Aaron Padilla has grown up in – and with – The Bank & Trust.
He started as a part-time teller as a high school senior, back when the bank averaged 10 transactions a day as a loan office. The branch has since evolved into a full-service bank. And Padilla has been integrally involved in that growth. From 2012-16, when he managed the retail operation, deposits grew by millions. That made San Angelo the fastest-growing area for the century-old bank.
It also resulted in his promotion to vice president of commercial lending.
Padilla’s career arc over the past 12 years may be due largely to the fact he has never been completely content in any of the jobs he’s held.
At each step along that path, Padilla has sought to learn more about the job above his while making mental notes of how, if he earned promotion, he could help support those in the job he was then holding.
“I was never just a teller or new accounts person,” Padilla said. “I was always willing to go outside of that and help in different areas and learn different things. It was just me being eager to learn.”
A recent graduate of the Texas Tech School of Banking, Padilla is fascinated by the business of banking. But he’s also drawn to the connection between banks and the communities they serve.
“A lot of times those deposits – and the relationship – start really small,” he said. “And then it grows because they see the service we provided and they like doing business with us.”
As his career has flourished, so has his community involvement. He admits to rarely saying no, believing he can always contribute and will learn something new in the process, making his volunteerism mutually beneficial.
So the United Way of the Concho Valley has tapped him to serve as a fundraiser and as a member of the groups that vet grant applications from local nonprofits and determine funding allocations to the agencies.
Padilla remains touched by a story he heard years ago of three youngsters taken to the Emergency Children’s Shelter after they were found wandering the streets in search of odd jobs and something to eat. He vividly recalls the shelter worker’s passion as she shared that testimony with him.
“To this day, I still remember her telling that story and breaking down and crying,” he said. “There are kids out there struggling. The United Way is a good investment for your dollar.”
Likewise, the Chamber of Commerce asked Padilla to spearhead its Minority Business Outreach Council. That effort seeks to “bridge the gap” so small-business owners know of the resources the chamber can employ to help them earn success. Padilla, who will soon join the chamber’s board of directors, wants those entrepreneurs to know the organization is as much for mechanics as it is for bankers.
“We want you to be successful in this community,” Padilla assured, “and the chamber wants to be a part of that, whatever it is.”