Texas Independent Bancshares, Texas First Bank, and Rust-Ewing Insurance have selected Gerald, Susanne, John L. and Cindy Sullivan for the 2016 Howard O. Payne Award.
The four members of the Sullivan family have shown significant economic leadership within Galveston County and were honored for their work in 2016 at the bank’s annual Directors’ Party on Friday.
The Howard O. Payne Award was instituted in 1973 to honor Payne, a lifelong businessman, who moved to Galveston County in 1957 at the age of 74. Five years later, Payne helped found First State Bank of Hitchcock and worked there until the age of 93.
The Howard O. Payne Award is given annually to a citizen or group of citizens in the Texas First Bank market area who are leaders in the development of the community. This year’s honorees include fifth-generation Galvestonians Gerald and John L. Sullivan, along with their wives, Susanne and Cindy.
Gerald A. Sullivan began his business career in 1963, having started and sold many businesses, ranging from ranching, real estate development, barge and towboat businesses, marine terminals, international shipping, ready-mix concrete and cement businesses, and commercial and residential construction. He is the former owner of Texas International Terminal in Galveston. Currently, he owns and operates the Santa Rosa Ranches, an embryo-transfer business in Navasota and Crockett, Texas.
Susanne Hooser Sullivan is an active community volunteer with extensive experiences at the local and state level. She is a retiree of the University of Texas Medical Branch where she served as a director of development and as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Nursing from 1991 until 2002.
John L. Sullivan, a lifelong rancher and businessman, was an original founding director of the Bank of the West (now Texas First Bank), where he served on the Board for 18 years. He has owned and operated a diverse group of businesses encompassing the agriculture, maritime, and construction industries. Along with his brother Gerald, he developed Campeche Cove, Newport Marine Terminal, Texas International Terminals, and Westgate Shopping Center. Presently, he is the owner and president of Sullivan Land and Cattle Company, Sullivan Properties, Newport Marine Terminal, Harborside Associates and numerous other investments located on Galveston Island. John also has farming and ranching operations in several locations throughout South Texas and eastern Iowa.
Cindy Lightner Sullivan moved to Galveston in 1969 to work as a Speech Pathologist in the Galveston Independent School District. Her volunteer efforts began at age 5, handing out “I like Ike” buttons at the All Iowa State Fair for Eisenhower’s first presidential campaign. Since then, she has held leadership roles in many local organizations and volunteered for numerous presidential campaigns, including serving as her husband John’s campaign coordinator when he successfully ran for Galveston City Council.
All four Sullivans have committed extensive time and energy serving Galveston, Galveston County and the state through their corporate, volunteer and philanthropic efforts, officials with Texas Independent Bancshares, Texas First Bank, and Rust-Ewing Insurance said.