HARLINGEN, RGV – The new corporate headquarters for Texas Regional Bank will be a landmark building in the Rio Grande Valley says Eric Kennedy, president of the South Texas division of SpawGlass.

At a groundbreaking ceremony for the $55 million building, Kennedy thanked the bank’s chairman, Michael Scaief, and its CEO, Paul Moxley, for letting SpawGlass be a part of the project. The new HQ is being built on the north side of I-2 at Stuart Place Road in west Harlingen.

“This is going to be a landmark building for the Valley, whether you are going to McAllen or coming from McAllen to Harlingen. Everybody is going to see this building. It is going to be a very strong building. It is one of those buildings that is going to have a presence about it, it will be a landmark,” Kenney said, in his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“It is going to be a building that, when you walk into it, it is going to have a good feel to it. It is going to be comfortable and it is going to feel like home. But, it is a very professional building, it is going to have a high quality and we are very excited to be a part of it.”

Kennedy said this time next year, Texas Regional Bank “will be off to the races” because the new corporate headquarters will be open for business. “We will be able to walk it inside and really see what a beautiful building this facility is going to be for the community,” Kennedy added.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on a bitterly cold late afternoon. Despite this, the turnout was high with more than 100 people keeping warm under a heated tent. Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell commented on the “great” turnout.

“A lot of great things happening in our city, a lot of great momentous, historic things happening. It is not often we start on a Monday with a groundbreaking on a $55 million (Cardone Industries) building and then on Wednesday follow that up with a $10 million headquarters building right here in Harlingen,” Boswell.

“It is more evidence of great things happening in our city and certainly this is one of them. And we certainly want to congratulate and thank Texas Regional Bank and their board of directors for choosing Harlingen to build this new and impressive facility that will be a great addition to the landscape of Harlingen and provide greatly needed services in our community.”

Boswell added that Harlingen is “so fortunate” to have the kind of growth it is experiencing and business leaders’ who recognize the significance and the importance of the city as a central location.

In their remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, Chairman Scaief spoke mostly about Texas Regional Bank’s beginnings, while CEO Moxley spoke mostly about the bank’s culture.

In his remarks, Scaief said he wanted to focus on how the bank began, in 2010.

“We got started with the organization because of a couple of events that happened prior to that date. If you all remember we had then the great recession, lots of things happened in our communities, lending was hindered, and then we had a super-regional sale to an out of town bank and again we found ourselves in a position where the banking services, in our opinion, weren’t being met,” Scaief said.

“The bank that I dealt with had been purchased and the availability of credit was not what it used to be. So, we rounded up some guys, four, actually five, guys and we said, why don’t we start a bank? We took some polls, and everybody thought we were crazy, but the fact was that the opportunity to get in banking in 2007/2008 was great because the barrier of entry to do so had really been broken down.”

Scaief said he and the other founders of Texas Regional Bank developed a business plan that focused on “bringing back relationship banking as quickly as we could.” He said technology was important and so was having a bank owned by many not a few.

“And so, we took out and initiated a business plan and in 2010 acquired a bank in Falfurrias, Texas, called Falfurrias State Bank. The acquisition was about $25 million,” Scaief said.

The grand opening of the first Texas Regional Bank in the Valley was in August 2010.

“We had just got through having our first capital raise, which was extremely successful, with about $24 million and 150 families that invested in the bank. Today, Texas Regional Bank is 600 shareholders strong, boasts about $830 million in assets, has ten locations in the Valley and six locations in the Hill Country. And about $96 million in total capital,” Scaief explained.

In his remarks, CEO Moxley said what he likes about Texas Regional Bank is that it is a team effort, and everyone works hard together.

“The directors guide us and head us in the right direction. Good customers come in and take care of us and we take care of our customers. That is the way have always understood it. You know, I look at it as a regional bank, but we are a community bank. We are in the communities and that is what we believe in,” Moxley said.

“But, the region is the Valley. So, the main bank here in Harlingen is between Brownsville and McAllen. It is a perfect location. It makes a lot of sense. Everything we do, we try to look at the Valley as a whole. We don’t look at one area. I think it is a concept that has done well for us.”

Moxley pointed out that Texas Regional Bank has diversified a little be expanding into the Texas Hill Country.

“That has been a big plus for us. Our growth up there… our goal in the Valley is to have over 13 banks, and probably 11 or 12 banks in the Hill Country in the next two years. So, there is a lot happening in this bank. You are part of a bank that is exciting, is growing, and will continue to do that. It makes it fun to be part of that, to be on this side of the bank and take care of the customers and take care of the communities.”

Moxley said a lot of the guidance comes from the bank’s senior executive team. He said that executive team has been together almost 20 years or more, in other banks and other locations. “We understand each other. We know our direction and what we are trying to achieve,” Moxley added.

Michael Lamon, chief operating officer for Texas Regional Bank said the bank had just 11 employees when it started. Now it has 171 in the Valley and 54 in the Hill Country.

“It is all about the people,” Lamon said. “In seven years we have grown from absolutely nothing in the Valley to over $700 million in assets. That momentum started right here, in my home town, in that building. In fact, kind of a neat fact, the Harlingen branch in front of the (Valley Baptist) hospital has led all TRB branches in new account generation for four straight years.”