“Brent Baldree, regional president of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas Regional Bank, grew up in the Texas Coastal Bend city of Portland. As the oldest child of a single dad, he learned early on about responsibility from helping at home and working at a young age.
“Because my dad was a traveling salesman, I had a lot of responsibility early on,” Brent said. “I grew up quickly.”
Still, through the steady teachings of his father, he developed a passion for hunting, fishing and sports. As a result of playing offensive guard at Gregory-Portland High School under the renowned coach Ray Akins, he believes he learned the meaning of teamwork and true grit.
While striving towards earning his degree in business management at Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State, Brent worked in restaurants and on a farm.
He firmly believes it was his early life with his dad, along with the responsibility of raising animals in the Ag world and putting himself through college, that gave him the strong work ethic he is instilling in his own two daughters.
A passion for animals and community service, still evident in his life today, was developed during those years. Brent currently serves as vice-chair of the Palm Valley Animal Shelter, as immediate Past President of TIFT, Texas International Fishing Tournament, the largest fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast, and serves on the Rio Grande Regional Hospital board. He is also one of the founders, and is still active, with the Smokin on the Rio Barbeque Cookoff, which provides scholarships to RGV Ag students, to name a few, Brent has found his place in this world.
After working his way from a proof department runner in 1988 to a collector and then up through the banking business, he returned to the Valley and joined Texas State Bank/BBVA Compass from 1995 to 2010. In 2010 Brent became the second employee of Texas Regional Bank.
“We returned to basics at Texas Regional Bank,” he said. “We take pride in being a community-based bank, giving back to the communities we work in. Our whole premise is built on relationships, as is evident by the over 450 families throughout South Texas who are shareholders. The bank’s mission allows me to service our customers and take care of anyone who walks through the door. That’s more my niche than a large corporate bank.”
Today, Brent, alongside his wife Melissa, continues to watch his daughters grow and become involved in school, religion, sports, and the community. In spite of wearing the businesslike exterior of a banker, he is adamant about a trait that defines his life and drives him to stay so involved in his community.
“I’m not that serious,” he said. “I’ve got a big heart.”