The changing of the guard at Town and Country Bank is official.

InterBank announced in November 2012 its plans to acquire Town and Country Bank of Stephenville, which has branches in Glen Rose, Granbury, Bluff Dale and Aledo. On January 25, the purchase was completed.

The business move brought an end to the era of Jim Chambers, who founded Town and Country and operated the bank for 35 years.

Last week, the area banks welcomed Mark Martin, president of InterBank's Central Texas region, which includes each of the banking centers previously operated by Town & Country.

On Monday, Martin, a Breckenridge native and Tarleton State University graduate, spoke with the Reporter as he was en route from Oklahoma to Stephenville. He spoke of his professional background and explained what customers can expect from InterBank.

Following graduation, Martin embarked on a career in the oil and gas industry, but he eventually shifted gears and signed on to work with a friend who had purchased a bank. After that one bank flourished and began to acquire additional locations, Martin's role within the company also grew. Eventually, InterBank was formed with Martin on board. In his previous role, Martin's primary focus was working as a consultant to oil and gas clientele from his Oklahoma City office.

"This is a bit of a change for me," Martin said, adding that making the move back to Stephenville also feels like a homecoming. "My full-time job will be overseeing operations in the Central Texas region, but the energy division will be relocating to Stephenville with me. I will serve as part-time consultant, telecommuting to serve InterBank's oil and gas customers."

Martin said his focus on the region follows the company's philosophy.

"Our communities come first," he said. "The banks will be operated as a community bank within a larger family of banks."

That fact will first be apparent with the installation of new signage, which is expected in about 45 days. The current signage will be replaced with a new name, putting the city first - "Glen Rose InterBank."

"All the local decision making will take place in Glen Rose, not Oklahoma City," Martin said, adding he will visit the local branch on a weekly basis to ensure local customers are being effectively served.

As far as other changes are concerned, Martin said customers will not see many.

"We are not going to come in and clean out anything," he said. "Customers are not going to see us come in and change out people and procedures. There is not going to be any fundamental change. The (Town and Country) banks have already been run well, we are just bringing greater resources and a broader support staff. We will be utilizing the talents and abilities of the full company and bringing additional opportunities to our customers and the cities we serve."

Those opportunities include bringing aboard an aggressive lending philosophy.

"We are about creating new businesses and new jobs" Martin said. "We (at InterBank) want to do our part to help grow the local economy."

InterBank's "quarterly statement of condition" report, dated Dec. 31, 2012, noted liabilities and capital totaling $1,878,279,000 with 18 banks in Texas and 11 in Oklahoma.