Our Leadership Team
Meet our Leaders
Roy J. Salley
Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer of Oakwood Bancshares, Inc.
Roy Salley’s thirty plus years of banking experience is a story of consistent success in positions of increasing responsibility encompassing a wide range of banking operations. Roy has chartered and capitalized two banks which achieved and maintained profitable operations and grew organically and through successful acquisitions. He has turnaround and nonperforming asset liquidation experience. Roy has a long track record of prudent lending in commercial real estate and C&I sectors. Roy is a seasoned CEO who is well regarded by bank regulators and well respected by his peers.
In 1998, Mr. Salley formed First Mercantile Bank, N.A., in Dallas, raising $28 million in two offerings at $10.00 and $17.50 per share respectively. The bank reached $100 million in total assets at the end of the first year and was profitable within six months of its opening. First Mercantile completed the acquisition of a bank with $60 million in total assets in 2001. By 2002, First Mercantile had grown to $400 million in assets and operated four locations in Dallas and two in Austin, Texas. Colonial Bank targeted First Mercantile for its initial entry into Texas and acquired the bank in 2002 for $55 per share, a phenomenal return for First Mercantile shareholders.
Mr. Salley stayed on as CEO of Colonial Bank’s Texas operations growing total assets to $850 million and the number of locations to twelve. Under Mr. Salley’s leadership, Colonial Bank’s Texas Regions were consistently ranked as the top performing regions in the twelve regions that Colonial operated in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Nevada.
In October of 2003, Mr. Salley again headed an organizing group which chartered a de novo commercial bank, Sovereign Bank in Dallas. Mr. Salley served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. The bank raised $38 million in capital at $10.00 per share and opened in July of 2004. The bank completed two additional offerings at $20.41 per share and $22.00 per share and to date has raised approximately $60 million in private capital. Again, under Roy’s leadership, the bank was profitable within six months. The bank has achieved phenomenal growth with over $700 million in total assets, while still maintaining a strong credit culture in difficult economic conditions. The bank currently operated ten locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin.
In April of 2009 Roy stepped down as CEO to focus on acquisitions opportunities and strategic planning. In May of 2010 he resigned as Chairman to take a position with Commerce Street Capital as Managing Director for their Investment Banking division, where he was focused on mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, growth strategy, as well as turnarounds of troubled financial institutions.
Mr. Salley recently resigned as President of the North Texas Region of Spirit of Texas Bank, SSB, College Station, Texas to pursue this endeavor. After joining Spirit of Texas in 2013, he helped raise $12 million in new capital for the bank; opened two new locations as well as assist in the purchase of another; grew the region to approximately $160 million in total assets and managed the lending operation in the area. Additionally, Mr. Salley was a member of the executive management committee and an advisory board member of Spirit of Texas. He received a BBA degree from Texas A&M University and holds multiple securities licenses.
J. Bart Bearden
Director of Oakwood Bancshares, Inc.
J. Bart Bearden has been actively engaged in banking for more than 31 years. From July 2010 to August 2015, Mr. Bearden served as Dallas Market President for Green Bank, N.A. He was responsible for expanding the bank’s footprint in North Texas. Mr. Bearden’s responsibilities include all lending and depository activity, staffing and bank site selection in the market. He also served on the bank’s Merger and Acquisition Committee. During his tenure, the Dallas market grew from start-up to five (5) locations and approximately $500 million in committed loan facilities. Additionally, Mr. Bearden was involved with two (2) whole-bank acquisitions as well as multiple due diligence projects. From 2002 to 2010, Mr. Bearden served as Executive President for PlainsCapital Bank. During his time with PlainsCapital, Mr. Bearden was responsible for developing and managing a commercial loan portfolio as well as serving as Vice-Chairman of the Dallas Regional Loan Committee and served as a member of the bank’s Treasury Management Committee. Prior to this, Mr. Bearden served in various lending capacities with Frost Bank, Fleet Capital Corporation, Comerica Bank, NationsBank, NCNB and First RepublicBank. Mr. Bearden received formal credit training in 1989 through NCNB’s Relationship Manager Development Program.
Rhett D. Bentley
Director of Oakwood Bancshares, Inc.
Rhett D. Bentley has approximately 20 years of banking experience, primarily in the lending area. Mr. Bentley began his banking career in 1977 as an assistant vice president with Central Bank of the South in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1982, he joined RepublicBank Dallas, Texas as a vice president responsible for a multi-man team of corporate lending personnel. In 1988, he went to Texas Commerce Bank, Dallas as an executive president responsible for sales and market of banking services and lending to domestic commercial accounts. In 1991, he became the president of Landmar Resources, Inc. in Dallas which makes financial and energy investments with an emphasis on purchasing oil and gas production and royalties and other personal investments and currently holds that position.
Nevertheless, Mr. Bentley continued his relationship to the banking community. In 1997, Mr. Bentley was the founding Chairman of the Board and a Director of First Mercantile Bank, N.A. Dallas, Texas. While with First Mercantile, Mr. Bentley was a member of the investment committee, and executive committee and Chairman of the Director’s Loan Committee with the authority to approve all loans over $250,000. First Mercantile was sold to Colonial Bancgroup in 2002. After the sale of First Mercantile, Mr. Bentley continued the Dallas board and loan committee, approving loan requests up to $20 million at the subsidiary bank, Colonial Bank. Additionally, in 2005, he became a member of the loan committee for the entire organization, approving credit up to the bank’s legal lending limit.
Suzanne C. Salls
Chief Financial Officer of Oakwood Bank
Ms. Salls has enjoyed a career in banking that spans over 30 years. Prior to joining Oakwood, Ms. Salls served as EVP/CFO of United Texas Bank, a $450 million state-chartered commercial bank based in Dallas, Texas from January 2015 – January 2018. Responsibilities encompassed oversight of all financial operations of the company, including strategic planning and annual budget preparation, cash management and liquidity, investment activities, and management of Asset/Liability Management (“ALM”) processes (as the ALCO chair), information technology, bank security, and vendor management. Prior to that, Ms. Salls was CFO of SP Bancorp, a $350 million NASDAQ-listed (SPBC) holding company of SharePlus, a state chartered commercial bank based in Plano, Texas. During her tenure, SPBC completed a successful IPO in October 2010, culminating in the listing on NASDAQ and ultimately, stock appreciation of almost 200% in 4 years. Responsibilities encompassed oversight of all financial operations of the companies, including facilitation of all SEC and Regulatory reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley control environment, strategic planning and annual budget preparation, cash management and liquidity, investment activities, and management of ALM processes, serving as Chair of the ALCO committee. Ms. Salls tenure lasted for almost ten years, concluding with the sale SPBC and SharePlus to Green Bank in October 2014. Prior to joining SPBC, Ms. Salls served as SVP/CFO of Mercantile Bank & Trust in Dallas for 16 years. Ms. Salls is a CPA and started her career as an auditor with KPMG, later transitioning into community banking in Lubbock, Texas before relocating to the DFW area.