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Wellington State Bank wins statewide awards for efforts in giving, financial literacy.

Pictured from left: IBAT Immediate-Past Chairman Kyle Irwin, WSB Chief Credit Officer Jeff Lloyd, WSB Chief Lending Officer Forrest Lloyd and IBAT President/CEO Christopher L. Williston VI.

The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT)—the largest state community banking association in the nation—recently honored Wellington State Bank with two Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Awards.

It received a Silver Eagle award for its “Beans for Jeans” community service entry and a Silver Eagle award for its “Dragon Spirit Bank” financial literacy entry.


In 2022, Wellington State Bank put a different spin on the annual canned food drive they held every year by rolling out a new campaign called “Beans for Jeans.”

For the entire month of November, if Wellington State Bank employees wanted to wear jeans for the day, they had to bring a can of beans (or other canned good or food item) for donation.

To make it interesting, marketing recruited a team of “Jeans Police” – an individual at each branch that would keep an eye out for any violators wearing jeans without donating.

If an employee was caught wearing jeans without donating, the employee donated $5 to “get out of jail” for the day.

All money collected was also donated to each branch’s food pantry of choice.

The bank raised a record number of food items that was donated to fourteen food pantries across the state thanks to the efforts of Wellington State Bank employees and customers.


Dragon Spirit Bank was created in 1999 by First National Bank of Paducah (which later merged with Wellington State Bank) to help the local youth of Paducah ISD learn about banking and develop an understanding of the need to save.

Originally, the Gifted and Talented Class acted as the tellers for this project to encourage financial careers, but with current scheduling and other conflicts, the bank elected to keep the project alive by sending two of its own tellers weekly to take the deposits.

The motto of Dragon Spirit Bank, which is proudly displayed on the bank’s teller station at the school, is “Learning to Save, Saving to Learn.”

Wellington State Bank strives to teach the importance of financial literacy, even at a young age, and encourages students to use this knowledge as they get older.

The bank discusses how to save money, teaches ways to save, gives examples of what money could be used for if they did save, and why it’s important. It also discusses basic knowledge about how bank accounts work.

The students stay engaged and ask questions, and at the end of the year, they’re eager to keep up their savings habits through the summer.

2023 marks 32 years that IBAT has celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of Texas community banks with the BOCB Awards. Community banks, such as Wellington State Bank, play a critical role in their local communities.

The Best of Community Banking competition is designed to honor local banks for their commitment to helping their customers, neighbors, employees and community. BOCB Awards recognize community banks throughout the state for

their innovation, creativity and success in fulfilling a specific community or internal need.

1 Comment

Dec 12, 2023

It's heartening to see Wellington State Bank being recognized for its outstanding efforts in giving back and promoting financial literacy. In a world often dominated by high-tech finance, acknowledging community banks for their commitment to customers and neighbors is crucial. While the Best of Community Banking competition rightly commends banks for their innovation and creativity, it also prompts reflection on the role of traditional banking in fostering community well-being. As financial landscapes evolve, one wonders how these community-centric values will adapt, especially in the context of emerging trends like cryptocurrency trading. Can community banks leverage these innovations to further enhance their support and engagement with local communities? It's a fascinating intersection of tradition and technology, and Wellington State Bank's recognition…

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