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40 Under 40 Edition


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Jeffrey Montgomery, 39

Cendera Bank, Vice President

Jeffrey Montgomery is a dedicated local banker finding solutions for everyone he comes in contact with and quickly building a reputation as a problem solver, said nominator Jason Hartley of UNTHSC, one of several who wrote recommendations.

“Even when Jeff can’t get a deal done at his bank, he’s well poised to connect you with someone that can. Jeff’s ‘I got this’ attitude is a lost art in this day and age,” Harley said.

The nominations all mentioned Zeb’s Foundation, which raises money in memory of Montgomery’s nephew with a simple idea of delivering soccer balls to underserved populations.

“It really takes a special person to be a great family man, take on the daily grind of a busy work schedule and be actively involved in the community. I see Jeff’s true entrepreneurial motivation as his true calling to lift people up and find a better way for all,” said Thomas Rios of Bell Textron.

“Nobody has more desire and tenacity than Mr. Montgomery when it comes to his commitment to his family, friends, the banking industry, his community involvement endeavors,” said Tim Runte of Calloway’s Nursery.

And Justin  McMillan of River City Services added this: “My association with Jeff spans a decade, I sincerely believe him to be a very worthy candidate.”

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

Painting by Rick Montgomery or Summit Publishing. It’s hard to remember. I’ve been working since I was 5 or 6. I spent summers passing out fliers for my dad’s painting business and also stuffed invoices for a friend’s publishing business.

What other profession would you like to try?

Professional worship musician. We can all dream, right?

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

Rob Rhodes. I have been blessed with many mentors in my life and I wish that I could name them all. Rob holds a special place in my story, and I cannot think of a more appropriate venue to talk about him as he passed away due to complications of COVID last summer.

Rob was a revered professor at TCU and taught in the Executive MBA program, among others. He somehow had a way to make business law captivating and his passion was infectious. I chose Dr. Rhodes because he believed in me and was critical in my acceptance at TCU despite not having ever finished my undergraduate degree.

He has influenced the way I go about my own business in that regard. He told me that he looked for indicators of success when evaluating applicants who did not have an undergraduate degree and I find myself putting loan applicants through that same criteria. I try never to forget to watch for indicators of success even if the traditional metrics are not quite being met.

What is your favorite song?

Goodness of God, Bethel Worship.

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

A Zebstrong Soccer Ball. In 2015 my beloved nephew lost his 18-month battle to leukemia. While he was still fighting and was in the transplant ward, my mom (his grandmother) came to him to think of an idea to expand his world and give him hope. The Bible says that without hope, people perish, and she wanted to help him think of something beyond the four walls that he was confined to. Together, they came up with the idea of gathering soccer balls and sending them on mission trips with my dad (Zeb’s grandad), who typically went to Kenya two times a year. When he passed, we asked that people bring soccer balls in lieu of flowers and 834 soccer balls came into the funeral. Zeb’s Foundation was born. To date, we have given over 7,000 soccer balls to 40 nations and have the honor to carry the torch of Zeb’s legacy and spread the Good News of God’s grace and compassion despite trying circumstances.


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