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FWIT 2023 Scholarship Information

One of the benefits of FWIT membership is the opportunity to obtain scholarships for furthering your education, studying for an additional credential, or attending a professional conference – all ways to enhance and promote your career and help you succeed.

All FWIT members in good standing who did not receive an Association Scholarship (Education or Conference) during the previous year are eligible to apply.

Applications are posted on the website each year and publicized via email, local Group leadership and social media.

Questions?  Contact Awards & Scholarships Chairs Brandy Patterson or Lora Torres.

In 2023, the Association is awarding two general education scholarships and 10 scholarships to our own FWIT Conference 2023: Go the Distance - Map Your Field of Dreams.

The window of opportunity to apply for a FWIT General Education Scholarship is now open!  The application and full instructions can be found in the Members Area on the Helpful Member Info page.  Deadline to apply is midnight, Tuesday, February 28,  2023.  Recipients will be notified no later than Friday March 25, 2023.

Application for the 2023 Conference Scholarships will be available in early 2nd quarter.

FWIT 2022 Scholarship Winners

General Education Scholarship Winners

General Education Scholarships are offered annually by FWIT to promote improvements in the professional development, leadership skills, education and training of women in the financial services industry and to bring together women in the financial services industry for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and interests.

In March of 2022 the Association awarded two (2) general education scholarships, in the amount of $1,000 each, for attendance at any educational offering of the applicant’s choice.

Brandy Patterson

Brandy Patterson is Vice President, Fair Lending, at The First State Bank, Sweeny, Texas, and an active member of the Gulf Coast Group. Brandy attends several TBA and IBAT conferences and seminars each year to maintain her Community Bank Compliance Officer certification and will use her scholarship to supplement the cost.  She has risen through the ranks of the Bank since 2007, serving as teller, then into the Compliance Department as the BSA Assistant, and then to Lending Compliance Officer as an Assistant Vice President, before being promoted to her current position.

Brandy wasted no time in becoming involved in FWIT.  She joined and attended her first FWIT Annual Conference in 2021 and already serves as Secretary of the Gulf Coast Group.  Brandy looks forward to continuing her FWIT involvement at the Group and Association level and has been successful in recruiting colleagues to FWIT. 

She says she hopesto make an impact in our industry, through her knowledge and expertise, but also to other women through showing them that we’re all in this together. To quote Brandy, “So far, my experience with FWIT has been just that, welcoming and a reminder that I’m not alone. It’s helped me realize that I have a purpose in my position and I want to fulfill that purpose.”

Congratulations, Brandy!  We celebrate your successes and are honored to help you reach for your goals!

Brittany Bessonett

Brittany Bessonett is Senior Vice President, Marketing Director, at Mineola Community Bank in Mineola, Texas, and an active member of the East Texas Group.  Prior to joining the Bank, she was co-owner of an auto dealership where she held a license from the OCCC in auto finance. Although she has no formal marketing degree, she joined the Bank five years ago and, as a fearless go-getter, has been pursuing every opportunity possible to gain the knowledge and skillset required to be successful in her job as well as well as a productive addition to the Bank’s senior management team. Brittany plans to attend the ABA Bank Marketing School in the spring of 2023 in preparation for applying for the Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) exam.  With the registration fee for this program being $2,995, the FWIT General Education Scholarship will help tremendously towards covering that expense.

Brittany jumped right into FWIT through her involvement in the East Texas Group’s meetings and many charitable events, and by attending the 2021 Annual Conference and then volunteering to serve on the 2022 Conference Sponsorship Committee.  Britany also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the TCBS Foundation, Inc., a non-profit foundation that allocates grant funding for charitable purposes and community development.

Brittany says her goal is to constantly keep her mind open to new opportunities she may not even know exist. “Being a member of FWIT has welcomed me into a group of encouraging, brilliant women, and who knows, maybe one of them will be what sparks my next adventure!”

Congratulations, Brittany!  We have a strong suspicion that you will be successful in any endeavor that comes your way!

2022 Conference Scholarship Winners

For 2022 the Association has awarded 10 scholarships to attend our 13th Annual Conference: FWIT 2022 - Choose Your Next: From Surviving to Thriving. Five of these scholarships were offered to first-time FWIT Conference attendees. The remaining five scholarships were awarded to members who had previously attended a FWIT Association Conference. The value of each scholarship is in the amount of the Early Bird registration of $400.  And the winners are:

First Time Attendees:

  • Jennifer Hanzik, NewFirst National Bank - Gulf Coast Group
  • Rosantina Aranda, Business Lending Advocate - San Antonio Group
  • Shelley Stock, NewFirst National Bank - Gulf Coast Group
  • Tiffany Stevens, Third Coast Bank, SSB - Houston Group
  • Victoria (Vikki) Head, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Big Country Group 
Returning Attendees:
  • Adriana Chavez, Gulf Capital Bank - Houston Group
  • B.J. Cary, Third Party Resources, Inc. - Virtual Member
  • Janet Dirba, Wallis Bank - Gulf Coast Group
  • Stacy Cammack, Texas Bank and Trust - East Texas Group
  • Tammy Gibbons, Spring Hill State Bank - East Texas Group

Congratulations to all our scholarship recipients! 

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