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Made in the 956: Texas National Bank

1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, March 26 2024 Mar 26, 2024 March 26, 2024 11:53 AM March 26, 2024 in News - Local

There's a bank in the Rio Grande Valley for the Valley.

Texas National Bank has been serving the community for more than 100 years, and the bank's rich history is somewhat of a family affair.

Texas National Bank is this week's made in the 956.

The First National Ballroom, located at 334 South Texas Avenue in Mercedes, was where, back in 1920, the first National Bank of Mercedes opened up.

The bank is now down the street and was renamed Texas National Bank, and since 1920, they've opened up a lot of other locations.

Their newest location is in Brownsville.

Saul Ortega is from the Valley, his parents came from Mexico years ago back in the early 1900s.

"My dad's name was Jose Ortega and my mom was Ortega as well," Saul said. "My dad came to the United States and he worked. He found a place just north of Mercedes and farmed, he was a farmer."

Memories of the bank that his dad visited stuck with Saul. 

"I remember him going almost every day to the bank. I still remember his account number because he would go and say 'let me have my balance, let me see what checks have cleared'. Everybody would know his number. i still remember his number," Saul said. "I thought I always wanted to be a banker. I don't know if that's what impacted me, but that's kind of what got me started."

That's how it started and this is how it's going.

Saul, now the CEO of the bank. 

"Today we've got more than 150 employees, and we've got nine branches that we operate. The bank was probably about a $60 million bank, and today we're close to $900 million. So we're tapping on billion dollars," Saul said.

He's also keeping the love for the bank in the family.

"I joke that this is the last place I ever wanted to work, was a bank," Saul's daughter, Myrhanda Ortega, said. "I started here seven years ago. He was like, just give it a try. Come work part-time while you're going to school, and the rest is kind of history. I'm blessed to have been born into this store and to be a part of it."

Myrhanda is now the bank's operations manager, an experience she says has been like no other. 

"I think at first we definitely butted heads a lot because I was coming in and thought I knew everything and he was just like let me teach you, let me show you. I think for that it was an adjustment," Myrhanda said. "But more times than not, he's been right. I would never tell him that to his face, but it's definitely been an experience."

An experience that for this father and daughter will only continue to grow. 

Texas National Bank, made in the 956. 

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