In memory B.M. "Bernie" Beck
August 7 1922 - May 9 2003
President & CEO 1972 - 2003
B.M. "Bernie" Beck celebrated 57 years in community banking in 2003.
In September 1946, just back from WWII, he was recruited by Roy J. Smith, a long-time Central Texas Banker, under a two-year GI training program at First National Bank in Killeen. Mr. Beck fit right in to a teller job since he had helped his dad run a general store and other small businesses in Youngsport, TX.
As First National grew, he shortly became cashier and secretary to the Board, and he prepared all the reports by 7 a.m. for Mr. Smith. For many years, he met the trains with the Fort Hood payrolls at 2 a.m., counted the cash and turned it over to the Army. Mr. Beck has a long history of being an advocate at the national and state levels for our armed forces and for Fort Hood.
In 1955, Mr. Smith, Mr. Beck and others acquired controlling interest in Union State Bank in Florence. In 1966, Mr. Beck headed the operation of Fort Hood National on the military base. By 1972, he bought controlling interest in Union State Bank, with assets of $2 million. During the late 1980's, Mr. Beck helped reorganize several Texas banks and put them back on their feet. Then, he added four other branches to Union State Bank between 1990 and 1997. That accounts for the nine banks he has been affiliated with throughout his career.
Union State Bank has eight branches and is going strong. Union State Bank has received a "Blue Ribbon" award for financial strength in the top 10 percent of banks in the nation. Mr. Beck received a 50 year bankers award from Texas Bankers Foundation.