Security Bank founder and Chairman Eric Bohne was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Bankers Association’s 50-Year Club. The club commemorates individuals who have devoted 50 years or more of service to Oklahoma’s banking industry.
Bohne’s banking career started in 1971 when we got a job at Union National Bank as a drive-in teller. He later had the opportunity to take a job at Ozark Bank in Ozark, Missouri which opened the door for other opportunities that led Eric to Oklahoma. In 1978, he joined 1st National Bank in Stillwater where he served five years first as a consumer lender and later as senior vice president in commercial lending. In 1983, he moved to Tulsa, where he spent 10 years at Security Bank as Executive Vice President, Commercial Lending. He fondly refers to this as “the old Security Bank” before it was sold to Boatmen’s Bank in 1992. During his time there, the bank grew from $26 million to $175 million in assets. From 1993–-2000, he was the President of Citizens Bank of Tulsa, later selling to Gold Bank in 1998. He led the growth of this bank from $14 million to $198 million over five years. In 2000, Bohne helped open Security Bank, “the new Security Bank,” which started as the acquisition of Pawnee National Bank by the Buford family. The community bank moved the headquarters to Tulsa in 2000, where the bank resides today, with assets over $750 million. Bohne served as CEO & Chairman from 2008-2020. In early 2021, he announced his semi-retirement but retains the title of Chairman of the Board. This is not an honorary title, as he is fully committed, still working in the bank three or more days a week.
“I attribute my longevity in the industry to smart and dedicated co-workers that I have had the fortune to be associated with,” Bohne said. “I had the determination and willingness to not quit. I have had a few mentors that I have learned from; some I agreed with and some I did not, but I learned from both. What I have learned is how to get along with people.”
When asked what advice he would offer young professional entering the banking business, he gave the following:
- “Do not wait on others to teach you. Take charge of your own lives! Continue to read and educate yourself regardless of what status you have obtained. “
- “Take responsibility and don’t always expect immediate gratification. Take on tasks that others don’t want to do.”
- “Success is not measured by time, but rather by results.”