Karen Neeley, general counsel for the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) since 1989, has announced her planned retirement from IBAT “no later than August 31.” She chose the August 31 deadline to correspond with the due date for comments on the proposed revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act. “A fitting finale,” Neeley notes.
“After 33 years of representing IBAT as its general counsel, it is time for me to devote my full-time energy to family matters,” Neeley says. “It has been a privilege to work with the fine community bankers of Texas and all of the IBAT family.”
As IBAT’s representative, Neeley has testified and provided comments frequently before the Texas Legislature and various state and federal regulatory bodies. She is a frequent writer and lecturer on banking topics. She contributes to Compliance Pathways, a community bank compliance resource that includes her What’s Keeping Me Up weekly newsletter. Other publications she has written for the association include the Home Equity Handbook, Code of Ethics, Loan Policies and Procedures Manual and the Texas Bank Director Handbook. She was also a frequent contributor to Bankers Digest and has written extensively in IBAT’s flagship publication, The Texas Independent Banker.
As a speaker, Neeley has presented at IBAT’s Consumer Compliance Conference, Operations Summit and Lending Summit; the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking’s Certified Community Bank Director Program; and numerous other programs for banking and attorney organizations.
In addition to her service at the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Neeley also served as senior counsel for Kennedy Sutherland LLP (2015–20) and Dykema Cox Smith (2006–15). Prior to that, she represented an array of financial services clients serving as of counsel at Long Burner Parks & DeLargy PC (2000–06).
A graduate of the University of Texas–Austin, Neeley received her BA degree in history with high honors and JD degree with honors. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the State Bar of Texas, American Bar Association and Southwest Association of Bank Counsel. She is also a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives. Neeley is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the Texas Supreme Court.
In her decades of service, Neeley has amassed nearly every honor bestowed by IBAT and other organizations she has served. “Every community banker in the state of Texas owes Karen a debt of gratitude for the work she has done so well,” says IBAT Chair Tom Sellers, chair and CEO of Sulphur Springs-based Alliance Bank.
“In the short term, we will honor Karen’s need to focus on family matters,” says Christopher Williston, IBAT CEO. “We look forward to honoring her with a fitting celebration near the end of this year.”