Business Digest

Amy Hull

Austin Bank makes promotions

Austin Bank employees Dan Droege, Dennis Means and Linda Stewart received promotions this month during the board of directors meeting at the corporate office in Jacksonville.

Dan Droege was elected Longview market president. Droege joined the bank in 2017 as senior vice president/relationship manager in the Austin Bank Oak Forest Commercial Lending Center. He has more than 39 years of banking experience. Before coming to Austin Bank, Droege was the president of First Bank & Trust East Texas, president of Regions Bank, and executive vice president of Longview National Bank.

A graduate of Blue Springs High School and Central Missouri State University, Droege also completed The University of Oklahoma’s National Commercial Lending School and Southern Methodist University’s Southwestern Graduate School of Banking.

He serves as chairman of Great Texas Balloon Race, treasurer of One Hundred Acres of Heritage, and is on the boards of Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority, East Texas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Longview Museum of Fine Arts and Longview Arboretum and Nature Center. Droege and his wife, Flecia, reside in Longview.

Dennis Means was named vice president. Means has been a member of the Austin Bank team for 22 years. He serves as the data processing manager in the IT Department based out of the bank’s Longview Greggton location.

A lifelong resident of Gilmer, Means is a graduate of Harmony High School, Kilgore College and American Sentinel University. He and his wife, Jan, have four children and two grandchildren. They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Means serves as the bishop of the Gilmer First Ward.

Linda Stewart was promoted to banking officer. Stewart, the bank’s overdraft program manager, came to Austin Bank in 1992 and works from the Longview Greggton office. With more than 44 years of banking experience, she has worked in the credit/note department, as a loan assistant, cash flow manager, loan processing, and in new accounts.

Before Austin Bank, Stewart worked for several banks including City National Bank, First National Bank of Carthage, Texas American Bank and East Texas Bank and Trust.

She is a graduate of Pine Tree High School, has attended Kilgore College and completed numerous American Institute of Banking courses. She and her husband, Wayne, live in Longview and have two sons, two daughters and two grandchildren.

Aaon Coil Products names new president

Doug Wichman was named president of Aaon Coil Products, which includes the Longview Aaon plant. Wichman also serves as a vice president of Aaon.

Gary D. Fields, Aaon CEO and president, stated, “I am very pleased to announce Doug’s promotion to president, Aaon Coil Products. Doug has been an integral part of the development and successful execution of our business plan and substantial growth in Longview, in the past twelve months. The promotion of leaders like Doug will allow us to successfully continue to execute on our long-term plans.”

Wichman, 35, has been with the company since 2013, most recently serving as executive vice president of Aaon since January 2022.

Before that, he served as Aaon’s director of manufacturing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and held several roles, including plant manager from 2017 to 2018 and manufacturing engineer from 2013 to 2017. Wichman has extensive knowledge and experience with all aspects of Aaon’s manufacturing processes.

Capital Wealth hires communications director

Amy Hull has joined Capital Wealth Group, a Longview-based wealth management firm, as communications director.

In this role, she will provide business development and marketing solutions for the firm as well as client communication and education. She also will serve as a liaison to the community and Capital Wealth Group’s philanthropic endeavors.

Before joining Capital Wealth Group, Hull spent nine years with BTH Bank, now Origin Bank, and has also served as a chief of staff and legislative aide for the Texas House of Representatives.

She graduated with honors from Texas A&M University and is pursuing her master’s in communication from Purdue University.

Hull is a sustaining member and former president of the Junior League of Longview, a graduate of Leadership Longview and serves on several boards including the Longview ISD Foundation Board as the public relations chair, the LeTourneau President’s Advisory Council, and the Longview 20/20 Forum.

She also volunteers with the Young Men’s Service League, her children’s PTO, Mobberly Baptist Church and has served as a board member and volunteer for Junior Achievement and as the chair of The Texas Council on International Studies.

KFC Foundation offers paid tuition

The KFC Foundation, in partnership with Western Governors University, has announced that Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant employees will have the opportunity to receive 100% paid tuition when attending WGU to earn a degree.

Through this partnership, KFC restaurant employees can choose from more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and certification programs across business, information technology, education and health care. The KFC Foundation program is non-competitive, meaning every eligible employee who applies and enrolls will get tuition coverage.

Access to this opportunity is available beginning day one on the job for restaurant employees. WGU also offers rolling start dates every month, so KFC restaurant employees have the flexibility to enroll at any time and begin online courses as soon as they’re ready.

Texas has 278 KFC restaurants.

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