American Bank has named Ralph Abendshein (Houston, Texas), Mark Nini (Houston, Texas) and Brad Wheeless (San Antonio, Texas) to its board of directors. Making the announcement was Ben B. Wallace, chairman of the bank’s board.
In January 2018, the bank announced a five-year strategic plan designed to leverage its strength as a community bank and its reputation for solutions-oriented banking relationships. Key elements of the bank’s vision include significant technology investment, and growth and investment in existing markets coupled with significant market expansion. In 2018, the bank accomplished the first phase of its geographic expansion plans with the establishment of loan production offices in Houston and San Antonio.
“As a community bank, we are highly focused on understanding the needs of our clients and the communities we serve,” said Wallace. “That means having people at operational, management and board levels who are intimately familiar with the needs and opportunities of our respective business communities and who are dedicated to making those geographic areas even better places to live and work. With American Bank’s recent entrance into Houston and San Antonio, it was important to augment our highly experienced local leadership with additional board members who know those markets well, and share our vision and values,” he added. “Ralph Abendshein and Mark Nini from Houston, along with Brad Wheeless from San Antonio, have each been highly successful business leaders and corporate citizens in their communities and more than meet the criteria we established for additions to American Bank’s board. They will play important roles in the future of the bank, lending keen insight and wisdom as we continue our strategic growth,” Wallace continued.
Ralph Abendshein is a Houston native. After graduation from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, he returned to Houston, earned an MBA from Rice University and pursued a career in the energy industry. In 2014, he co-founded Highgate Power, an independent power producer focused on distributed generation, whose assets were recently sold to Trailstone North America, a Riverstone Holdings portfolio company. He continues to work in the energy sector and is also active in acquisition and development of multi-family real estate properties in the Houston and Fort Worth areas.
Abendshein currently sits on several Houston boards and committees, serving as vice-chair of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s board, as a member of the management committee of the GRB partnership (an oil and gas company), and as a member of several board committees for The Brown Foundation, Inc., a Houston-based charitable foundation.
Mark Nini received his BA from the University of Texas at Austin and MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business. During his 30-year career in Houston, Texas, he has amassed experience in both commercial real estate and private equity investments. He is the owner of Southwest Business Properties and managing partner of GN Ventures, Ltd.
Nini actively supports numerous non-profit organizations in the Houston community, having served as a director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas and the Rise School of Houston. He is a former national director of the Epilepsy Foundation of America and currently serves on the UTHealth development board of directors.
Brad Wheeless is a native of San Antonio and graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in accounting. He began his career with national accounting firm Seidman & Seidman (now BDO Seidman), moving into leadership accounting positions with Diamond Shamrock/Sigmor Corporation and Texace Manufacturing before becoming Controller at Clarke American, all in the San Antonio area.
During the next 20 years with Clarke American, he held various financial, corporate quality, human resource and corporate development (mergers and acquisitions) positions. In 2005, he led the integration of the John Harland Company and Clarke American, creating a $1.4 billion industry leader in check and forms printing, contact center services and direct marketing where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Later he served as Executive Vice President of Shared Services with Harland Clarke Holdings Corp.
Wheeless is currently a business advisor and consultant, helping organizations with acquisition evaluation and integration, business formation, strategic planning, organizational alignment, business process improvement, leadership coaching and change implementation.
About American Bank
American Bank was founded in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1970. It is an independent financial institution with assets totaling nearly $1.4 billion as of December 31, 2018. The bank now has 16 locations in the communities of Austin, Corpus Christi, Goliad, Houston, Port Aransas, Rockport, San Antonio and Victoria. It also operates a network of 18 ATMs. The bank’s strategic plan includes growth in the size and scope of the bank’s operations and geographic footprint; an enhanced, exceptional banking experience for clients; and a position as a leading regional Texas bank. Services include commercial banking, with Centers of Excellence specializing in commercial real estate, medical, energy, SBA and technology lending; a full range of business and personal deposit accounts and loans; Private Banking for executives and professionals; Treasury Management services; construction and home-related loans; and a full range of electronic banking services. In addition, the bank’s subsidiaries and other partners offer trust and asset management, insurance, and non-bank investment services. Those partners include American Bank Trust and Asset Management, the American Financial Insurance Services affiliate Borden Insurance, and American Investment Services, a division of Herndon Plant Oakley Ltd., member FINRA/SIPC. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.