Angelo State alumna Holly Tue Garcia’s father used to joke that she was born a banker, and it turns out he was actually quite the fortune teller.
A graduate of San Angelo Lake View High School, Garcia began her career in the financial industry in 1998 as a teller at the local Texas Bank while she was earning her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at ASU. She parlayed those experiences into a successful banking and business career and is now CEO of the Austin Trust Company, where she has worked since 2002.
Not bad for someone who wasn’t even sure she would go to college.
“But I was strongly encouraged by my high school teachers to pursue further education,” Garcia said. “On my first visit to ASU, I knew that I didn’t want to go anywhere else. ASU’s staff welcomed me with open arms, and I knew I would thrive there. They made the enrollment process simple and fostered my continued growth throughout my college years. My success felt like their success, and that partnership made me feel worthy of an education.”
“My favorite memory was attending my very first class,” she added. “I was excited, terrified and confident all in one. I had no idea what life would bring me, but knew the impending journey would change my life. Boy did it! The door to my career at Austin Trust Company wouldn’t have opened had I not received my B.B.A. from Angelo State.”
Though she earned several ASU scholarships, Garcia also worked her way through college to achieve her goal of graduating debt free. Initially accepted to several law schools, she instead relocated to Austin with her husband, Hector, a rescue paramedic, and took a job as a commercial lender at a small bank. But her time in the Trust Department at Texas Bank had given her a different calling.
“I quickly recognized that that I was better suited and happier in the trust and estate line of business,” Garcia said. “Our wonderful founder, William ‘Bill’ Hudspeth Jr., loved to tell the story about my introduction to Austin Trust. I showed up without an appointment and without even a résumé. They weren’t actively looking for an employee, but appreciated my determination. I was hired as a trust assistant, and over the next 20 years, I worked my way up to CEO, the Board of Directors and a shareholder.”
“Bill would always say, ‘She found us, and we couldn’t tell her no. She said she was going to work for Austin Trust, so we didn’t argue!’” Garcia added. “Unfortunately, he passed away in 2021. It has become my personal mission to lead his company to the greatest success possible. My motto is to always leave Austin Trust Company and our employees, clients and service providers better than I found them.”
“My favorite memory was attending my very first class.”
And now, with a quarter of a century in the banking and financial industry, Garcia continues to thrive in the career first predicted by her father all those years ago. Rather than a law degree, she holds the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) and Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) credentials.
“This is a lifestyle rather than just a job,” she said. “Long-standing relationships with our clients and colleagues are the most fulfilling aspect of my career. Assisting clients and families navigate the plethora of life’s hurdles, as well as celebrating their successes, brings me great pride and joy.”
A first-generation student when she came to ASU, Garcia has also paid her success forward in her own family. She encouraged and assisted her niece, Analicia Garcia, to attend ASU, and Analicia graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in 2022.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to attend ASU,” Garcia said. “I pray Analicia will have the same opportunities in the future that it gave to me.”
Garcia also looks forward to serving the Ram Family in an even greater capacity once her youngest son graduates from high school. In the meantime, she has this message for prospective students about her alma mater:
“ASU will provide a great education at a reasonable expense in a city that supports the students and university wholeheartedly. ASU is the heart of San Angelo and is a treasure any student will be blessed to be a part of.”