Ross A. Hill, founder and CEO of Bank2, will present OBU's 2013 Minter Lectureship in Business, Leadership and Christian Ministry on Monday, April 8, at 10 a.m. in Bailey Business Center's Tulsa Royalties Auditorium. The community is invited to attend.
The title of Hill's lecture will be "Leadership Essentials for the 21st Century."
In the 10 years since he founded Bank2, Hill and his team have helped thousands of people and firmly established the institution as a national star in the banking industry. In 2009 and 2010 the American Banking Journal ranked Bank2 as the first and third community bank in the nation, respectively, as measured by the banking industry's gold standard of return on equity.
That success is the direct result of Hill's leadership and abilities as an innovator. In the mid-2000s, he reached out to Native Americans, who have a lower rate of home ownership than any other population in the United States. Since then, Bank2 has made more than $500 million in home loans to members of approximately 290 federally recognized Native American tribes in 29 states.
The institution also has a prominent Internet presence, with customers across the country able to conduct virtually all of their business online. The result is lower overhead and greater geographic diversity, offsetting the weak economy and turbulence in the financial industry.
Prior to founding Bank2, Hill was president and CEO for Canadian State Bank and Bank of Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor's degree at Cincinnati Bible Seminary. He frequently participates in mission trips around the world with a focus on helping business leaders and young college graduates build Christian values into their businesses. He also is extensively involved in roles with charities such as GiANT Experiences, Whisper of Hope and Compassion International. Hill is the founder of two foundations, Circle714 and Mission360. He was a finalist for Oklahoma's Most Admired CEO's in 2012.
Following his example, many of Bank2's employees have become more proactive at volunteering within their respective communities. Hill speaks internationally frequently on banking and leadership topics and writes a blog read in more than 100 countries around the world.
Hill said that for him, banking is far more than taking a deposit, making a loan or booking a profit. Instead, in his mind, a bank exists primarily to help people.
"Ross' huge capacity for compassion, concern, understanding, empathy, great communication skills and a wonderful way of connecting with the bank customers and employees are what sets him apart from most CEOs," said Fran Smith, Bank2 executive vice president. "He will consistently go out of his way to help someone with a problem or need. The bank customers view him as a confidant first and banker second."
Hill extends the same caring attitude toward his employees. Under his guidance, initiative, personal responsibility and professional development are both expected and rewarded.
The Minter Lectureship in American Business Practice is intended to add a sound understanding of the business world to the educational experience of church ministry majors to broaden their ability to minister effectively. The Minter Lectureship was underwritten by 1940 OBU graduate Lloyd G. Minter of Bartlesville. The annual series began in 1991.
Minter built a successful 35-year career with Phillips Petroleum Co., rising to the position of senior vice president and general counsel before retiring in 1978. His desire to help OBU religious vocation students broaden their understanding of the business community led to establishing the innovative lecture series.
OBU annually has the largest numbers of religion majors among Southern Baptist four-year colleges and universities. The Minter Lectureship is designed to provide orientation and training for those students in the history and nature of the American economic system and to help the students understand and appreciate the business/professional community. In addition to equipping the students with business knowledge for the institutions they will lead, the Minter Lectureship promotes proper management of personal finances.
Minter, who earned a law degree at the University of Oklahoma, served as counsel for Boone, Smith, Davis, and Hurst of Tulsa. He served five terms as an OBU trustee and two terms as a trustee of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Minter died Jan. 4, 2013, at age 94.