The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT), the nation’s largest state community banking association, recently honored Ozona Bank of Wimberley with a Best of Community Banking award. He received a Community Spirit award for his entry into community service.

Ozona Bank contributes to many non-profit organizations in the Wimberley Valley. Years ago, the local branch decided to support Crisis Bread Basket, a local organization that helps fight hunger and provide support to those in need. The bank’s president and CEO, Kelly Barclay, and then Crisis Bread Basket president, Judy Dunn, discussed a joint effort between the bank and CBB.

“When Judy approached me in 2002, she expressed concern about the recent denial of federal funding and the negative impact it would have on CBB and its ability to fulfill its mission to serve those less fortunate. Understanding the bank’s passion for meeting the needs of our communities, I immediately recognized this as an opportunity to help,” said Barclay. “The bank’s successful 20-year partnership with CBB can be attributed to our dedicated and enthusiastic staff who strive to exceed the previous year’s monetary target. The bank’s directors, officers and staff are passionate about supporting the needs of the communities we serve and are excited to be part of this journey with CBB.

The program started with just a few volunteers but has grown every year. Officers and employees dress in Thanksgiving-themed turkey costumes and hats, strutting or dancing along Ranch Road 12, where CBB and the bank are located, to raise awareness for the cause. Additionally, two food and toiletries deposit bins are located inside the main bank and drive-thru lobby, along with monetary donation boxes year-round. Bank employees and leaders also work side by side during annual food distributions in November.

2022 marks the 31st year that IBAT is celebrating the outstanding achievements of Texas community banks with the BOCB Awards. Community banks, such as Ozona Bank, play a vital role in their local communities. The Best of Community Banking competition is designed to honor local banks for their commitment to helping their customers, neighbors, employees and community. The BOCB Awards recognize community banks across the state for their innovation, creativity, and success in meeting a specific community or internal need.