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Press Release

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

 IBC Bank-Zapata CEO Named Mr. South Texas 2014 

WBCA 2014
IBC Bank-Zapata CEO and Chairman of the Board Renato Ramirez was named 2014 Mr. South Texas on June 12 in Laredo. Left to right: WBCA President Pati Guajardo, Ramirez, Texas Community Bank President & CEO Douglas Macdonald, and WBCA Ex-Officio & Mr. South Texas Selection Committee Chair Bob Weathers.

LAREDO, TX -- The Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA) has announced their selection of Renato Ramirez, CEO and Chairman of the Board for International Bank of Commerce - Zapata, as Mr. South Texas 2014 for the 117th Washington’s Birthday Celebration. The formal announcement was made during a press conference held this morning at Texas Community Bank (TCB) in Laredo. The event is sponsored and hosted by TCB.

The Mr. South Texas designation is presented to a deserving individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the growth and development of Laredo and the South Texas region.

The Mr. South Texas Selection Committee, comprised of past presidents of the WBCA and former Mr. South Texas recipients who reside in Laredo, meet and discuss possible candidates. Committee members take great effort in creating an all-inclusive nominating pool of candidates from all walks of life who have made a significant impact on the area. “The Mr. South Texas Selection Committee welcomes a most deserving individual in Renato Ramirez for the 117th Washington’s Birthday Celebration,” said Bob Weathers, Chairperson for this year’s Mr. South Texas Selection Committee and WBCA Ex-Officio.

“His life accomplishments speak for themselves; not only in his work with International Bank of Commerce – Zapata, but with his humanitarian & philanthropic efforts to promote education, and the betterment of this community,” he added.

Prior to joining IBC–Zapata at its founding more than 28 years ago, Ramirez managed foreign loans and taught Finance for many years at University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University, and Laredo State University. He also served as associate dean of Escuela Bancaria Superior de Centro-America.

Beyond his banking leadership, his personal impact on regional development includes a very generous philanthropic heart that extends from Zapata to Laredo and across international boundaries to Mexico. He has constructed a golf course for the Zapata community, made significant donations to an orphanage in Ciudad Mier, Mexico; Mary Help of Christians School in Laredo; Harmony Academy of Science in Laredo; and, to the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Laredo. He also established scholarship programs at Laredo Community College and funded a $1 million dollar scholarship endowment at Texas A & M International University. He contributed to the National Hispanic Institute, and made significant donations to the Zapata Boys and Girls Club. Martin High School recently inducted him into their Tiger Legends and Laredo Community College has awarded him a Meritorious Service Award.

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus recognized him as the Latino Leader of the Year in 2011. Ramirez was instrumental in creating a monument on the South Lawn of the Capitol honoring the contributions of Tejanos (Texans of Hispanic descent) to Texas Culture and Texas History. He has served on various state boards. He was also inducted to the LULAC Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, to the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 2012, and recognized with the Future of Texas Award in 2011.

Ramirez is a board member on the Texas Civil Rights Project, a non-profit agency that focuses on the protection of civil rights of those who are unable to protect themselves. He has been recognized as the Humanitarian of the Year. Bilingual and bicultural, Renato Ramirez is also one of those rare Texans who know how to “gig’em” and “hook’em” having earned his B.S. degree from Texas A&M University and his M.B.A. from the University of Texas. In addition, he completed all graduate studies toward his Ph.D. in finance and economics at the University of Tennessee.

“I am overwhelmed by the honor and very appreciative of the many friends who proposed me and voted for me to be the recipient of this honor. I am humbled to be in the company of so many icons in South Texas,” Ramirez said.

Together with the Mr. South Texas designation, Ramirez becomes a member of Los Caballeros de la Republica del Rio Grande. This select group of national and international distinguished men and women are honored for their dedication and countless hours of service and support to the Washington’s Birthday Celebration each year by an official induction ceremony and presentation of the Caballero Medallion.

“It is truly an honor and pleasure to recognize a true South Texan as Mr. South Texas for the 117th Celebration. Mr. Ramirez’s contributions in Texas and Mexico distinguish him as an international philanthropist, as well as an accomplished businessman and educator. We look forward to another wonderful celebration in 2014 and thank Mr. Ramirez for his commitment to enriching the lives of his neighbors on both sides of the river,” said WBCA President Pati Guajardo.

One of the most celebrated and illustrious WBCA events is the Mr. South Texas Luncheon, attended each year by dignitaries and honored guests from the United States and Mexico. This year’s luncheon will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at 12 p.m., at the Laredo Country Club. TCB generously sponsors the event.

“As sponsors of the Mr. South Texas Luncheon, Texas Community Bank (TCB) congratulates Renato Ramirez for his contributions to our community,” said TCB President & CEO Douglas Macdonald. “His dedication to the South Texas region makes him an outstanding selection for this well-deserved recognition as the 2014 Mr. South Texas.”

The Mr. South Texas Luncheon is one of more than 27 events in the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Calendar. Throughout the years, the Celebration has grown to be over a month long and consists of parades, dazzling pageants, fireworks, a carnival, an air show, a sizzling jalapeño festival and much more. Combined, WBCA events attract nearly 500,000 residents and visitors, and contributes an estimated $14 million every year to the local economy.

The Washington's Birthday Celebration was recently ranked as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association (ABA) because of the excellent entertainment value it offers to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world.

Save the Date for the 117th Washington’s Birthday Celebration which takes place January 23 - February 24, 2014.

For additional information, visit us at www.wbcalaredo.org. Follow us on Twitter and YouTube, “Like” us on Facebook, e-mail us at wbca@wbcalaredo.org, contact the WBCA office at (956) 722-0589, or visit 1819 E. Hillside Road in Laredo, TX.