Oklahoma Baptist University

Local CEO Describes Bank's Growth

Ed Townsend, chairman and CEO of Local Oklahoma Bank, spoke to Oklahoma Baptist University students about the evolution of his bank and the essence of leadership during the university's recent business forum.

Townsend, a 35-year veteran of the banking industry, talked about the importance of good business practices and building customer relationships.


Ed Townsend, chairman and CEO of Local Oklahoma Bank, charted the successes of his bank during Oklahoma Baptist University recent business forum.

"Customers do business with bankers, not with a bank," he said. "That's why I work to build loyalty with my staff and provide them the ability to service customers.

"My job is to build relationships with bankers and give them the most competitive tools. It's a win-win situation for everyone."

Townsend described several characteristics of leaders. The banker emphasized that a leader's business practices should never conflict with Christian ethics.

"Never compromise your integrity and Christian commitment," he said. "Have courage. Always be fair. Be compassionate."

He also fielded questions from the audience about current legal issues, record low interest rates and the state of the economy.

"Today we clearly live in a very volatile time," he said. "My advice is to be extra cautious. No one really knows what will happen."

Local is the second largest locally owned bank in the state and has assets in excess of $2.8 billion. The bank has 51 locations throughout the state and employees more than 1100 people.

Townsend joined Local Oklahoma Bank as chairman, president and CEO in 1988. He left the bank in 1992 and purchased the Green Country Bank in northeast Oklahoma. In 1997, he formed the Townsend Investment Group and purchased Local Oklahoma Bank and merged his bank with Local.

OBU's Paul Dickinson School of Business sponsored the lecture in Bailey Business Center.

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