Turkish American Association for Business held the Annual Dinner at The Houstonian Hotel on February 5, 2004, located 111 North Post Oak Lane, Houston, Texas, 77024. The evening was a great success for TAAB and we thank all our guests especially Sterling Bancshares, Inc. President & CEO J. Downey Bridgewater, Ambassador Ali Arsin and TAAB corporate sponsors who participated in this event.

Our corporate sponsors for this event were Ross, Banks, May, Cron & Cavin, P.C., SEBA International, Ltd., Sterling Bank – Memorial, The Right Bank for Texas, N.A., and Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank, N.A.

The event began with registration and reception at the dining area. Following the introduction and recognition of our corporate sponsors, the keynote speaker for the evening took the stage. The keynote speaker for the evening was J. Downey Bridgewater.

J. Downey Bridgwater is Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Houston-based Sterling Bancshares, Inc. and its subsidiary, Sterling Bank. Sterling Bank, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has assets of $3.1 billion and operates 37 banking offices in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. For the second consecutive year, Sterling Bank has been named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the best places to work in America. In 2004, the bank was ranked 27th out of the top 100 workplaces in the country – the highest ranking of any Houston- based company.

Mr. Bridgwater began his banking career in Houston in 1979 with Allied Bank, later acquired by First Interstate Bank. After spending a brief time working with his own real estate and energy related companies, Mr. Bridgwater returned to banking and joined Charter Bank in Houston in 1991 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Banking. In 1996, Mr. Bridgwater joined Sterling Bank as CEO of the Memorial Office. He was named to his present position in 1998.