Vice Chairman, President and CEO, Citizens Bank of Edmond

One of Jill Castilla's great strengths as a bank president is developing business without spending a whole lot of money on marketing.

Under Castilla, who became president and chief executive in early 2014, the Oklahoma bank has won scores of fans — and customers — by creating and sponsoring a monthly street festival that has breathed new life into downtown Edmond.

It has helped to prop up local mom-and-pop shops by periodically giving its employees fistfuls of cash to spend at the stores.

And it has built a social media presence that most other banks can only envy. Castilla herself has more than 7,700 followers on Twitter, engaging them not by promoting the bank, but by highlighting goings-on in the community and its customers' success stories. She estimates that Citizens has added $40 million of loans and deposits over the last few years as a direct result of its social media presence.

"People bank with community banks because they know you, and through social media, they feel like they have met us" even when they haven't, Castilla told American Banker last year. "It's like going to a million chamber of commerce events and shaking everyone's hand."

Castilla has, in short order, become one of the industry's most visible community bankers. She speaks frequently at industry events — including one recently in Finland — about retail banking and branding strategies, and holds leadership, board or committee positions with a number of bank trade associations.

Castilla is also visible in the community serving on boards of business and charitable organizations — and she encourages employees to be active as well. As an incentive, the bank offers full-time employees up to five paid days off a year to use for community service or mission trips.

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