Former chairman C.T. “Pete” Hornsby passes the torch to new chairman Robert L. Lozano. The Greater State Bank Board of Directors congratulates Robert.
Former chairman C.T. “Pete” Hornsby passes the torch to new chairman Robert L. Lozano.

The backbone of our nation’s economy has always been small business. Individual small business owners face a variety of challenges growing their business. For 40 years Greater State Bank, formerly known as Greater South Texas Bank, has played a major role in helping small business owners meet those challenges head on by taking care of their banking needs. The bank has grown from its humble beginnings in the rural dairy town of Falfurrias, home of the Falfurrias Butter Creamery, to now offering a full-range of commercial and consumer banking products and services in three other South Texas communities: Hebbronville, McAllen and now Weslaco.

During the 1970’s, Charley Hornsby, in partnership with Gus Canales, owned and operated Gus Canales, Inc., an oil field construction company. Mr. Hornsby’s background in ranching and as an independent oil and gas operator gave him a well-rounded appreciation of the challenges small business faced in South Texas. In 1974, Charley Hornsby became an organizing director of the newly established federal savings bank in Falfurrias. Because of his extensive business background, one of his top priorities was to support the local Falfurrias community with banking services that were specific to their needs. Hornsby helped build the bank on a strong reputation in the Falfurrias community and it was his son, C.T. “Pete” Hornsby that continued the very important legacy as the bank grew and expanded to Hebbronville in 1976.

A pivotal event occurred in 2002, when veteran South Texas business banker, Luis Cortinas, joined the bank as its president/CEO and board member. Shortly thereafter, Cortinas convinced Pete Hornsby that the same business model conceived by his father to support and finance small business in rural South Texas would work in the vibrant Rio Grande Valley economy. Subsequently, Pete Hornsby set plans in motion to expand the bank’s footprint to include the Rio Grande Valley. The first Rio Grande Valley office of Greater State Bank opened in 2007. Greater State Bank has enjoyed successful growth in carrying out its strategic mission in the Hidalgo County area.

After years of solid leadership and hard work contributing to the bank’s growth, Hornsby convinced the board that it was time for change and decided to pass the leadership torch on to a young entrepreneur from the McAllen area, Robert L. Lozano. According to Hornsby, Lozano brings strong leadership skills, vast business experience, and a strong sense of community involvement to the board. Lozano and his wife, Laurie, successfully own and operate 40 Dairy Queens in Texas. He leads by example and enjoys a very successful history of serving on past and current local area civic and non-profit organizations.

“We are pleased to have Robert become the Chairman of the Board and look forward to the effects of his vision and leadership. Robert’s business acumen and professionalism have already made him a very productive contributing member of our board while also serving as a valuable resource for our management team.” said Hornsby. “Robert is a highly-respected and experienced individual with a proven and established record of sound decision making.”

Lozano said, “I am honored to serve as chairman of the board and carry on the vision and legacy that the Hornsby family established for the benefit of South Texas and the customers we serve. The Greater State Bank leadership is firmly committed to fully supporting our local communities, whether it is through our products and services or through our strong belief in community involvement.

Commenting on Lozano as the new chairman, Cortinas added, “Robert’s addition to our board’s leadership reinforces my belief that Greater State Bank will continue to grow in South Texas as the Hornsby family had originally intended. The bedrock of our success is and always will continue to be the ‘Genuine Hometown Banking’ experience that we remain committed to.”

McAllen businessman Hector Ramos has been a customer of the bank for several years and is grateful to Greater State Bank for his success. Ramos said that when he walks into the bank, the environment is always friendly and down to earth. “I’m old-fashioned when it comes to banking. I want to bank somewhere where I’m not just a number but a person,” Ramos said. “Greater State Bank offers a hometown banking culture to McAllen that other banks don’t have. And one big benefit the bank has is that its seasoned team of banking professionals understands my industry and responds quickly to my needs. Quite simply, they care about my company.”

Lozano mentioned that he is excited to work with the bank’s other Valley board members, which include local attorney Rey Ortiz, long-standing community and business leader Foss Jones, and Valleywide auto dealer Bud Payne.

“We are in an increasingly fast-paced industry and we must address change when necessary, but it’s our attention to personal care while addressing our customers’ financial needs that are the success factors behind Greater State Bank. I invite everyone to come by and visit one of our banks to find out what the ‘Genuine Hometown Banking’ experience is all about.”

Greater State Bank is chartered by the Texas Dept. of Banking and is a member of the Federal Reserve System. Its deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”). Greater State Bank is an equal housing lender that provides a range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals, individuals and families. For additional information about Greater State Bank, please call (956) 973-4782 or send us an email.