LCSN: Bank of the Rio Grande has new owners, board

August 19, 2012. Retrieved online August 20, 2012 from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — Several months ago, Garrey Carruthers was asked to become a member of the board of directors for Bank of the Rio Grande. The current dean of the College of Business at New Mexico State University and former governor of the state had already served on three previous bank boards, so he accepted.

“I particularly enjoy community banking,” he said. “I’ve always been an advocate for community banks.”

Bank of the Rio Grande has been around for 27 years and has three branches in Las Cruces. In January the company was bought by a group out of El Paso known as Strategic Growth Bank Inc. that includes businessman Bill Sanders. Strategic Growth Bank paid $24.6 million for Bank of the Rio Grande.

The new board held its first meeting last week.

“This is certainly one of the better boards I’ve been a member of, in terms of talent,” Carruthers said.

The president is also someone familiar with the banking world. Mike Cheney, an NMSU regent, has a quarter century of experience in the industry and was most recently with Wells Fargo’s office in Las Cruces.

“We have a growth model already established,” Cheney said. “We have a loan office in Albuquerque and have hired personnel up there.”

He said the bank will stress multiple facets of help for customers.

“Our real forte is being relationship managers and being advisors to businesses,” Cheney said. “We don’t expect to go out and win your business and then hand you off to someone to handle the operations of it. We plan to stand there hand-to-hand with you to make sure it’s implemented and has value the way you anticipated.”

Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article

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