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Behind the Scenes with Falcon International Bank Tellers (October 1, 2007)

Thursday, 02 December 2010

Behind the Scenes with Falcon International Bank Tellers (October 1, 2007)

Lake barbeque, prizes, to be held in honor of Teller Appreciation Week - As printed in the Laredo Morning Times Teller Appreciation Week Tabloid - September 30, 2007


Everyday, Enrique "Kike" Villanueva, 25, arrives at Falcon International Bank's main branch at 8:30 a.m. As Assistant Cashier and Teller Supervisor, Villanueva helps oversee approximately 35 tellers at Laredo's five Falcon branch locations. His first morning task is to check and respond to email and phone messages seeking approvals or situational guidance; inevitably, there are already several in his inbox, as Falcon's drive-through opens at 8:00. This first duty sets the pace for a day that won't end for Villanueva until 9:30 p.m.

"In comparison to past years," says Villanueva, who has been with Falcon for almost seven years, "The job description has evolved dramatically. Our tellers are now able to multi-task and tackle many different challenges head on."

Most important to tellers, Villanueva says, is customer service, and tellers strive to build relationships with customers while providing them with invaluable peace of mind. After all, in many ways, Falcon's tellers are the bank's "face," especially for customers opting to do business via drive-through. With that responsibility, however, comes another: to have extensive knowledge of all of Falcon's products and services. In addition to processing deposits, negotiating withdrawals and offering cash advances, tellers regularly answer customers' questions about credit card payments and loan payments, accept Tax Treasury and Loan payments, sell foreign currency and cross-sell other bank products, such as certificates of deposit and money market accounts.

Still, many of the challenges met by tellers are ones that customers never see.

When a customer leaves the teller window, tellers employ careful, systematic processes to accompany each transaction. Documents are reviewed and analyzed for accuracy and safety, and then filed to keep customers' information private and protected. Additionally, tellers take great care to balance bank accounts flawlessly at the end of each day.

"We are happy to say that we have recognized a multitude of tellers with perfect balancing throughout the year," Villanueva says. "Decreasing losses in the teller area is a trend that we are very proud of, given that we are a booming institution and increasing in branches every year."

In honor of Teller Appreciation Week from October 1st-5th, and to show appreciation for its 70 tellers' hard work throughout the year, Falcon Bank will host an employee barbeque at its Lake Casablanca property. The festivities will include several plaques to be awarded for their outstanding accomplishments. Last year, Falcon team member Efrain Ruiz received a plaque and a one-week paid vacation for perfect balancing and best customer service.

Villanueva says he appreciates the bank's show of support and adds, "As a team, we are only getting stronger as we grow."

Falcon International Bank Assistant Vice President Earns Top Fraud Certification (September 26, 2007)

Thursday, 02 December 2010

Falcon International Bank Assistant Vice President Earns Top Fraud Certification (September 26, 2007)

Gerardo "Jerry" Narvaez Becomes Falcon's first Certified Fraud Examiner


On September 12, 2007, Falcon International Bank Assistant Vice President and Audit Officer Gerardo "Jerry" Narvaez saw the fruit of nearly a year and half's labor: he became the first Falcon employee to become a Certified Fraud Examiner—a designation that no more than a handful of Laredoans hold. This certification reflects Narvaez's expertise in preventing, detecting, deterring and investigating business fraud, and marks him as a leader in the global anti-fraud community. A member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners since April 2006, Narvaez commenced the CFE exam in February 2007. The CFE Exam is comprised of four different tests covering the following areas: Crimonology & Ethics, Financial Transactions, Fraud Investigation, and Legal Elements of Fraud.

"I am indebted to the audit department's fervency on training," says Narvaez. "In June 2007, I was fortunate enough to attend a five-day seminar pertaining to Principles of Fraud. The seminar not only gave me a glance at the corporate fraud world, but also profoundly helped me identify with some the critical topics of the exam."

Narvaez's dedication to the certification process stemmed from a deep interest in researching, communicating results, offering solutions and recommendations and evaluating an organization's paradigm--all elements that first piqued his interest in auditing. Narvaez anticipates that his recent, intense studies with the ACFA will allow him to better implement sound methods and best practice techniques critical to the overall success in the fight against fraud. His primary focus continues to be in helping Falcon accomplish its objectives by systematically improving risk management, control and governance processes.

Narvaez's advice to men and women striving toward a Fraud Examiner Certification is simple:

"Implement a regular study program," he recommends. "Determine how quickly you would like to complete the course, and then consult the ACFE website for a recommended study schedule. Then I suggest that you write down your study schedule in your calendar and stick to it. This was a challenge," he adds, "but it was also a fun learning experience for me. Once you begin, make it a game in your mind and you may actually look forward to your study time."

Narvaez joined the Falcon team in December of 2006 as an Audit Officer with four years of experience and was promoted to Assistant Vice President on August 29, 2007. He attained his Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Texas A&M International University, followed by two MBAs from the same institution—one in International Business and another in Accounting. To remain informed of industry news and knowledge, he also regularly attends courses from the Texas Bankers Association Audit School and the Texas Bankers Association Compliance School.

