Wendy Harris among Brookesmith High School successful alumni
This is the second in a series of articles chronicling the paths to success of Brookesmith High School alumni. This article from Bob Contreras of the Brookesmith ISD highlights Wendy Harris, Vice President, Senior Loan Officer, MCBANK.
As noted previously, it’s common to hear of the occasional successful alum in big schools. Fame may come from exceptional athletic ability, Hollywood exposure, or a successful business venture. Success is not always measured in mere money. Today we consider the life of Brookesmith alumna Wendy (Nunn) Harris.
Wendy is the Senior Loan Officer and Vice President of MCBank.
She is a 1987 Brookesmith graduate. Her family has been around for a while. They bought their home place in the 1800s and had a public school on their land. It was called the Barber School, and it consolidated with Brookesmith ISD in 1904. Just for the record, that is way before Wendy was around!
Wendy’s grandfather and his siblings also attended Brookesmith. Grandfather had to quit school in 7th or 8th grade when his father died. Grandpa had to stay home to work. That was pretty common back then. Wendy’s father, an only child, graduated from Brookesmith in 1964. Her younger brother, Dusty, graduated in 1993. All of Wendy’s children are Brookesmith grads as are her brother’s.
Wendy’s teacher, Ms. Botts, advanced Wendy from Kindergarten to first grade, making Wendy the youngest in that class. Among her new classmates were Guy Elkins (Owner, Elkins Metal Construction) and Rena Allgood (Director of Human Resources and Business Manager, Brookesmith ISD).
After graduating from Brookesmith in 1987, Wendy attended Tarleton State University to study Agricultural Economics. Agricultural economics is an applied field of economics concerned with the application of economic theory in optimizing the production and distribution of food and fiber products. Agricultural economics began as a branch of economics that specifically dealt with land usage.
It was a long road to graduation. Between beginning and completing her undergraduate studies, Wendy worked. She waited tables in Stephenville at K-Bobs, and at Pass th’ Biskits and Section Hand in Brownwood. She commuted to Stephenville for school. Wendy graduated from Tarleton State University in August 1994 with a degree in Ag-Economics.
One day in 1995, Wendy noticed a construction project and stopped to look. It was a Mills County State Bank going up. Wendy applied, was hired and began working as a teller in 1996. From Teller, Wendy was promoted to Loan Processor Secretary, Banking Officer, Assistant Vice President then Vice President of the lending department.
When asked about her warmest memories, Wendy replied that she doesn’t have just one, but instead has a sincere and deep connection with her people – her customers. She explained that in the loan business, you get to share the very highest points of people’s lives. You are there for their first car loan, or first home loan, maybe even their first child. It’s an exciting time and one of the high points of life. On the other hand, Wendy is also present with them in their lowest valleys. Such as when someone loses employment, becomes ill or suffers the loss of a close family member. The financial crash of 2008 also sticks in her mind. That was an especially difficult time for the self-employed. Wendy takes it personally when her customers struggle.
All you can do in these circumstances is work with them to get through it and help them to keep what they can. They do their part and the bank does its part. It can be a challenge but is well worth it in the end. When you work with a customer for a long time, you can grow attached and feel a sense of kinship or partnership. That makes it all the worse when a long-time customer and friend passes away. The loan business is the people business. It’s all about caring.