Ross A. Hill: March 2010

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Small World

Yesterday, Raynell and I were invited to a party by one of our friends in Indian Wells.  We went knowing only the hostess for the event.  No sooner than the party started, I discovered that one of the guest and I have a very good mutual friend, Greg Edwards of Oklahoma City.  

Today, I was the guest for golf and lunch.  My good friend Steve Huffman started an Indian owned bank a couple of years before I started Bank2.  Steve's bank is Canyon National Bank in Palms Springs, CA.  He introduced me to Andy Vosser.  Andy is with Landmark Golf and his dad was the first golf pro of Quail Creek Golf and Country Club.  We both have many mutual friends and he was delighted to find out I was a director of Quail Creek.

Hundreds of millions of people in the USA and 1,500 miles from home but the world really is a small place.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunny California

My buddy Skip and I got our heads handed to us by our CA. "friends" in our annual Ryder Cup match.
We had a great!  The match was really close!  There is always NEXT YEAR!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Do You Know How Valued You Are?

This was written by Roy Lessin, Co-Founder of DaySpring Cards

As a carpenter, Jesus worked with a hammer, nails, and wood.  When He picked up a hammer, He knew that one day a hammer would be raised up against Him;  when His hand drove a nail, He knew that one day nails would be driven into Him;  when He worked with wood, He knew that one day there would be a tree where He would offer up His life.  Why the hammer?  Why the nails?  Why the wood?  It all has to do with worth...not His worth, buy YOURS.  Jesus knew your true value, and that's why He died.

    Each day on E-bay someone bids on an item that they value.  Each item purchased on E-bay is worth whatever someone is willing to pay...the greater the value, the greater the price.  Have you ever wondered what your true value is?  If your life were up for auction, what would you be worth?  When Jesus went to the cross, He paid the highest price that could ever be paid for your life.  YOU are worth to God the death of His Son.  YOU are not an afterthought or a second thought to God.  From the beginning of time YOU have been in His thoughts...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Want A Great Place To Work?

YES!  I believe we have created such a place and for that I am extremely thankful.

We have about 50 employees at Bank2.  I enjoy meeting each one of them as they start to work.  Almost without exception they all are excited about starting a new job.  They come to work with high expectations that Bank2 is going to be a great place to work.  They hope we have a great atmosphere, challenging and rewarding jobs, opportunities to grow professionally and economically.

However, I tell every new employee that our environment has to be protected.  It is up to every employee to do their part to help keep it a great place to work.  It is only possible when we take individual responsibility to ensure it happens.  Owners and management can talk about it all they want but, unless each individual takes personal responsibility it won't happen.

If you Want A Great Place To Work it is up to you to make it happen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sticks and Stones

Do you remember the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me"?  I do.

What a lie!  How many times did we say that phrase growing up?  How many times have you heard it? It is a huge lie!  Words do hurt!  They hurt far more and leave far deeper wounds than sticks or stones.  Words can hurt us to the center of our core.  Words can tear us up and leave our lives shattered.  Our sharp tongue can speak words that pierce the heart far deeper than any stick or stone.

Proverbs tells us to be slow to speak.  James tells us that the tongue can destroy like a fire.  Genesis tell us that God spoke creation into existence.  Proverbs also tells us that a kind word is good medicine for the soul.

Just think, with your tongue, you have the power to destroy and you have the power to encourage.  The choice is yours. You can build up or you can destroy.

What will you do TODAY?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Building Better Lives

 Years ago I wrestled with what I was suppose to be doing with my life.  Why was I born?  Why was I born now?  What was I suppose to accomplish with my life?

A friend of mine gave me a book called "Purpose Driven Life".  As I poured through the book I quickly learned that I was here to help people "build better lives".  It is a passion of mine.  I help people excel, I help people find jobs, become home owners and business owners.  I help them educate their kids, expand their business and sometimes just keep the doors open.  I get to help many put business plans together, growth plans and strategic plans.  It is all fun and rewarding.

Sometimes I get to help people spiritually.  Nothing is more rewarding.  Nothing strikes closer to why God created me.  To make a difference in someones life financially is a very good thing.  To make a difference in someones life spiritually is truly "building better lives".

To get to do both...Priceless!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

God Is Still In Control

I am sure many of you were glued to your TV like me this weekend watching the events in DC.

Remember this, God was not surprised by what happened in DC.  He knew what was going to happen tonight.

He is still in control.  America may never be the same but HE never changes.  He is in control and we need to be faithful to HIM.  The change, if any, that needs to happen, is that we rely on Him even more.

