As women in banking, it is important that we lift each other up and celebrate each other's accomplishments. The entire purpose of the Girl Banker blog is to do just that! The Girl Banker of the Week series serves as a way to highlight Girl Bankers everywhere by telling their stories and motivating and encouraging other women in banking. It also is a great way for women in banking to connect! Read below about this week's Girl Banker of the Week! Michelle Hodge | Review Examiner | Texas Department of Banking Not all bankers come in the form of a lender, teller, president, new accounts representative, or marketing director. There is another banker role that is likely not celebrated enough and plays an incredibly important role in the continued safety and soundness of America's community banks: the bank examiner. For those of you who aren't familiar with bank examiners, here is the definition according to Wikipedia: A bank examiner is a financial professional, a species of auditor, who has the task of making sure that banks...are operating legally, ethically, and safely, in accordance with the bank regulations imposed on these institutions by the chartering level of government. In the United States, they may conduct supervision on behalf of state governments, a United States government agency, or the Federal Reserve System. The main duties of a bank examiner are to ensure that a bank's operations are legal and can guarantee financial stability. A bank examiner will also review the balance sheet, evaluate the level of risk associated with a loan, and assess the management of a bank. Got it? Meet Michelle Hodge, Review Examiner for the Texas Department of Banking in Austin, TX. Girl Banker Story Michelle got her start in banking in 2006 as an Accounting Analyst at Platinum Bank in Lubbock, Texas, which happened to be one of the last state chartered de novo banks prior to the Great Recession. While there, she worked directly with the CEO and CFO to purchase a branch from another financial institution and with the Texas Department of Banking on the de novo bank application and director profiles. She performed the role of accounts payable, assisted with setting up internet and telephone banking and was instrumental in preparing board reports and policies. Her love for community banks began while working at Platinum Bank. "The impact community banks have in their communities is great," Michelle said. "I can think of several small towns in Texas that have a community bank but are so small they don’t even have a restaurant or a stop light. However, they provide a service that keeps the community alive." One of Michelle's favorite quotes that she believes exudes the essence of community banking is by ICBA Past Chairman, Jack Hartings: “There is not another industry that has a more vested interest in the communities they serve or has more opportunity to provide that community with the resources to succeed. We don’t cut and run when the economy gets tough. We roll up our sleeves and work side by side with our customers to get them through the tough times.” Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock in 2007 with a Bachelor's in Business Administration degree and was hired by the Texas Department of Banking in Houston as a Financial Examiner I in 2008. In March of 2013, she passed the commissioning process and was promoted to a Senior Financial Examiner VII in September of 2017, just a few months after graduating from the Graduate School of Banking in Colorado. Her roles included acting as Examiner-In-Charge (EIC) of all types of examinations regardless of size and complexity, ensuring proper application of department policies and procedures in addition to state and federal regulations, and serving as a leader, mentor, and supervisor of less experienced examiners among many other duties. In February of 2018, Michelle was promoted again to Review Examiner of the Texas Department of Banking which relocated her to Austin. She performs the Austin Headquarters review of regional examination reports and is always keeping up with the ever-changing laws, regulations, policies, and procedures of federal or other regulatory agencies that may affect the Department. The fact that a female has this role is a BIG deal. She's a trailblazer, to say the least. In her spare time... When she isn't keeping all the banks in Texas in line, Michelle and her husband, Stephen, of 15 years, and their dog, Gustav, love a good walk. They also are avid travelers, having visited 8 eight different countries in the last four years and have a trip booked for Singapore, Phuket, and Bangkok later in 2018. Michelle also serves as a Graduate School of Banking Strategic Topic Advisor and volunteers for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day event. She has walked in six Susan G. Komen 3-day 60-mile walks herself with 5 being in Dallas and 1 in San Diego, CA. Additionally, she is a member of the State Agency Council that supports the Governor's Commission for Women. Her hobbies are running, hiking and basically anything outdoors. She even climbed a fourteener in Colorado last year! MOTIVATION | "Working for a leadership team that I believe in." Join me as we celebrate this week's Girl Banker of the Week, Michelle Hodge!