Kilgore-based Citizens Bank recently announced the retirement of two of its officers and the hiring of a new president and chief operating officer as well as a new executive vice president and chief lending officer.
Sammy York, the bank’s current president and CEO, announced his plan to retire at the end of 2021 after a 49-year career in banking. He has served the bank since 2004. York will retain the title of chief executive officer until the end of the year.
In addition, Kenneth Plunk, executive vice president/chief lending officer, announced that he will be retiring from the bank at the end of August. He has been in banking for 45 years and joined Citizens Bank in 1990.
Roland Velvin has been hired as the new president and chief operating officer. He will add the title of chief executive officer on January 1, 2022, upon York’s retirement. Velvin comes to Citizens from First Lockhart National Bank where he had served as president and CEO since 2008. During his tenure in Lockhart, the bank, which had only one location prior Velvin’s arrival, opened three new branch locations in Austin, Kyle and San Marcos under his leadership. Prior to First Lockhart National Bank, he served as president and CEO at City National Bank in Kilgore from 1991 to 2008.
Velvin holds his BBA degree in accounting from Texas A&M University. He is also a licensed certified public accountant in Texas and a graduate of the National Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma. Velvin is past chairman of the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce, past board member and treasurer of the Greater San Marcos Partnership and a member of the Charter Review Commission for the City of Lockhart. During his time in Kilgore, he served as chairman of the United Fund, treasurer and board member of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce and board member of the Laird Memorial Hospital Foundation.
“I am excited to join the team at Citizens Bank and look forward to continuing the great work that Sammy implemented and accomplished during his tenure at the bank,” Velvin says.
To succeed Plunk, the Citizens Bank board of directors has selected John Mills to serve as the new executive vice president and chief lending officer. He joins Citizens after a 20-year career at Spirit of Texas Bank in Tyler, formerly Citizens State Bank. Mills most recently served as regional president with responsibility for the lending activities at seven of the bank’s East Texas locations. Previously, he worked at First Federal Bank and Regions Bank, both in Tyler.
Mills holds his BBA degree in marketing/management from the University of Texas–Tyler. He has served as a mentor with Mentoring Alliance, volunteered with the Tyler ISD and graduated from Leadership Tyler. He and his family are active members of Grace Community Church where Mills serves as an elder and is on the stewardship committee. He also sits on the board of Grace Community School and has served on the Community Bankers Council of the Texas Bankers Association.
“After 28 years in community banking, it’s exciting to continue my career with such a respected bank,” Mills says.
Established in 1949, Citizens Bank has 12 branches in Bryan-College Station, Carthage, Center, Gladewater, Humble, Kilgore, Kountze, Sour Lake, The Woodlands and Yorktown, as well as a loan production office/deposit production office in Plano.