In August Victor Pierson will end a seven-year term as a director on the Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors. Pierson is chairman, president and CEO of Moody Bank and Moody Bancshares, Inc. He joined the Foundation in 2014 when the board began a period of aggressive portfolio investment. His time on the board saw exceptional growth for the Foundation’s Universal Access Community Endowment Scholarship (UA). “I am very glad to be included,” Pierson said.
Pierson helped guide the Foundation’s growth, allowing the UA scholarship to steadily increase its ability to assist students. The endowment became fully funded in 2019 and the scholarship now fully funds a Galveston College 60-hour associate degree or certification program. The growth allowed the board to increase the scholarship to assist with books and other education costs, UA+, to $2,100. Today, the board oversees 60+ scholarships with assets over $19 million.
“Vic has been a devoted member of the Galveston College Foundation board,” said Jeri Kinnear, the Foundation chair. “He always steps forward when asked, and you can’t get better than that.”
Pierson credits fellow board members for the scholarship’s success. “Everyone has been so creative,” he said. He mentions Paulie Gaido, a fellow Galveston College Foundation director, restaurateur and author of “Entertaining at Home with Fresh American Seafood and Exceptional American Wine.” Gaido’s fundraising featuring his book helped heighten community awareness for educating the next generation of chefs and raised more than $80,000 for the Vandy Anderson Culinary Arts Scholarship.
A love of education and community drives Pierson, he said. A graduate of Midwestern State University, he entered banking in Wichita Falls and moved to Galveston in 1985 to join Moody Bank. He began teaching accounting at Galveston College and continued through 2001. Pierson went on to become only the fifth chairman of the privately-owned bank in its 155-year history. He also served as mayor of Jamaica Beach from 1999 until 2013.
He is deeply involved in volunteer activities on local, state and national levels. He is a presidential appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Commission, and previously was a gubernatorial appointee to the Coastal Coordination Council. At Southern Methodist University, he chairs the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Foundation Board of Trustees. He served as dean of bankers for the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. At Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Commercial Banking program, he serves on the Advisory Board’s Executive Committee. He also sits on the Board of Visitors for Texas A&M at Galveston and chairs the University of Texas Medical Branch President’s Cabinet.
The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce honored him as the inaugural recipient of The Vic Pierson C-Crewe Award in honor of fostering the growth of young professionals. Pierson’s resume of leadership roles in community improvement is a directory of Galveston nonprofits including United Way, The Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston Island Rotary Club, Galveston Artillery Club, 50 Club of Galveston County, Prevent Blindness, Bay Area Coastal Protection Alliance and Historic Downtown Strand Seaport Partnership.
“The city and college have made tremendous progress in the last 36 years,” Pierson said.
He and his wife, Janice, have three children: Frankie Touchy (Jami), Laurie Popovich and Lindsay Touchy. They have three grandsons and one granddaughter.