The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 6

UP FRONT

RIP Glen Johnson,
Mentor and Friend
CHRISTOPHER L. WILLISTON, CAE
IBAT PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

A man of humble
beginnings, he
would rise to
the pinnacle of
public and private
service, never once
forgetting and
crying out for
"the little guy."

6

THERE WAS A chill in the Washington, D.C. air
that early October day of 1989 as I walked from
the District's landmark Madison Hotel to the
Washington Court, a swank new modern hotel near
Capitol Hill. There, anxiously waiting at the front
door, were two of the most finely groomed and
tailored men I had ever seen. They began to make
their way toward me and extended their hands.
"Chris, glad you are here. Glen is waiting for you."
It was just six months earlier that I had been
named the President and CEO of the Independent
Bankers Association of Texas, a largely rag tag group
of militant and principled community bankers who
were looking to expand their power and influence
in Austin and Washington. I was no stranger to the
world of trade associations nor to banking. But the
political process was another thing for me entirely.
My previous work was largely administrative in
nature. I was a political neophyte, plain and simple.
I was sure it must have been Glen Johnson, one of
the principals of Federated Investors of Pittsburgh,
sitting at the end of the long table in the boardroom
of the Washington Court. Five or six other men, all in
dark suits, were fixated on his every word, until we
interrupted. "Sit down, young man. Sit there at the
end of the table," said the round man with cherub
cheeks and grey hair. "I'm Glen Johnson, and you
and I are about to become friends." For the next
hour or so I listened as Glen shared with me the
story of Federated and his career of public service
in Washington, D.C.
I came to know Glen Johnson as one of the most
influential and politically savvy people on the planet.
Over the course of the first ten years as I struggled to learn the ways of Washington he would
accompany me and introduce me to Washington's
most elite and influential power brokers. He would
take me under his wing and mentor me on how to
lobby with integrity and purpose, and most importantly, how to win. He would instill in me the importance of never burning a bridge - that your most
vehement legislative opponent on today's issue
might just be your political ally tomorrow.

The Texas IndependenT Banker

May/June 2017

But our friendship grew far beyond the banks
of the Potomac and the ways of Washington. Glen
and I would come to enjoy countless days on the
golf courses in and around Marco Island, Florida,
and D.C., and in some of the finest 19th watering
holes following.
Since the day I lost my father in 1999, Glen has
filled the void of losing the best friend I had in life.
He has been like a father to me. He has coached
and counseled and has continued to instill in me
that despite one's enormous power and influence,
we never forget to practice humility and tolerance.
He has been the listening ear on the other end
of the phone providing solace and advice when
things have appeared dismal or insurmountable.
Perhaps it was my immaturity and suspicion
that Glen Johnson saw in me that day that he chose
to take me under his wing. Or maybe it was that
he saw something in me that reminded him of his
early days trying to cope, understand and learn
the ways of Washington and the political process.
Whatever it was, I don't try to understand or care
anymore. What matters is that I came to know
one of the most positive and influential people
in my life.
A man of humble beginnings, he would rise to
the pinnacle of public and private service, never
once forgetting and crying out for "the little guy."
Everyone should be so fortunate to have sat with
presidents or some of Wall Street's most powerful
moneymen as Glen Johnson has. But you won't
hear that from Glen. Everyone has importance and
is important to him. He never once forgot about
this once-young politically-naïve boy from Texas.
Nor shall I ever forget him.
■
Editor's Note: The article above was adapted
from a foreword written by Williston for Glen
Johnson's memoir entitled A Matter of Trust: Taking
a $2 Stock to $140,000. Johnson died on August 1,
2016, at his home in Marco Island, Florida.
Contact IBAT's president and CEO-also known as
"The Boss"-at 512-474-6889 or cwilliston@ibat.org.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017

Up Front CHRISTOPHER L. WILLISTON, CAE
General Counsel’s Corner KAREN M. NEELEY
Services Spotlight JOE KIM KING
The Compliance Guy KELLY GOULART, CRCM CAMS CIA
News
Leadership Conference Preview
Gap Management: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone LESTER MURRAY
IBAT 2017 Regional Meeting Tour CHRISTOPHER L. WILLISTON VI, CAE
In an Uncertain World, Look for the Silver Lining MARK ROE
Farewell from Mae Beth
People
Calendars
New Members
Index of Advertisers
Communities
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - cover1
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - cover2
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 3
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 4
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 5
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Up Front CHRISTOPHER L. WILLISTON, CAE
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 7
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - General Counsel’s Corner KAREN M. NEELEY
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 9
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Services Spotlight JOE KIM KING
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 11
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 12
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - The Compliance Guy KELLY GOULART, CRCM CAMS CIA
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 14
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - News
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Leadership Conference Preview
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 17
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 18
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Gap Management: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone LESTER MURRAY
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 20
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 21
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - IBAT 2017 Regional Meeting Tour CHRISTOPHER L. WILLISTON VI, CAE
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 23
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 24
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 25
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - In an Uncertain World, Look for the Silver Lining MARK ROE
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 27
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 28
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Farewell from Mae Beth
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - People
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 31
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Calendars
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Index of Advertisers
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - Communities
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - cover3
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - cover4
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 37
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 38
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 39
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 40
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 41
The Texas Independent Banker - May/June 2017 - 42
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