Thursday morning, officials with United Bank announced that Norm Peters has been named President of El Paso’s community bank, United Bank of El Paso del Norte.
The announcement was made by George Bailey, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Peters was previously United Bank’s interim President and, prior to that, Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for Commercial Lending.
“In just a few short months, Norm has proven to be a great leader during this time of transition and repositioning. He has gained the trust and support of the employees and is focused on building an even firmer foundation to assure the continued growth, strength and security of the bank,” said Bailey.
Officials share that Peters has over 30 years of experience in El Paso’s financial market as well as an extensive professional background. He has served on numerous community boards including The Rotary Club of West El Paso, YMCA, The El Paso Chamber of Commerce, UTEP Family Business Forum, Candlelighters of El Paso and KCOS Public Television.
Along with his executive team – COO Josh Whitehurst, CFO Patrick Smith and Chief Lending Officer Trey Miller – Peters is leading the effort to maintain the bank’s solid financial performance and stability.
“The bank has always been in a strong position, with assets, deposits and income continuing to grow year-over-year. Our balance sheet remains robust,” said Peters.
“Nothing has changed. Our priorities and focus remain the same as we continue to strive to be the very best at serving our customers and the El Paso community,” he continued. “Our team has been positive, supportive and extremely dedicated as we work through the changes that are occurring, and our customers have commented that they are confident that the bank is secure and will be there to support their needs on a day-to-day basis,” added Peters.
This year, as an example year, the bank made 429 Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans for a total of $53 million, which helped preserve 8,667 jobs and gained many new customers in the process.
Dr. Louis Alpern, who was one of the bank’s customers to receive a PPP loan, said, “After having worked with the loan officers of the bank and going through the PPP application process, I now realize the value and importance of a community bank.
“We are now focusing our efforts on building a strong working relationship between the bank, its employees and the two governing boards which provide on-going support and service to our many customers,” said Peters.
Those boards are Southwest United Bancshares, Inc. which represents the interests of the bank’s shareholders; and United Bank’s Board of Directors, tasked with overseeing the bank’s operations.
In addition to Bailey, an ex-board member who has returned to be Chairman of the bank’s Board of Directors and formerly Vice President and Manager of Phelps Dodge in El Paso, the leadership team of Southwest United Bancshares, Inc. has been named. Mike Verlander, owner/operator of Corner Bakery and Village Inn restaurants, is now Chairman and President of the Bancshares Board; and Patsy Parker, a retired healthcare administrator, joins him as Vice-Chair.
Officials add that both boards are in the process of naming additional members to their boards.