Credit union announces extraordinary dividend
Eastman Credit Union’s volunteer board of directors approved returning another $15 million extraordinary dividend to members in early 2022.
The extraordinary dividend, first awarded in 1998, will soon total $162 million in payouts.
“ECU’s extraordinary dividend demonstrates our commitment to giving our members the absolute best financial experience. The longevity of this payout is indicative of our financial safety and soundness and that ECU’s member-first focus is unwavering,” said Kelly Price, president and CEO of Eastman Credit Union.
The extraordinary dividend will be deposited into accounts in January and is based on the amount of interest members have earned on deposits and paid on loans throughout the year.
Eastman Credit Union’s membership covers much of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Gregg and Harrison Counties in Texas. The extraordinary dividend payout has a concentrated economic impact on these regions.
Austin Bank honors Longview employees
Austin Bank recently honored employees for their years of service with the company. They were recognized at the Bank’s 2021 Service Award Luncheon held Dec. 8 at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler.
“We are proud of all these employees because they work as a team serving our friends, neighbors and businesses located here in East Texas,” said Austin Bank Chairman Jeff Austin III. “They are the key to our Bank’s success. Each one takes pride in the tasks they handle in their job; and at the same time these employees continually strive to provide excellent service to our Bank customers.”
“At Austin Bank our employees are the difference and perpetuate Austin Bank’s legacy. Each one has earned and deserves this recognition for their dedicated commitment to the Bank and its customers. We are proud of their contributions and accomplishments,” said Russ Gideon, president and CEO.
This year’s annual luncheon honored a group of 54 employees with a combined total of 750years of experience. Longview recipients include:
Twenty Year Service Award
Abigayle Berry is the assistant retail market manager for the bank’s North Region. She worked as a teller, customer service representative and retail office manager at Longview Greggton before assuming her current role in 2018. Now working from the Gladewater office, Berry is a long-time resident of Longview and a graduate of Pine Tree High School. She has completed the bank’s leadership program and the American Bankers Association’s Certified Customer Service Representative training. Berry and her husband, Beau, have one daughter and one son
Dennis Means, data processing manager, works in the IT department based out of the bank’s Longview Greggton location. A lifelong resident of Gilmer, Means is a graduate of Harmony High School, Kilgore College and American Sentinel University. He and his wife, Jan, have four children and are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Means currently serves as the bishop of the Gilmer 1st Ward.
Kim Raney, senior vice president/credit analyst department manager, has more than 28 years of banking experience. Before joining Austin Bank in 2001, she worked as a credit analyst and underwriter for Bank One. Raney graduated from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport and the University of Arkansas. Raney and her daughter, Emma, reside in Hallsville. She is a volunteer for Hope for Pets Rescue assisting with fostering animals.
Fifteen Year Service Award
April Laughlin is a loan assistant in the Bank’s Gladewater office. She joined Austin Bank as a Teller and worked as a customer service representative before moving to her current position. Laughlin is a graduate of Hawkins High School and is continuing her studies at Kilgore College. She and her husband, Toby, reside in White Oak. They have three sons and three grandchildren. Laughlin is a volunteer for the White Oak Baseball Association.
Ten Year Service Awards
Danielle Merkley, loan administrative assistant, has been with the bank for 10 years. Before moving to her current position, Merkley worked as a teller, customer service representative and escrow valuation specialist. She and her husband, Ramon, live in Longview with their daughter. Merkley is a graduate of Sabine High School and Kilgore College. She is a volunteer for Junior Achievement.
Jim Wallace, senior vice president/relationship manager, joined Austin Bank in 2011 bringing with him 42 years of previous banking experience. A graduate of Longview High School, Wallace earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas Christian University. Residing in Longview, he and his wife, Susie, share six children and 10 grandchildren. An active member of his community, Wallace is a member of the First United Methodist Church, the Longview and Kilgore Chambers of Commerce, and he volunteers for the Longview and Kilgore United Way, as well as the American Cancer Society. He has been recognized by the Texas Banker’s Association with the distinguished 50-year Banker award.
Five Year Service Awards
Teresa Crisler is the teller operations supervisor at the bank’s Longview Greggton location. Possessing 40 years of banking experience, Crisler joined the Bank in 2016 as teller operations supervisor in Gladewater before moving to the Greggton office. A graduate of Faith Academy in Mobile, Alabama, Crisler has attended Mobile College, Kilgore College and completed the Leadership Longview program. A resident of Longview, she and her husband, Michael, have three grown children.
Karson Noe, customer service representative, celebrates five years with the bank. She currently works in the Longview Loop location and has served as a teller and teller operations supervisor before moving to this position. A graduate of Longview High School and Kilgore College, Noe has also completed CTR Bootcamp and the bank’s leadership program. She and her husband, Jacob, live in Longview and attend First Baptist Church of Judson.
David Rodarte is a senior credit analyst working from the Longview Oak Forest office. Starting at the bank as a teller in the Tyler Med Center office, Rodarte also worked in the Central Loan Department. He is a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School, Northeast Texas Community College and the University of Texas at Tyler. Rodarte and his fiancé, Mayra, have two children, and he is a coach for the Mount Pleasant Youth Soccer Association.