Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Company needs to be part of community

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 3, 2013 at 5:03 a.m.

Victoria and the Crossroads have seen growth and changes over the past few years. Now, another change has coming in the area.

As of Friday, Prosperity Bancshares closed the deal to acquire First Victoria National Bank. First Victoria was Texas' oldest independent bank and has served Victoria and the Crossroads since 1867. During that time, the bank has been a positive force in the area. Every year, nonprofits across Victoria held fundraising events, often with a sponsorship from First Victoria. During its time here, First Victoria has served as a strong bank with a community service focus. We are grateful for all the years of service and business the company brought to our communities. We are sad to see this historic part of the Crossroads go.

But now, Prosperity Bancshares is stepping in to fill First Victoria's shoes, and they are some big shoes to fill. Part of the appeal of First Victoria was the knowledge that customers were investing in a company with a history of success in our community. As Prosperity Bank begins the process of taking First Victoria's holdings into its own, we encourage Prosperity to remember the importance of that community trust and value the customers who invest in the company. Prosperity Bank already had a presence in the Crossroads. Now, it will grow even more. We hope that growth will also be reflected in the bank's commitment to the community.

We are glad to see the CEO of Prosperity Bank is a man with connections to the Crossroads. David Zalman, an El Campo native, grew up working at and watching his parents run a Gulf service station. When he graduated from college, he found work in the banking industry and worked his way up to his current position. Zalman encourages bank employees to get involved in the community, and he has modeled the importance of this by working with the El Campo Lion's Club and even serving on the El Campo City Council for a time. If Prosperity Bank takes its cues from Zalman, we are confident it will continue building on the strong community service legacy left by First Victoria.

A successful community is made up of many parts. One of those pieces is a strong financial institution that is willing to support and invest in the health and happiness of the community it serves. We hope Prosperity Bank will step in to fill the position left by First Victoria. We look forward to seeing good things from this development.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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