Powell brings years of experience in leadership and community service to his role as chairman of The Campaign for West Texas A&M University. His firsthand experience as a student at WT, combined with his commitment to higher education and a successful professional career, make him the perfect choice for the leadership role. He is a 1959 graduate of Palo Duro High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics in 1963 from what was then known as West Texas State University. He also is a graduate of Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, beginning in 1963 with First Federal Savings and Loan of Amarillo. He joined Amarillo’s First National Bank in 1971 and was named the institution’s chief executive officer in 1987. He later bought the Fritch State Bank, moved it to Amarillo as the First National Bank and served as its president and CEO. In 2001, Powell was named the 16th chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation by President George W. Bush. In 2005 Bush named him the federal coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding.
He has served on numerous boards through the years, including a stint as chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, and he served 16 years on the board of regents of Amarillo College. He also served as an advisory board member of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, chairman of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. His community service involvement includes the Amarillo Area Foundation, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, United Way of Amarillo and the Harrington Regional Medical Center.