The board of directors of Sweetwater-based Texas National Bank announced changes in the bank’s executive management following its December meeting. Mike Fernandez was named president and chief executive officer of the bank effective December 31, 2021. Former CEO Bill Johnson is moving to the bank’s holding company, Mesa Financial Corp. Johnson will remain board chairman of Texas National Bank.
Johnson, a second-generation banker raised in Hamlin, will celebrate 50 years in banking in 2022. He began his banking career in the summer of 1972 as a teller at The Farmers & Merchants National Bank in Hamlin. In 1974, he joined the Texas Department of Banking and later went to work for Bank of Commerce in Fort Worth from 1981 to 1992. In 1993, he began working in earnest on organizing Mesa Financial Corp. and Texas National Bank for the express purpose of acquiring the assets and assuming the liabilities of the Sweetwater branch of Hamlin National Bank. On May 8, 1995, Johnson, along with his father, the late W.T. “Dub” Johnson, opened Texas National Bank for business with assets of approximately $35 million. Under his leadership, the bank made two acquisitions and has grown assets to $171 million as of December 31, 2021.
Johnson attended college at McMurry University in Abilene, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance. Later he graduated from the Colorado Graduate School of Banking in Boulder. A true community banker, Johnson has been civically engaged throughout his career serving on the boards of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce, Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development and the Nolan County Foundation. A private pilot since 1971 and an aviation history enthusiast, Johnson served 14 years on the board of the National WASP WWII Museum at Avenger Field in Sweetwater.
“Bill has done a remarkable job leading this bank for nearly 27 years,” Fernandez says. “He has been an integral part of the Sweetwater community, delivering capital to its businesses and residents, lending his time and expertise to local organizations and providing good jobs to past and present employees. I am humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to continue and build upon the legacy he has established. Fortunately, Bill will still be nearby at the holding company, but I am happy for him that he plans on spending more time pursuing his outside interests.”
“From the time Mike joined Texas National Bank, he has steadily assumed greater responsibility for all aspects of our bank’s business,” Johnson notes. “His management capabilities within the bank are evident, and he has shared his aptitude for leadership with numerous organizations in Sweetwater and Abilene as well as statewide. Our board has great confidence that Mike is well prepared to lead Texas National Bank forward while maintaining the trust of our customers and our communities.”
Fernandez, a native of Beaumont, received a BS degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana State University in 2005, an MBA degree from Texas A&M University–San Antonio in 2012 and is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. He currently serves on the board of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the Brazos River Authority. Additionally, he is the chair-elect for the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. Mike and his wife, Dr. Jenny Johnson-Fernandez, have two young children.
Established in 1995, Texas National Bank is a locally owned and managed community bank with a full-service branch in Tuscola.