Falcon International Bank knows what counts and is proud to recognize Gerardo "Jerry" Narvaez and the key roles his leadership and fortitude play in the bank's continued success.

Falcon Vice President Graduates from Prestigious Colorado Banking School (September 17, 2007)

Thursday, 02 December 2010

Falcon Vice President Graduates from Prestigious Colorado Banking School (September 17, 2007)

Rita Ancira Moreno receives diploma from the Graduate School of Banking in Colorado - As printed in the Laredo Morning Times Business Journal - September 17, 2007


Late July 2007 was an exciting time for Falcon International Bank Vice President and Controller Rita Ancira Moreno, who traveled to beautiful Boulder, Colorado to receive recognition for another job well done: the culmination of an intensive 23-month program for community banking professionals preparing to move into senior management and leadership positions.

The Graduate School of Banking in Colorado (GSBC) is an industry leader in banking curriculum, and is held each summer on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado. There, students participate in on-campus courses focusing on such subjects as General Management, Lending, Leadership and Human Resource Management and Financial Management. The program also requires comprehensive examinations, intersession research projects, and participation in a bank management simulation course designed to provide the banker/student with experience in managing a bank.

Of course, this is no ordinary banking school; students in the program have been recognized by their CEOs, presidents and supervisors as rising stars within their respective organizations, and completing the School is considered a significant accomplishment within the banking and financial services industries. Moreno was among 150 graduates of the 57th Annual School Session, which was held July 15 through July 27at GSBC, and received a graduate diploma for her success.

A vibrant member of the Falcon team Moreno works at Falcon's main bank in Laredo, and has received three promotions in her eight years with Falcon. Currently, as the Bank's Controller, Moreno is responsible for producing financial reports, maintaining the general ledger system, and assisting with the accounts payable function, as well as overseeing the preparation of weekly, monthly and quarterly reports for bank regulators, fixed asset accounting, investment accounting, preparing management reports, and interacting with Falcon's third party financial service providers.

"I am very proud and honored to be part of Falcon International Bank," says Moreno. "I have been fortunate to see Falcon succeed and be a part of its success. It has been an amazing experience to watch the bank evolve from $100 million in assets to over $750 million in just a couple of years, and I am really excited for what the future holds."

Actively involved in enhancing the Laredo community, of which she has been a part for 15 years, Moreno participates in the United Way Corazon Club, Junior Achievement of Laredo, Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee, American Heart Association and March of Dimes. A member of the TAMIU Alumni Association, she is also a graduate of Leadership Laredo and the recipient of the United Way of Laredo Corazon Club Bronze Leadership Award.

A firm believer in the power of education, Moreno graduated as Salutatorian from Zapata High School and went on to earn her Associate in Arts degree in Mathematics from Laredo Community College, where she graduated with Honors and as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She then achieved her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M International University, where she was a member of the Alpha Beta Delta Honor Society.

In her spare time, Moreno enjoys exercising and training with her husband, Arturo D. Moreno, and spending quality time with their two children, Ana Christina and Arturo Daniel, Jr.

Falcon International Bank proudly congratulates Rita Ancira Moreno on her most recent achievement and, like Rita, excitedly looks forward to the road ahead.

Falcon Bank Employees Recognized as Leadership Laredo Graduates (September 2, 2007)

Thursday, 02 December 2010

Falcon Bank Employees Recognized as Leadership Laredo Graduates (September 2, 2007)

Internal Announcement


On August 16, seven Falcon International Bank employees graduated from the esteemed Leadership Laredo program. Jaclyn "Jackie" De la Viña, Elvira Rosell Esparza, Linda Hernandez, Natalie Hernandez, Alma Leticia Esquinca Narvaez, Victor Salinas IV and Erika Veliz-Laurel were members of the program's 21st annual class, and State Representative Richard Raymond, R-Laredo, served as keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony.

Established in 1986, Leadership Laredo has a fruitful history of identifying and educating future community leaders through exposing them to a series of training seminars and events geared toward informing them about current issues facing Laredo. So far, approximately 630 students have graduated from the program, many of whom now serve Laredo in such prominent positions as lawyers, journalists and CEOs.

"We're proud to support our Falcon Family members' commitment to learn how to best serve our community," says Gilbert Narvaez, Jr., President. "The knowledge our employees have gained through Leadership Laredo will only help the bank continue to recognize and address the needs of its customers."

Jaclyn "Jackie" De la Viña

Jaclyn "Jackie" De la Viña is Marketing Director and Assistant Vice President at Falcon. De la Viña attained her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Texas A&M International University in 2003. De la Viña also graduated from the School of Bank Marketing and Management in Boulder, Colorado after completing her last year at Northwestern University in Evanston, Chicago in 2005. Recognizing the importance of community involvement, De la Viña dedicates her time and talents to such organizations as the March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of Manchester Who's Who Among Young Executives and Professionals.

