First Oklahoma Bank celebrates 10 years

First Oklahoma Bank celebrates 10 years

Hundreds of guests gathered Monday night to celebrate First Oklahoma Bank’s 10th anniversary during a party held at Southern Hills Country Club.

As rooms filled to overflowing, shareholders, clients and bank employees dined, mingled, and enjoyed viewing the bank’s 10-year history as depicted through digital media and memorabilia that included photos, awards and newspaper articles displayed throughout the club.

“Building a better bank takes a lot of different people all working hard together. It takes employees.  It takes shareholders. It takes customers, and it takes our regulators. All of us have worked together for 10 years to build this dream. It’s the fastest-growing new bank in Oklahoma history,” said President and Co-CEO Tom Bennett III.

Monday night’s party was held in appreciation and honor of all those who have helped build and support First Oklahoma Bank, including more than 300 shareholders who have invested $56.9 million in the bank.

The party also commemorated the achievement of a dream that began more than 10 years ago when Tom Bennett III and his brother Jim sat down at a kitchen table and shared their idea of building a new bank with their parents Tom Jr. and Sue Bennett. The discussion soon expanded to a group of veteran bankers. After much prayer and planning, the dream came to life.

First Oklahoma Bank was established on Nov. 4, 2009, when First Oklahoma Holdings Inc., the bank’s parent company, acquired Glencoe State Bank and became a $9.6 million asset bank in the process.

Since then, the bank has exceeded yearly benchmarks. As of Sept. 30, 2019, First Oklahoma Bank had become the fourth-largest bank headquartered in Tulsa County and the 16th-largest bank headquartered in Oklahoma with assets of $740 million.

“As I look back on the last 10 years of the First Oklahoma Bank journey, I just have an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness,” said Chairman and Co-CEO Tom Bennett Jr. “First of all, I’m thankful to God for blessing us, for providing us with resources, with relationships and with opportunities, for guiding us forward into areas of service, and helping to build the community … I love this workplace. I think it’s exciting what we get to do.”

The bank started with a handful of shareholders who bought into the dream, and it’s been amazing to watch how the bank has grown, increasing from around 300 depositors when it started to more than 10,000 depositors and 2,500 loan customers today, said Bennett III.

“I’m super excited about where we are going. That is not possible with just a couple of people. That is possible with all of us working together,” said Bennett III.

He noted that one of his favorite parts of the job is watching clients accomplish their dreams of starting or expanding a business and seeing them grow and become successful employers.

He also enjoys seeing the impact the bank has made in the Jenks community through its support of the school system and the development of Jenks CarePoint – a clothing and resource center that serves disadvantaged families and immigrants in the Jenks school district and south Tulsa area.

First Oklahoma Bank also has been an avid supporter and participant in the annual Tulsa Area United Way fundraising campaign, raising over $175,000 this year. For nine years in a row, the bank’s United Way campaign has been recognized as a Best of the Best campaign.

“As we pause to celebrate the first 10 years of our journey, let us commit to begin tomorrow to do more, to do better, to make this a place that our children and our grandchildren will want to live and will flourish. On behalf of the whole First Oklahoma Bank family, thank you for your friendship, encouragement, and support,” said Bennett Jr.

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