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2020 Forty Under Forty: CHRIS KATRI, 37

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Chris Katri has distinguished himself as a leader in commercial lending and banking in Tarrant County for the past 16 years and is a key part of the success of Southside Bank in the North Texas region, said nominator Mark Drennan, President – North Texas Region, Southside Bank.

He started at Marquette Commercial Finance, but wanted to be more involved in the community and deal with customers at a micro-level and face-to-face, Drennan said.

That led to a shift to Fort Worth-based OmniAmerican Bank, acquired by Southside Bank in 2014.

Katri is a graduate of Leadership Fort Worth’s Leadership Class 2019, where he worked on a project with the Financial Exploitation Prevention Center of Tarrant County (FEPC) and Meals on Wheels to help prevent elder financial abuse.

Katri leads by example inside Southside Bank by developing employees and being an active member of the leadership team, and he represents the bank extremely well in the community through his meaningful involvement with numerous non-profit organizations, Drennan said.

He is a regular volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Junior Achievement, Fort Worth ISD (elementary school PTA), Habitat for Humanity and various programs through his church. He recently joined the board of the Northeast Texas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as some in his family are carriers of the gene and he has been heavily involved in the organization.

Katri attended Arlington Martin High School; earned a BBA from TCU with majors in accounting and finance and a minor in Spanish, summa cum laude (2004); an MBA from UTA with a finance concentration; and the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU, with distinction.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

I was a parking lot attendant for the Texas Rangers when I was 16. Standing in a parking lot in the middle of summer was hot, but we were off the clock in the middle innings so I watched a lot of baseball.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

I had two older brothers, so I didn’t watch as many shows or movies geared towards kids as others may have. Sports of some kind were always on our TV, especially during baseball season. We also played sports video games. Sports teach us about the importance of teamwork and using our own strengths to positively impact others, so that lesson has always been in the back of my mind.

What other profession would you like to try?

Earlier in life I wanted to be a park ranger, as I love being outdoors and think our National Park System is one of our greatest assets as a country. But I realized that profession presents challenges to raising a family – living in a remote area without many permanent neighbors, relatively low pay, moving frequently. Once the kids are self-sufficient, I’d like to find a way to serve our park system somehow.

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

My parents have unquestionably been the biggest influences on me. In addition to the basics of parenting, which are all extremely important – loving your children, providing a safe home, putting food on the table, etc. – they taught me about hard work and the importance of using our time, talents and treasure to benefit others. Looking back on my childhood, between demanding work, volunteer efforts, supporting three boys and maintaining a household, I don’t think my parents ever rested. Someday I hope to be as hardworking as they are.

What is your favorite song?

Feelin’ Good Again by Robert Earl Keen.

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

A kid-carrier backpack and hiking boots, because my favorite way to spend a free morning or afternoon is taking my two daughters for a hike. We also love to camp when we have a free weekend.

Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

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