Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Team Places Third in Community Bank Case Study Competition

Students & Dr Hein

In only its second year of existence, a team of finance students from Texas Tech University's Rawls College of Business was nationally recognized today (May 25), taking home third place in the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) 2017 Community Bank Case Study Competition.

The competition presents an opportunity for undergraduate student teams to partner with local community banks to conduct original case studies evaluating the local economic impact of community banks. Under the direction of a faculty adviser, teams conduct a case study, providing a written report and a video showcasing their research.

The goal of the competition is to build a further understanding of the community banking business model and the role community banks play in local communities, to connect students with bank executives and to serve as a tool for uncovering new and innovative perspectives regarding the role of community banks in the banking industry.

Texas Tech's team members are:

  • Vincent Atchison, a finance major from Junction
  • Taylor Hadsall, a finance major from Fort Worth
  • Eric Lamm, a finance and accounting major from Roswell, New Mexico
  • Alex Priest, a finance major from Abernathy
  • Sara Van Sickle, a finance major from Austin

All five graduated from Texas Tech earlier this month. Each will receive a $250 CSBS scholarship and the team's case study will be published in the Journal of Community Bank Case Studies.

The focus of this year's competition was on succession planning – a process for identifying and developing new leaders who can replace previous leaders when they leave, retire or die – in community banks. Texas Tech's team partnered with Centennial Bank in their study this year.

"Working on this project was a unique opportunity to examine succession planning,” Priest said. "It is an important topic, but it is difficult to see how the process works in a classroom setting. Working with individuals at the bank to understand the culture and people was important in considering the effects of succession planning.”

To complete the project, the team worked closely with executives from Centennial Bank, interviewing the bank's officers and members of its board of directors. Centennial Bank also supplied the team with bank-specific information to complete the case study.

"We were surprised by how transparent communication was with our team,” Priest said. "Bank officials went out of their way to provide our team with the information we needed to be successful. Additionally, our team learned how involved the process of succession planning can be. Most people have a very narrow view of succession planning. They see it as simply replacing employees who retire or leave, but in reality successful succession planning is as much about developing and retaining talent as it is about being prepared for departures.”

Thirty-three undergraduate student teams entered the competition from universities and colleges throughout the nation. The University of Akron won first place and Iowa State University came in second.

"We are grateful to even have made it this far in the competition and are very happy with the results,” Van Sickle said. "We would like to congratulate both the University of Akron and Iowa State University. We would like to thank Centennial Bank, Brett McDowell and J. David Williams for all the help and information they gave us.

"We would also like to thank Dr. Scott Hein, our adviser, as well as Dr. Mark Moore and the professors of Texas Tech for all their support. Our hope is that Texas Tech continues to participate in this great case study competition in the years to come, because we have all learned so much about community banks and banking management.”

Hein returned as faculty adviser for this year's competition after Texas Tech's then-newly established team reached the semifinals in 2016.

"It is wonderful to see these five Texas Tech University students nationally recognized for their study of Centennial Bank and their human resources management,” Hein said. "The team worked hard in addressing numerous detailed succession planning matters raised by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors in their case study. To see this hard work externally recognized by experts in the banking industry is heartening. I am quite proud of their accomplishment.”

About CSBS

CSBS is the nationwide non-profit organization of banking regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was organized in 1902 as the National Association of Supervisors of State Banks. In 1971, the name of the organization was changed to the Conference of State Bank Supervisors to better reflect the ongoing nature of CSBS activities. For more than 100 years, CSBS has been uniquely positioned as the only national organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the nation's dual-banking system.

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