corporate headquarters, FirstBank Centre located at 98th and Slide. This state of the art facility allowed us the opportunity to put all banking departments under one roof as well as consolidate our mortgage company into our existing facilities at our South location. FirstBank Centre has since become an economic cornerstone in Southwest Lubbock with the addition of professional tenants such as the law firm of Craig, Terrill, Hale & Grantham, the accounting firm of Robinson, Burdette, Martin & Seright and the Aycock & Fowler Insurance Agency.
2010 had some bittersweet moments as well with the retirement of Ron Rogers from PrimeWest Mortgage. In just six years, Ron built the mortgage company into a leading regional home lender in Lubbock with more than 40% of the market share. Bill deTournillon, SVP of Marketing, was chosen to take over the reins and continue to build on the success Ron created at PrimeWest Mortgage. Today, the FirstBank & Trust way of doing business continues to put an emphasis on the customer. We strive to make the Lubbock community the best place to live and work in the entire United States. We say our blessings every day for the community atmosphere that is only found in West Texas.
With the astounding growth, we still remain committed to those core principles that have made FirstBank & Trust what it is today. "Philosophically, we really put an emphasis on the customer," Orr commented. "What I called it when we started is that we are going to have across-the-lobby, hug-your-neck service. Your name is going to be used. People may not know you when you walk in, but after every transaction we are going to use your name. Touch-your-heart customer service, that's what made this bank what it is. That's the first thing people say when they walk in."
Greg Garland said it has been amazing to watch the bank grow while firmly holding onto its driving principles. "The best thing about this is that it has been a family deal. By family, I mean our FirstBank Family. We put a priority on family values and it's amazing the talent you attract with that type of culture. You can't underestimate the power of that. You know the people here work together for a common bond to grow this organization and make customers feel welcome the moment they walk in the door. Every employee is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our customers get the best possible service."
Those beliefs are summed up in our Core Values:
These three things are what we focus on as a bank. The way we follow those core values ranges from making sure employees get the time they need to watch their kids play in baseball tournaments, school plays or go to dental appointments to providing a cookout team for our customers' grand openings and taking part in the United Way and American Diabetes Association. "It's those core values," Orr said, "that differentiate FB&T from a marketplace crowded with competition. The fact that we can run a successful business, make time for our families, and help this community thrive is proof that we are truly blessed to live and work in Lubbock, Texas!"