Today, we proudly announce the hiring of Spence Bridges as the new Texas Gulf Bank president. We are confident that we identified the next leader of our bank to succeed Rich Jochetz and guide us into a new era of growth.
How Spence Bridges Became Our New Bank President
Over the first few months of 2023, we performed an exhaustive search for a new bank president to fill the shoes of Rich Jochetz, who is retiring after serving in the role at Texas Gulf Bank for the past 15+ years.
We engaged Sudduth Search, a well-respected executive search firm, to aid us in identifying qualified candidates – both internally and externally. Spence Bridges quickly shot to the top of our candidate list after he was referred to our bank by a respected, now-retired banker friend in Houston. The retired banker was confident the president role would be a good fit for Spence.
At the time, Spence was serving as the Regional Director Commercial Lending at Trustmark Bank. Spence had been with the bank for 30 years, including serving as Regional President – Houston and Senior Vice President – Commercial Real Estate Manager.
Spence’s longevity at Trustmark made it a difficult decision to leave. However, it became clear that becoming president at Texas Gulf Bank was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
“It came down to the scope of the opportunity and working with the existing team,” says Spence. “Most of the existing team has been together for years, which says something about the strength of the bank.”
“Banking is all about people and relationships, both external and internal. I am confident in my desire and ability to learn. Being naturally inquisitive, I know I can ask the right questions and lean on the right people for input. Ultimately, I will make the right decisions for the bank.”
Why Spence Bridges is the Right Fit as New Bank President
During the recruiting and interviewing process, Spence Bridges separated himself from our pool of qualified candidates. We believed he had the right character, experience, and knowledge of how to serve customers.
It starts at the foundational level of how Spence learned the banking industry. Spence has a traditional banking background, which means he followed a progressive learning path as he took on higher roles with more responsibilities:
- Management Development Program
- Credit Analysis
- Retail Lending
- Corporate Lending
- Commercial Real Estate
In addition to possessing ample lending experience, Spence managed teams of lenders and an entire region. This new opportunity at Texas Gulf Bank will leverage every part of his experience and provide him with ample opportunities to build new skills.
Part of being an exceptional banker is remaining committed to learning, especially being able to understand the latest needs of customers and then providing the right solution. Fortunately, serving customers has been the foundation of Spence’s career since his first job out of college when he took 70-90 calls per day in a call service center.
“Customer service is what helps set Texas Gulf Bank apart. It’s the foundation of the bank going back 110 years,” says Spence. “I’m looking forward to getting to know our customers, as I’ve always loved that part of banking.”
“I believe we’re only as good as our people. Getting to know our customers is the fun part of our industry, especially seeing how they came to be in business. Having a small part in their success is rewarding.”
Spence Bridges Will Fit Right in as New Bank President
We are proud of the culture at Texas Gulf Bank. It was important for our new president to gel with our leadership team, lenders, and other professional staff to ensure we remain strong, healthy, and focused on serving the needs of our customers.
Spence Bridges checked those boxes. He is equally driven as our team to learn more about our customers and be part of a growing team that thrives in a collaborative environment. His connections with our CEO Jimmy Brown and outgoing president Rich Jochetz made it clear that Spence was the right fit as the new president.
“Jimmy and Rich have been great to work with, along with everyone else on the team,” says Spence. “From the onboarding process, IT set-up, calls with loan officers, and already participating in the Loan Committee, I’ve certainly hit the ground running and am enjoying every minute. I am very impressed with the team and everyone’s desire to serve each other and our customers.”
Tapping into Spence’s background, experience, and fresh perspective will create tremendous new opportunities for our bank. We look forward to following Spence’s leadership during this next era of growth supporting our customers throughout the Gulf Coast region.
“Most of my career has been lending and management focused. This is an exciting opportunity to broaden my banking experience, meet new people, and add value,” says Spence. “I’m excited to be at Texas Gulf Bank and see what the next, and hopefully, the last chapter of my career entails.”
– To our current customers, we appreciate your continued partnership with our bank as we embark on a new journey. We look forward to helping you continue to reach your growth goals.
– If you are not a current customer, we invite you to start a new banking relationship with Texas Gulf Bank. It’s an exciting time to be part of our bank as we introduce Spence Bridges as our new president.