Elvira Rosell Esparza

A member of the Falcon Bank team for the last three years, Elvira Rosell Esparza is a Loan Assistant Supervisor responsible for cultivating strong and knowledgeable loan processors. Esparza has earned certifications in Applied Accounting and Real Estate and Management. She is also a licensed real estate agent, and an active member of the Laredo Board of Realtors, Texas Real Estate Commission and Women's City Club. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for the American Cancer Society, the Salvation Army and the American Heart Association. Esparza is also a proud Eagle Scout parent.

Natalie Hernandez

Natalie Hernandez recently joined Falcon as a Business Development Officer. Hernandez, who began her banking career in 1999 as a teller/sales associate, enjoys meeting and networking with customers to generate new business opportunities for the bank. She is also deeply invested in improving her community, a commitment evident in her active involvement with the United Way
Corazón Club, as well as her board member status in the WBCA and Imaginarium of South Texas. She is also a S.T.A.R.S. committee member. Hernandez graduated from Martin High School and furthered her education by attending the Bank Operations School at Southern
Methodist University, from which she graduated in 2004. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree at Texas A&M International University.

Linda Hernandez

Linda Hernandez has been a valued member of the Falcon Family for four years, during which time she has served in such vital roles as Foreign Exchange Manager and Foreign Exchange Officer. She was recently promoted to Assistant Vice President. In August 2004, she was honored as Banker of the Month for her superior work ethic, which is evident not only through her achievements with Falcon, but also by her contributions to the larger community of Laredo. She has served as a March of Dimes board member since 2006, March of Dimes Walk committee member since 2005 and a Habitat for Humanity "I helped built it" committee member
since 2005. She was this year's March of Dimes walk co-chair and was also honored with the organization's 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award.

Alma Leticia Esquinca Narvaez

Alma Leticia Esquinca Narvaez has been a respected member of the Falcon Bank team for 17 years, and currently serves as Vice President of Business Development. Narvaez is responsible for maintaining and developing business opportunities through actively growing customer relationships. Narvaez attended Laredo Community College and is a licensed real estate agent, as well as a member of the Women's City Club and a parent volunteer.

Victor Salinas IV

Victor Salinas IV is one of Falcon International Bank's talented accountants for more than four years. Salinas attained his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M International University in December 2005. He graduated as a member of the university's D.D. Hachar Honors Program, which he maintained for the entirety of his time at TAMIU. Following this achievement, Salinas pursued his Master's degree in Professional Accountancy from the same university and graduated last May. Salinas has been a member of the San Martin de Porres Church Youth Group in Nuevo Laredo and an active participant of Laredo's Feast of Sharing.

Erika Veliz-Laurel—Incoming Leadership Laredo President

Erika Veliz-Laurel has nine years of banking experience to her credit, four of which have been diligently spent at Falcon. Promoted to Vice President in 2006, she oversees the New Accounts areas in all of Falcon's markets. As active in the community as she is at Falcon, Veliz-Laurel is a 2005 Leadership Laredo graduate and the incoming Leadership Laredo President. Laurel is an active volunteer with the Junior Achievement of Laredo, and has also contributed to Habitat for Humanity as well as other community functions. Veliz-Laurel graduated from Texas A&M International University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration in Accounting. She was recently honored in the 2006 edition of Who's Who Among American Business People.

Falcon International Bank stretches its wings, opens fourteenth branch (August 31, 2007)

Thursday, 02 December 2010

Falcon International Bank stretches its wings, opens fourteenth branch (August 31, 2007)

Cindy Kawas named manager of San Isidro branch


Falcon International Bank is excited to announce the opening of its fourteenth full service branch. A spacious 3,568 square feet, the branch conveniently located on 10511 McPherson Road in the San Isidro subdivision of Laredo, Texas. Esteemed Falcon employee Cindy M. Kawas was named as Branch Manager for the new location.

"I am honored and thankful for the opportunity that Falcon International Bank has entrusted me with," says Kawas. "As the Branch Manager of our new San Isidro branch location, I will continue to maintain and achieve excellence through customer satisfaction and community service."

Located adjacent to the new HEB Plus and only minutes away from restaurants, shopping and other businesses, the San Isidro branch exemplifies Falcon's commitment to placing branches in convenient, well-traveled locations. The branch offers a full array of financial products and services, including personal and business checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, IRA's, night depository, safe deposit boxes, residential and commercial mortgages, auto loans and a wide variety of other types of commercial and consumer loans, home equity loans, retirement products and wealth and investment management.

"We are excited to be in an area of Laredo that is quickly developing into a hub of commercial and residential growth," says Gilbert Narvaez, Jr., President of Falcon. "We look forward to building relationships with new customers, and providing one more way for existing customers to grow with us."

About Falcon International Bank

Falcon International Bank, headquartered in Laredo, is committed to providing quality products and services to its customers in all of its regions. The bank has grown to more than $750 million in assets and has branches in Laredo, Brownsville, San Antonio, Buda, Eagle Pass, Del Rio and McAllen. With a dedicated team of more than 350 employees, Falcon offers personalized customer service, attention to detail, and a genuine commitment to helping customers achieve their dreams.

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