First United Bank celebrated its 110th anniversary last week with a ceremony and reveal of the new Ray M. Bain Conference and Training Center at 5802 Fourth St.
The building features an 1,800-square-foot training facility, two conference rooms, an interview room, a large break room with kitchen, full-service catering kitchen and a buffet serving area, according to a news release from the bank. Fifty employees will use office facilities in the building that will also be used for special training and events.
Equipped with the latest technology, Mark Bain, CEO of First United Bank, said he hopes the facility will allow his employees, whom he calls “stars,” to receive the best training available, in turn offering better customer service.
“We’ve already seen the energy that’s been created just in the two weeks that we’ve been here,” Bain said.
The decor and theme of the facility features West Texas elements that were created by local businesses. One notable art piece is a sunflower mural in a conference room, painted by artist Laura Lewis. Bain said his father, Ray, whom the facility is named for, loved sunflowers.
Ray Bain died in 2013, but Amy Punchard, vice president and director of marketing for First United Bank, said his memory lives on throughout the organization.
“Our founder, Ray Bain, had some really strong beliefs, and he lived them out every single day. Those beliefs, we now call our founding principles,” Punchard said. “You’ll see them throughout our building; generosity, integrity, loyalty and community. The decisions that we make every single day are based on those four words.”
Through those principles, First United Bank has grown from its one location in Dimmitt to 15 locations in 11 cities throughout West Texas. Ray Bain and a group took ownership of the bank in 1987. Mark Bain said the bank is now a $1.3 billion organization.
Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope said the success of a local business is always worth celebrating, but the tenure of First United Bank is particularly impressive in a city that is just over a century old.
“It’s not often that we get to do this for somebody that’s turning 110. We cut a lot of ribbons, we kiss a lot of babies. But 110 in this part of the world means the Comanches were still on the horizon,” Pope said. “Can you imagine starting a bank in Dimmitt in 1907?”
Mark Bain contributes much of the bank’s success to the area it works in.
“We love being in West Texas. This is our home. This is where we want to be,” he said. “We want to be the premier financial organization, services provider in West Texas.”