That is all that really matters.  God Is Still In Control!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pros For Africa

Here is a bit of Amy McGree's blog yesterday.  This will explain why I am supporting Pros For Africa.  Please read Amy's comments that follow;
I am so grateful for this experience and I can't wait to tell the stories of the people I've encountered this week. The images will no doubt stick with me for a lifetime and as I close out this blog entry, I'll share my most favorite with you. It came today in the form of a two-year-old boy wandering all alone at St. Monica's school crying.
We had just finished up shooting at the medical clinic on the school grounds. I needed to get from the clinic to an area where the players were getting ready to distribute food to families that had lined up, which was roughly the length of a football field. There was this little boy walking all alone in an orange t-shirt with blue shorts, no shoes, crying out with tears streaming down his face. I looked around to see who he could possibly be with him, but the sole man walking levelly, continued on in pace and eventually passed right on by.
I couldn't bare to see this terrified little boy cry anymore, so I thought I'd test him out to see if he'd be willing to let me help him. I put my arms out as if I were going to pick him up and without hesitation, he reached right up for me, both arms held up, so I swooped him right up.
We proceeded down the path together, trying to calm him down every step of the way, all the while his little feet dangled with each step I took and the tears continued to roll right off his cheeks although his wailing had stopped. I asked a sister walking by if she knew who he belonged to, she suggested checking the food distribution line. I did and sure enough, in her rush to get free food, the boy's mom left her son behind. I then took off to meet my crew and finish shooting for the day.
An hour had passed and as we stood outside the closed iron gates at the school, three women and that same little boy in a bright orange shirt walked up. I went to open the gates so that they could leave and as soon as he made eye contact with me, a smile overtook his tiny face, and with every tooth showing, he walked straight to me. I picked him up again, only this time he hugged back and laughed. A much different boy then when I first encountered him. It's exactly the way a child of this size should be. Happy, care free and filled with joy.
As we leave here I know that there will be more children smiling because of Pros for Africa. They've given these people hope and shown them compassion. I can't wait to see what all develops from the seed that's been planted by a group of Oklahomans who simply care.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pros For Africa

Here is an interview Chanel 6 and 9 did of me that is being shown on their web site.

It is a bit of an explanation about why we are sponsoring the mission trip.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Wore These Shoes To Meet Mark Batterson!

I Met Mark Batterson Today

Mark is pastor of National Community Church aka Theater Church in DC. He is also author of In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day and several other fantastic books.

He is the real deal. I loved meeting him in person He is very low key, loves the Lord, loves his work in DC. He has a heart for our Capital. He also has a heart for missions. I believe God has raised this man up to make a huge spiritual difference in our country's capital.

He was a blessing to me.

I will try to put a picture in my next blog.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Still at the ABA Meeting in DC

We met with the Oklahoma delegation today.

They are split on how they think the Health Bill will go. 50% think it might pass and 50% think it will not pass. NONE of them back the bill.

Watch for an interesting news conference Senator Coburn is going to hold on Thursday. Fireworks will fly.

Also, I get to meet Mark Batterson for breakfast Thursday morning. He is the author of one of my favorite books, In A Pit, With A Lion, On A Snowy Day. Should be a great time.

Small Business Administration

I just heard Karen Mills, Administrator of the SBA speak and she was encouraging stating that the SBA would move to simplify and broaden loan guaranties in an effort to help banks increase lending activities. This is a great news. She also mentioned a piece of legislation that the administration is attempting to get passed that would help community banks increase lending as well.

Nearly 5,000 of the banks in the country offer SBA loans.

One aspect of her speech was concerning as she mentioned that the SBA could just make loans directly without involving banks. This comment should be monitored.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am in Washington DC

I am attending an American Banker Association meeting this week in DC. We are here working hard to save traditional community banking.

I was riding up to my room last night and some banker from Wisconsin said he needed a yellow stripped tie like mine.

I told him it was his. I took it off and handed to him along with my card and my blog address. I told him it was the first time I had ever worn the tie so it should last him a while. Mr. Wilkinson is the Chairman and CEO of Wisconsin Community Bank in Madison, WI. Go Badgers!

He was speechless. I told him that was just "OKIE" hospitality!

He and his wife could hardly believe it. It was fun to see their faces and to bless him. They seemed like a great salt of the earth couple. He really did need a better tie!

Pros For Africa

Starting tonight on the 10 pm news on Channel's 6 & 9 you can get the updates from Uganda.

Bank2, Raynell and me are all sponsors of this event.

