Texas Border Business
LAREDO, Texas – The banking community is mourning the loss of banking veteran, community leader and founding President and CEO of IBC Bank-Brownsville Fred W. Rusteberg, who passed away over the weekend.
Rusteberg retired in 2016, after more than four decades in the banking industry. He founded the first IBC Bank in Cameron County, the fourth IBC Bank in the International Bancshares Corporation, in 1984. During his tenure, he grew the bank to the high-performing institution it is today with 12 banking facilities and more than $1 billion in assets. After retiring as CEO, Rusteberg served as Chairman Emeritus of the IBC Bank-Brownsville Board.
During his 40-plus years in banking, Rusteberg was also dedicated to the progress and development of the Brownsville community. He was the founding chairman of “Brownsville First,” a grassroots community effort created in 1990 that successfully petitioned for Brownsville voters to approve a half-cent sales tax for economic development efforts, including a bond issue for economic development and quality of life projects, which the community continues to enjoy today. Before he began his banking career, Rusteberg worked as assistant port director for the Port of Brownsville and as project director for the Brownsville-Matamoros Railroad Relocation project, helping develop a $50 million pilot demonstration project. This resulted in the relocation of the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific rail yards and rail transportation from the center of Brownsville.
Rusteberg was also an active member of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Strategic Planning Community and served on numerous other councils and boards that directly impacted the community, including the University of Texas-Brownville Development Board, Brownsville Community Foundation, Brownsville Rio Grande Rail Road Board, Valley Baptist Medical Center Board, Preparatoria del Tecnologico de Monterrey Board in Matamoros, Mexico, University of Texas-Brownsville Advisory Committee and more.
His years of community service earned him numerous recognitions, such as Outstanding Citizen of the Year and leadership awards from the Brownsville Historic Museum, the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts.
Education played an important part in Rusteberg’s community involvement, including taking an active role in the development of science, engineering, technology, business and education programs at the University of Texas-Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. Because of his commitment to expanding the region’s educational opportunities, he and his family established the first scholarship endowment at the University of Texas-Brownsville in 1995, and IBC Bank established the Fred and Frances Rusteberg Scholarship Endowment later that year.
Rusteberg is survived by his wife, Frances, two married children who are also active within the community, and two grandchildren.