John Bordelon, President and CEO of Home Bank and Chairman of HomeBancorp., Inc., joined Discover Lafayette to talk of his love for Lafayette, his distinguished banking career of 41 years with Home Bank, and his community involvement.
A native of Metairie, John first visited USL as a young teen when his older brother was a student. He found the people to be exceptionally friendly, unlike any other he had met. When it was time to choose a college where he would play football, he found none of the other schools could compete with the culture of USL and Lafayette. “The people in Lafayette made it exciting for me to select USL.”
John played outside linebacker for USL Football as a four-year starter of the Ragin’ Cajuns football team from 1973 – 1976. The team went from a dismal record of 0-10 in his freshman year to the 9-2 record in his senior season under Coach Augie Tammariello and Defensive Coordinator Sam Robinson. “We went from having the worst record in UL history to the best record until the success of the last two seasons” under Coach Billy Napier.
John credits his college sweetheart and wife, Suzanne, for getting him on track in college. “I had my priorities a bit messed up. I was football first, entertainment second, and school third. Suzanne got me on the right track and got me focused on my career and what I wanted to be.” He graduated in accounting in 1977 and initially worked as a Medicare examiner. Exactly three years after the day he started with Medicare, he joined Home Savings & Loan to capitalize on the leadership opportunities he would be afforded.
John has led Home Bank to incredible growth during his tenure. He’s overseen bank acquisitions, the Initial Public Offering of company stock in 2008, and the many technological advances in banking which have changed how bankers interact with and serve their customers.
On the date of this podcast release, March 25, 2022, Home Bank will be converting its newest acquisition, Texan Bank, a community bank with five locations in the metro Houston area. The Merger Agreement provides that Texan Bank, operated by Friendswood Capital, will merge with and into Home Bank, with Home Bank as the survivor. Texan Bank was acquired by Home Bank in an all-cash transaction of $66.6 million.
Originally chartered as a savings and loan association known as Home Building and Loan in 1908, Home Bank has experienced incredible growth over the years. It is now the only Lafayette bank still in existence out of the dozen or so that were around when John started his banking career in 1981. The bank has survived the tough times of the 1980s oil bust and the 2008 real estate crash, and today, it employs over 450 bankers across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. It is the third-largest bank in Louisiana, with assets of $2.9 billion dollars.
John recounted the timing of Home Bank’s initial public offering in 2008, an incredibly risky time with the national economy and stock market in tatters. Home Bank raised $90 million on the same day that the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”), which allowed the federal government to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions, was signed. The infusion of cash put Home Bank into the position of being the highest capitalized bank in the country at that time and the funds were used to purchase other banks. The first three acquisitions of banks were cash deals that helped Home Bank grow its balance sheet.
“Banking is changing due to technology. Some people never go to a bank. But on the commercial side, people need the advice of bankers on how to finance their projects and start up a business. The beauty of having a relationship with a customer is good for both parties. The customer needs advice on getting the right financing and the bankers are looking out for their client’s best interest. We call our commercial lenders ‘relationship managers’ because that’s what they do.”
On the community front, John has served as Chair of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and of the UL Alumni Association. He has also served as a board member of the Community Foundation of Acadiana, Southwest Medical Center, United Way of Acadiana, Louisiana Open, Ascension Episcopal School, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the University of Louisiana’s Athletic Foundation Advisory Committee. He is the founder of the Ragin Cajun Athletic Foundation. He and served approximately twenty years on the board of the Greater Southwest Mardi Gras Association, the non-profit that is responsible for overseeing Mardi Gras parades in Lafayette and ensuring that the event remains free to the public.
John Bordelon served approximately twenty years on the board of the Greater Southwest Mardi Gras Association, the non-profit that is responsible for overseeing Mardi Gras parades in Lafayette and ensuring that the event remains free to the public. “One of the greatest accomplishments of Greater SW Mardi Gras is that we funded all the barricades for the entire parade route. That makes Lafayette’s Mardi Gras one of the safest Mardi Gras celebrations in the state. It’s been outstanding to experience the safety that we have.”
When John was serving on the UL-Lafayette Alumni Association, he approached then UL-Lafayette President Dr. Ray Authement to recommend the creation of an athletic foundation. He got the go-ahead and worked first with Authement and then his successor, Dr. E. Joseph Savoie. In 2008, the Rajin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation was kicked off with a modest fundraiser, which has grown exponentially over the years. Home Bank has been a supporter of RCAF, which John calls a “natural fit for Home Bank’s support.”
We thank John Bordelon for his dedication to our community and commend him for his capable leadership of Home Bank over the past 41 years.
We also thank Home Bank for supporting the mission of Discover Lafayette to shine the light on all the good things, people, and culture found here in Lafayette, the gateway to South Louisiana!