The TV stations have created a blog where the athletes, the TV personalities and others will be able to blog daily about what is going on.

Also on the page is a small interview they did with me about why we are sponsoring the mission trip. Please go to:

You may need to cut and past these links into your browser.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pros For Africa

Here is an excerpt from an email I received today from Ray Sanders CEO of GiANT Experiences.
GiANT Experiences has worked with Pros for Africa to bring hope and healing
to Ugandan children who are victims of this war torn region of Africa.

We will be joined by business leaders, medical professionals and NFL
players. We will provide medical assistance, drill water wells and assist
with building of facilities for the children.

We will also be working with local government, business and church leaders
to establish long term sustainable community development projects that help
Ugandans be self sufficient, support the work of the local church and see
eternal impact.

While in Uganda, the US Consulate has asked me to make a presentation at the
Restore International Academy on leadership. They have 19 teachers and about
200 students.

The backgrounds of the students vary, but generally almost all of them grew
up in northern Uganda during the war. So an overwhelming percentage have
had one or both of their parents die due to the war or disease. And all of
them have seen the horrors of the war. A few of the boys were formerly
abducted and forced to fight with the rebels, and several of the girls
already have children. But some of the students come from well to do
families as well.

Not to long ago Brandon Heath visited the Restore Academy in northern
Uganda. The students helped him with his remix of "Give Me Your Eyes" by
singing along in the chorus. These are the very kids I hope to inspire.
Please pray that I succeed.

PLEASE take a minute to watch these videos. This is what GiANT Experiences
is all about! LIFE CHANGE!

See the music video here

Here is a link to a video about the school where I will be speaking:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pros For Africa

Channel 6 and 9 start sharing stories from Uganda on March 16.

Be sure to catch these stories.

Pros For Africa

Saturday morning, Raynell and I had a wonderful blessing.

We were asked to Pray for Ray Sanders, CEO of GiANT Experiences, Stephanie Sanders, Ray's wonderful wife and for Derek Watson, CEO of Lampstand Video Productions. They begin their journey to Uganda Monday. The idea for the sending forth prayers comes from Biblical accounts of early Christians as they were leaving on mission trips. This prayer time was incredible. I wish you could all have participated Saturday morning. The need in Uganda is overwhelming. Their desire to be used to by God to help heal the hurting children is admirable.

You can all participate in this mission trip starting today. You can join me in praying daily for the following results: Safety for all going Health for those going Cohesiveness of group going
Share love Share encouragement provide hope
provide inspiration change lives be change agents

You can also join me by reading the daily blogs and watching the daily updates on Chanel 6 & 9. More info to come from me on these two items.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pros For Africa

You may recall my story about Governor Henry and me bidding on a trip to Uganda. Uganda is about 8,000 miles away and about 50 people leave Monday on this mission trip. Among those going is Amy McGree from Chanel 9 in OKC. Amy and her counterpart from Chanel 6 in Tulsa are going and they will be sending back stories daily from the trip. If it all goes well you will be able to see her stories on the news as well as the their web site. I will keep you informed.

Yesterday, I was asked by Chanel 9 to tell why I was supporting this endeavor. I explained that Bank2 is all about building better lives and this was a story that had to be told. What is happening to innocent children is tragic. I will let you know when that story will air.

Several of my friends including Ray Sanders, CEO of GiANT Experiences will be on this trip. GiANT has helped sponsor this event and has recruited a number of CEO's form Oklahoma to see this first hand.

It is heart warming that 4 professional athletes, a host of professional news reporters, a bunch of professional men and women all from OKLAHOMA are converging on Uganda to get the word out.

Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No Surprises

Recently, a friend of mine told me a story about loosing a HUGE contract. He said after they got the bad news in person, he and his business associate went out to the car. He told his business associate that they needed to pray. They needed to thank God for the blessings that the contract had been and trust God to supply their need.

The business associate said, "Are you nuts, we just lost a multi million dollar customer!"

My friend replied, "do you think God is surprised? There are no surprises where God is concerned". "Let's pray and praise Him for the business we had and thank Him for being in control. He deserves our praise".

Then tonight, I was feeling sorry for myself, a good friend and I were talking on the phone and she reminded me that God is in control, there are no surprises to Him. She went on to say, "I need to praise Him in the midst of my situations, we all do".

Two good friends have reminded me of the same truth.

Truer words have never been spoken, there are NO SURPRISES to God.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I receive a blog...Seth's Blog and below you will find his posting from March 10, 2010. I thought it was great and worth sharing it with you. I hope you will enjoy it.

