The Story of HAPPY STATE BANK
Founded in 1908 as First State Bank, Happy, Texas, the bank operated solely in that community during its first 81 years. In 1990, J. Pat Hickman, Chairman and CEO led a group of investors in forming Happy Bancshares, Inc. as they purchased the bank. The generically named First State Bank changed its name to the unforgettable Happy State Bank in 2002.
In 1990, the bank had six employees overseeing just over $10 million in total assets. Out of the 880 banks in Texas, Happy ranked #812 in asset size. Today the $3.2 billion bank operates 34 branches, one loan production office and the GoldStar Trust Co. in 25 communities with 700 employees, spread from the Texas Panhandle/South Plains to Dallas/Ft. Worth. Of the 475 banks operating in our state today, Happy State Bank is the 18th largest.
The bank has been recognized several times by Bauer Financial, Inc. for its capital strength, loan quality and profitability. For four consecutive years (2014-2017) the bank has been named one of the Best Banks to Work For in the USA by the American Banker newspaper. In 2015, the Independent Community Bankers Association noted that the bank was the 14th fastest growing community bank in the nation over a 20 year (1995-2015) period of time.
The bank has been recognized in several national and state-wide publications for its unique corporate culture. The Happy Bank has won many awards and recognition (including from the United States Treasury Department) for financial literacy training via its “Kid’s Bank” program, now in 34 elementary schools. It received the Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau for its outstanding ethical business standards. And known as a top-notch corporate citizen, the bank has been named, through local newspaper polls, as the “BEST BANK” in several of the communities it serves.
In his 2015 book, “Non-Negotiable. The Story of Happy State Bank & The Power of Accountability,” author Sam Silverstein documents how the bank’s uncompromising corporate culture has fostered the ability to experience record setting growth, provide an excellent return to its stockholders, create a unique and wonderful place to work – all while focused on giving dynamic, personal banking service to its friends, neighbors and customers.