Our History

SWBC's President, Gary Dudley, and Chairman, Charlie Amato, met in elementary school in the small East Texas town of La Porte. Family moves caused them to lose touch with each other, but the two reconnected when they pledged the same fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, at Sam Houston State University in the mid-60s.

After college, Charlie started a career in banking at Bay City Bank and Trust (then Harlingen National Bank). Gary was hired as a coach for the Houston school district and worked there for nine months before he was drafted into the armed forces. He spent six months active duty with the US Marines (and 6 years as a reservist) before returning to coaching for another year. Ultimately a credit union contact led him to a Michigan-based corporation, where he took a job as a Regional Sales Representative, selling insurance products to banks and credit unions in the Houston area.

In 1974, Charlie and Gary met again at a party in Houston, where Gary recruited Charlie to join the company he was working for, and he was hired to sell credit life insurance in the San Antonio area. Both Charlie and Gary were successful at their jobs and both became high-performers. During that time, the company was losing money. It was poorly managed, with corporate decisions being based on the owners' needs, rather than the needs of their clients. Charlie and Gary felt strongly that the service standards were not what their customers deserved. That is when Charlie and Gary decided to venture out on their own.

On April 1, 1976, Charlie and Gary formed SWBC with $1,500 of starting capital. They brought with them 76 of the 77 financial institution clients they had worked with at their former employer, and being men of integrity, they paid the company for that book of business.

As the company began to realize success in the markets and industries it served, Gary and Charlie recognized opportunities to expand their business. Many of the products and services SWBC offers today are a direct result of client requests, and the company continues to add products where there is a logical fit within the company and a market need.

In the company's early years, Gary and Charlie listened to clients' requests for product offerings.

Today Gary and Charlie continue to run the business with a focus on integrity and ethics.