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Message from the President

Boom Times

The Texas economy is blazing hot. Texas leads the nation in job growth and just about every other conceivable economic category. Our friends in other states are sick and tired of hearing about our oil wells and billion dollar stadiums. They think everyone in the Houston market lives on a ranch and has drilling rigs surrounded by cattle. What they forget is our plight back in September of 2008 when the nation’s economy crashed and we got hit by a massive hurricane in a three-day period.

As the nation is showing signs of economic recovery, albeit mostly in just a few states led by Texas, the prospects of a better tomorrow continue to dominate our news. Texas City is vying for a new methanol plant that would be valued at $4.5 billion dollars, employ over 1,000 construction workers, and create over 500 permanent jobs.

Not to be outdone, the Galveston Wharves Board has leased land on Pelican Island for a Woodlands-based company to explore the possibility of an LNG plant that would be valued at approximately $4 billion. Both of these projects have major hurdles ahead of them before they become reality but talking about billions of dollars of investment and thousands of new jobs is very exciting.

The Galveston cruise business is also booming with the expansion of Cruise Terminal 2. Three local community banks, including HomeTown Bank, are funding the $13 million expansion project which will accommodate larger cruise ships arriving next year. The Port of Galveston is already anticipating the need for a third cruise ship terminal based on recent discussions that more ships are heading our way.

The excitement does not stop with the discussion of new projects. Galveston Island tourism had a record-setting 2013 and, although not complete, the 2014 summer numbers indicate another record-breaking year. And according to the property managers, advance hotel and vacation rental bookings are strong for 2015.

The same can be said for our entire market area. Homes for sale are scarce in Friendswood and League City. It is definitely a seller’s market in both communities. Pearland is seeing tremendous commercial growth near the new HEB on Pearland Parkway and near Highway 288. Alvin does not appear to be experiencing the same pace of growth but they are definitely in line as the economic surge moves south down Highway 35.

In my 26 years as president I have seen good times come and go. Boom times are always more fun, but our customers need us all of the time. Our goal is to be here for you during boom or bust because that is what committed community bankers do.

Thank you for being our customer.

Jimmy Rasmussen
President and CEO