Thursday evening, John M. “Mike” Verlander, Chairman and President of the Board of Directors of Southwest United Bancshares, Inc., which owns United Bank of El Paso del Norte (United Bank), announced the appointment of its new board of directors.
The board is responsible for building shareholder value and equity in United Bank through oversight, transparency and continual communication with its stockholders. Along with the bank’s strong leadership team, the board is committed to growing United Bank in a safe and sound manner.
Verlander, who as chair and president represents the interests of its 469 shareholders, owns and operates the Corner Bakery and Village Inn restaurant franchises in El Paso and Las Cruces and was the former owner of 10 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants.
A long-time El Paso resident, he is a member of the National Restaurant Association, the Texas Restaurant Association and the New Mexico Restaurant Association and is active in the community, including the UTEP Miner Association, the NMSU Aggie Sport Association, the National Wildlife Turkey Association and Ducks Unlimited, among others. He previously served on the El Paso Planning Commission.
Other board members are:
Patrica A. “Patsy” Parker, Vice Chair, is a founding shareholder of United Bank and a past Advisory Director. She is a retired healthcare administrator with more than 30 years of experience as a Master-prepared nurse.
Patsy is certified in Advanced Nursing Administration and is a Medical Legal Consultant. Among her many successes, she was Associate Administrator at Sierra Medical Center (now the Hospitals of Providence); CEO of the former Rio Vista Rehabilitation Hospital in El Paso; Director of Nursing for Tucson Heart Hospital in Tucson, Arizona; and Director of Nurses at Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso, New Mexico.
She has served on numerous boards including the American Heart Association, Hospice El Paso and the Women’s Resource Center and is a member of Rotary Clubs of
El Paso and Ruidoso.
Mark Barnett has been the General Manager of Barnett Harley-Davidson for the past 24 years. During that time, his dealership has garnered 42 awards from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company including the coveted Diamond Award for being the highest volume dealership in the world and the Gold Bar & Shield Award for excellence in customer service.
Barnett has also published and edited four magazines for readers in the U.S. and across the globe. In addition to his extensive community work, Mark has received numerous awards for his fundraising efforts in El Paso and Juarez. His business Facebook pages are followed by more than 5.3 million people around the world.
Gail Darling is a founding shareholder and past Advisory Director of United Bank. She started Gail Darling Staffing in 1986, providing professional staffing services to four major markets in the Southwest. In 1995, she founded the Baker-Darling Training Center to help retrain NAFTA-displaced workers under a $6.5 million contract from the Clinton Administration.
In addition to her many accomplishments, she was a prominent businesswoman for 30 years before she retired and moved to Austin. Gail brings decades of business and banking experience to the board, having served on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas-El Paso Branch for many years (Chair of the Board, 11th District), as well as numerous local and civic boards.
Craig Alan Fortune, a past Advisory Director of United Bank, had a successful 25-year career in his family’s automobile dealership, Fortune Lincoln Mercury.
Working his way up from Finance Manager to Vice President and finally to President, Craig was responsible for all areas of dealership operations, including major financial decisions. After the dealership was sold in 1995, he became Chairman of the Board of the Ruell Group, a company providing comprehensive, cost-effective voter and consumer contact and polling systems.
Craig’s past professional activities include President of the El Paso New Car Dealers Association and the Texas Automobile Association, among others.
Kay Cargill Jenkins, was a member of United Bank’s Board of Directors from 2010-2012 and a past Advisory Director of the bank. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from NMSU and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law with honors.
Kay worked as an attorney for Kemp Smith, LLP for 20 years where she represented several large healthcare organizations. She then returned to her hometown of Roswell, NM where she worked for the prestigious law firm of Atwood Malone Turner and Sabin. She currently works at the Ragsdale Law Firm in Roswell and is licensed to practice law in both New Mexico and Texas.
While in El Paso, she was an active board member of the University Breast Care Center at Texas Tech and the Texas Lung Association, among others.
Jaime Lowenberg is a founding shareholder and past Advisory Directory of the Bank. His business focus has primarily been in the financial and accounting areas where he has dealt with cross-border business management, binational and bicultural conglomerates and privately-owned companies. He has held the positions of Corporate Controller and CFO for various business entities.
Jaime also participated in the Franchise Center at UTEP where he shared his experience managing a locally-owned franchise operation. For more than 20 years, he has been involved with numerous non-profit organizations in El Paso as a both a board member and fundraiser.