George Ruth, Chairman 2018 & 2019
The Western States Director Education Foundation dedicates many volunteer man-hours strategizing the annual Symposium for Community Bank Directors that provides exceptional programs and topics to educate community bank directors and senior executives. The program and the speakers are carefully selected to assist participants in gaining insight and knowledge about today’s community banking industry.
In addition, the Foundation’s mission has grown to include the contribution of educational grants to banking schools and organizations. The recipients are as follows:
- Independent Bankers of Colorado
- Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico
- Graduate School of Banking at Colorado
- New Mexico Bankers Association
- The Colorado Bankers Association
- Western States School of Banking
- Wyoming Bankers Association
On behalf of the board, we thank those who have supported the foundation in the past, in the present and for their vision of the future.
George Ruth, 2018/2019 Chairman
President & CEO
Citizens Bank of Las Cruces, Las Cruces, NM
“I have attended the annual Bank Director’s Symposium for over 21 years and without exception, the topics have been extremely timely, the quality of speakers has been excellent, and the knowledge gained has been invaluable, certainly to an Outside Director. It is definitely an event that our board looks forward to each year.” ~ Gwen Speer Clouthier, Citizens Bank, Farmington, NM
In the fall of 2016 the Western States Director’s Education Foundation celebrated the 40th year of the Symposium for Community Bank Directors. The Foundation was founded by several members of the New Mexico School of Banking in the fall of 1976 and was named the New Mexico School of Banking Foundation. Henry Jaramillo, Jr., President of Ranchers State Bank in Belen, NM, and Don Simonson, the Director for the New Mexico School of Banking, created and led this initial program.
The primary and most important factor in forming the foundation was to aid and assist the Banking School in study and research of banking issues. Henry Jaramillo granted the initial funds for the foundation in trust, thus, the foundation was formed. Mr. Jaramillo was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Board in the first official year of 1977. The other original directors were: Cyrene Mapel, Dean Robert H. Rehder, William H. Vernon, Sam D. Young, Jr., Kenneth C. Bonnell, H. Eugene Adams, Gaylord Freeman, and W. Robert Nicks.
The foundation would offer regularly scheduled intensive two or three day short courses at the New Mexico School of Banking facilities located on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Nationally known bankers and educators staffed the courses. The attendees had ample opportunity for discussion with the staff and fellow directors in class, at mealtimes, and during social activities.
During the years, the board members, the name of the foundation and the schedule has changed, but the intent of educating directors and senior officers still remains. Our primary goal is to organize an annual dynamic program that educates and informs community bank directors and senior officers about current topics presented by industry leaders. The directors are still given the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other directors, find old friends and make new friends.