The Wordperfect Axiom

When the platform changes, the leaders change.

Wordperfect had a virtual monopoly on word processing in big firms that used DOS. Then Windows arrived and the folks at Wordperfect didn't feel the need to hurry in porting themselves to the new platform. They had achieved lock-in after all, and why support Microsoft?

In less than a year, they were toast.

When the game machine platform of choice switches from Sony to xBox to Nintendo, etc., the list of bestselling games change and new companies become dominant.

When the platform for music shifted from record stores to iTunes, the power shifted too, and many labels were crushed.

Again and again the same rules apply. In fact, they always do. When the platform changes, the deck gets shuffled.

Think this only applies to software?

The platform for health care changed from independent doctor's offices and small practices to hospitals and hmos.

The platform for TV changed from airwaves to wires (so HBO and ESPN win, NBC loses).

The platform for cars is changing from gas engines to alternatives.

And the platform for books is changing (fast!) to e-books and readers. Just published today: the Vook multimedia production of Unleashing the Ideavirus. The price will increase to $5 in two weeks, but right now it's 99 cents. It runs on the web and on your iphone (and the iPad on April 3rd.)

Here's the thing: Vook abridged it, built it, filmed it and distributed it in less than ninety days. They have a software application that they can use again and again for other titles. They've organized themselves to be profitable at a profit margin that few big book publishers can match.

Once again, the platform changes. Insiders become outsiders and new opportunities abound.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Story About Ownership

An older carpenter told his employer that he "wanted to leave the house-building business
and live a more leisurely life enjoying his family". He would "miss the paycheck, but he
needed to retire".

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one
more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that
his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed
the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "My gift to you!" The
carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own
house, he would have done it all so differently.

This story is about “ownership” and the way we treat things that we care about better that
the ones we do not care about. If all employees had an ownership attitude – if they had a
stake in outcomes - many of the challenges we face in productivity and efficiency would

Monday, March 8, 2010

12 - Seconds and 120 - Feet

12 - seconds is not very much time, is it? 120 feet is not very much either. In fact, I think it took more than 12 - seconds for me to type...12 - seconds and 120 - feet!

What can you do in 12 seconds? Can you pour a coke or a cup of coffee? Can you walk out to your mail box to get the mail? It takes more than 12 - seconds to start up my new flat screen HD-TV...17.2 seconds to be exact.

And how much is 120 feet? Most golf greens are 40 yards deep. Many of us live in homes that were built on lots that are either wider or deeper than 120 feet. A walk around your house is more than 120 feet.

But a couple of guys from Ohio, changed the world in 12-seconds, and 120-feet when they flew the first powered plane approximately 108 years ago. Who would guess that 12-seconds and 120 feet could change much of anything much less your life, my life and the entire world did. Nothing has been the same since.

The key is that they had a dream. They worked to get the dream off the ground...they did it. And since that day men and women have been building on their dream.

What is your dream? What is your destiny? What are you doing to get off the ground?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What do you Crave?

I don't know about you but I have trouble being content. At times my lack of ability to be content turns into a craving. Does that ever happen to you? Craving something is not necessarily good or bad. It consumes all you think about. Even in the midst of other important work or life events the craving works its way into your mind. You want what you crave.

The question is "What do you crave?"

Are you craving a certain food, more money, a bigger house or a faster car? Are you craving more food, more sex or more success? Or are you craving how you can help the poor, the widows and the friends that you know that are hurting? Are you craving for a better world and craving how you can make it better? Are you craving more significance?

What do you crave?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Don't Feel Like It

How many times have you said these words? "I don't feel like it." More times than you care to remember?

I must admit that I have said those words many times. But strangely, I have found that when I go ahead and do whatever I don't feel like doing, I end up being blessed. It is strange, but it works like that more often than not.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Acts of Kindness

Sunday, I witnessed an act of kindness on the plane. A very old man boarded the SW flight VERY late. He did not pre-board as he should have. Since he was so late boarding all of the front seats were taken. He could hardly walk. The flight attendant was helping him down the aisle to find a seat. The plane was nearly full with only a few seats remaining at the back of the plane. A young woman seated in row 6 jumped up and gave her seat to the old man. I thought, wow, how nice. As I reflected on it a bit, I wondered, would I have given up my seat and moved to the back for old man. I sure hope so.

Voting Results

Here are the results:

Those that voted saying I under bid the Governor - 23

Those that voted saying I out bid the Governor - 24

I UNDER bid the Governor.

Thanks for voting.