(Orange, Texas)

April 26, 2014

First Financial Bank appoints three to regional board

Special to The Leader
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — The Board of Directors of First Financial Bank, N.A., announced that Paul Spence, Jim Wimberley and Jim Gilliam have been appointed to the bank’s Southeast Texas Advisory Board of Directors.

“We are very pleased and excited to add these three strong business leaders to our bank’s advisory board of directors. They bring extensive knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to our business and will play an active role in shaping the future of our bank in Southeast Texas,” Stephen Lee, President and CEO of First Financial Bank, Southeast Texas Region, formerly Orange Savings Bank, said.

“The addition of these new board members fosters the continued growth of our business throughout Southeast Texas and is critical to our continued success in this region,” Tommy Gunn, Chairman of the Board added.

Spence has served as President of the STI Group since 1990 and as CEO since 2005. STI Group has roots in Southeast Texas and has flourished under his leadership, growing from a regional fabrication business into one of the largest manufacturers of land based rigs in the world with more than 1,500 employees. The company has expanded into eight different companies with over 16 locations offering a variety of fabrication, construction and other energy related services.  In addition to his industry leadership, Spence serves as a board member on a variety of non-profit organizations throughout Southeast Texas.

Wimberley is an attorney and partner with the law firm of McPherson, Hughes, Bradley, Wimberley, Steele & Chatelain, with offices in both Austin and Mid County. He is a 1979 graduate of Lamar University with a degree in finance and graduated from law school at the University of Houston in 1982.  His practice includes financial institution and commercial and construction industry law, and includes both a general corporate and litigation practice. He also provides legal services to various governmental entities in Southeast Texas.  Wimberley is the son of Ruby Wimberley, the former CEO of Orange Savings Bank and a current board member.

Gilliam graduated from the University of Texas in 1988 with a bachelor of business administration. He started his career at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas. After various banking and operational positions, he made his first business acquisition in 1995 and is the founding partner and chairman of The HT Group.  The HT Group is a total-solutions staffing and recruiting firm with offices in Austin, Beaumont and Orange. HT has been named a top-ranked staffing firm by the Austin Business Journal since 2004 and listed on the Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 since 2012. Gilliam is also president and owner of Bates & Company, an industry leader in providing various support products to the forest products industry. His past associations include board service for United Way, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Baptist Hospital, the Orange Chamber of Commerce and the City of Orange Economic Development Corporation. He currently serves as Treasurer for the Southeast Texas Junior Football League and as a Knight with the Neches River Festival.