September 16, 2020
"Death Claims Notable Man"

One of my favorite things to do is present at strategic retreats hosted by banks for their boards.

I’m at one now. My plan is to open with a story about my great-grandfather, who did business with the current CEO’s grandfather. As part of my research, I obtained a copy of my great-grandfather’s obituary.

It reads:

August 2, 1953

Death Claims Notable Man

One of the men who helped create our famous Nebraska “Valley of the Nile” and, in so doing, built for himself a position of lofty stature within the sphere of his own industry and activity, was lost to Scottsbluff and the West in the death of T.C. “Tull” Halley Friday afternoon.

T.C. Halley dreamed of feeding lambs and sheep in terms of great volume and on a level of operations conceived by few men. He chose this area, then in the infancy of its development, in 1907, and by unflagging industry and hard work set himself upon the task of achieving an ambition in a manner that was to bring for him a high reputation and respect throughout the land, wherever lamb feeders were known.

Unfailing faith and optimism were to maintain him through more than 45 years of association with the industry, because he persevered through both good times and bad times. He knew them both intimately.

It continues, but that’s the pertinent part.

My aunt forwarded me the obituary, which she found in an envelope that my Uncle Mike had addressed to his kids.

“If you ever want to know how you are doing as a man,” my uncle wrote on the envelope, “this is what you want written about you.”

Challenging, difficult times are nothing new. My great-grandfather’s obituary reminds me that he persevered in both the good times and bad ones the same way we should approach ours — with unfailing faith and optimism.

John J. Maxfield, editor in chief of Bank Director
/ ideas, insights and perspectives on

Bank Director explores the trend in recent share buybacks at community banks.

“If you can buy your stock below book value, it’s a really attractive financial trade. You are doing the right thing for shareholders, you’re supporting the price of the stock, and
financially it’s a good move.” — Eric Corrigan, Commerce Street Capital

Kiah Lau Haslett, managing editor for Bank Director