By Chris Edwards
– Trey Allison isn’t much for talking about himself. WOODVILLE
When one meets up with the soft-spoken Woodville banker, the conversation is likely to turn toward his granddaughter, who is the apple of his eye, or his two sons or his wife, Sharice.
Allison has reason to give himself a pat on the back, as of late, though. The longtime Citizens State Bank president was recently appointed to a seat on the Graham JB6 Company’s board of directors. The company is Citizens’ holding company and includes a distinguished group of members, which includes Citizens’ new president Harry J. “Johnny” Brooks.
Allison said he was honored to be included when he received the news of his appointment. Kimen Johnson, who serves as Citizens’ Chief Experience Officer, said the appointment is exciting for the 103-year-old banking institution, and called Allison a longtime fixture in the bank and in the community.
Allison said that, initially, the job with Citizens just presented itself at the right time. That opportunity made itself known in August of 1996, when Allison, who had been working for the family business, in timber, was informed by his father, Harold Allison II, that he would have to find a job soon; that the business was about to be sold.
Since that time, when he stepped onboard as vice president, with the responsibilities of branch manager for the Woodville downtown location and retail loan officer, he was promoted to senior VP in 2000, with added responsibilities, and in 2011, was promoted to president of CSB. Allison now serves as the President for the East Texas Region for CSB, following the acquisition in 2021 by Graham JB6.
When Citizens was sold in 2021 to Brooks in August of 2021, he saw the importance of the bank within the Tyler County community, and a lot of that due to Allison’s leadership, and the importance he places on community involvement.
When Brooks bought the bank, he saw opportunity due to the bank’s strong business acumen, but most importantly, he said at the time, the bank had “some good folks.”
Allison was kept on the CSB board and said his appointment to the holding company board likely came about when the new owners saw his commitment to the bank and community.
“I still like it,” Allison said of his career. “I still say that we are the local bank, we are the community bank.”
Keeping relationships is a key factor of CSB’s longevity and success, and one of the driving factors in Allison’s life, as well.
“With my presence on both [the CSB board and Graham JB6’s board] we won’t get left out,” Allison said. “This bank was under its prior ownership structure, primarily Tyler County, but with the new ownership, this bank will grow and bring on new market. With my presence, it gives me a little more authority at the CSB board level that we don’t get left out,” he said.
Allison said that at present, CSB has purchased property in the Valley Ranch area on SH 99 and US 59 and plans are to break ground on a new branch there this summer. Along with the Woodville location, CSB also hs branches in Warren, Kingwood and Marlin.
Allison credits his success in life and in his work to certain personal principles, such as always having a plan and that drive that tells him “you gotta make things happen,” but above all, he speaks of his faith. “Life without God has no meaning,” he said.
Allison also is eager to speak about his father’s huge influence on his life and work ethic, and the importance he learned early on of faith, family, community, relationships, planning and determination.
“You have to have a purpose, internally, to drive your life,” Allison said.