It’s an eventful road from being a 6-year-old child and recent immigrant struggling to learn English to being on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Joe Quiroga has been on that journey. He recalls the days when as a young boy, he would spend hours at the library in the coastal Texas town of Palacios. Quirgoa would pore over books, taking in a new language. He recalls looking across the street at a bank and thinking that’s where important people work.
Quiroga is one of those people today as president of the Texas National Bank. He also recently became the first Rio Grande Valley banker to serve on the reserve bank board.
The source of what drove Quiroga as a young Mexican immigrant continues to motivate him.
“This mentality of always striving to learn is what drives me to this day,” he said.
It’s a year of reaching milestones for Quiroga. There’s the selection to the Dallas Federal Reserve board, which represents banks in Texas and Oklahoma and parts of New Mexico. His bank – Texas National – is celebrating its 100th anniversary. It goes back to its start with the original charter that established First National Bank of Mercedes.
Texas National will open its seventh branch bank in 2020. Quiroga was only 28 when he was named president of Texas National. The institution had only two banks in that era while enduring the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. Texas National went through all of the turbulence and is today thriving. The new branch in San Juan is coming soon.
The opportunities ahead
The themes of growth and opportunities are ones Quiroga wants to promote not only with his bank, but with the Federal Reserve as well.
The Dallas Fed board that Quiroga sits on is made up of nine members. It represents a cross-section of banking, commercial, agricultural, industrial services and consumers. The board seeks to inform and influence monetary policy and foster financial stability. Beyond the financial and banking components, Quiroga said he wants to represent his community and region, and give those he serves a different perspective of the Valley.
“My goal is to first and foremost represent the Valley well,” said Quiroga, a graduate of Edinburg North High School and the University of Texas-Pan American. “I want to help spread the news of the great opportunities and great accomplishments that this region has to offer.”
Quiroga plans to bring the Federal Reserve to the Valley at least annually to host educational events that will include community leaders, educators and students. Quiroga plans on engaging both the board and the Valley community to highlight the transformation happening in the region.
“The goal is to change the narrative of all the negative news this area receives to positive ones,” he said. “It’s a tall order but if we all do our part we can make a difference.”