Today, he is a commercial lender and vice president of Austin Bank.
Born in Fort Worth, Vass spent most of his childhood in the small town of Liberty between Beaumont and Houston.
His dad worked in Pasadena for an oil and gas construction company, while his mother mainly was a homemaker but also sold copy machines. Vass is the youngest of three brothers.
He played football for Liberty High School and was an offensive lineman his senior year.
“We didn't win district, but we went into the playoffs,” he said. He also took part in the school's drama club.
After graduating in 1999, he attended Texas A&M, where he started as a math major but then went into economics with a minor in business.
While there, he worked as a bus driver on both on- and off-campus routes.
“Man, I loved that job,” he said. “It was very flexible and good pay. And I got to pick up a bunch of other Aggies.”
In summer 2003, just before graduation, he spent time in Italy studying art and economics, particularly the European Union.
Following a job search near and far, he applied for a teller position with Austin Bank in Longview and was hired in 2004.
“I was a little more qualified than that, so they started me as a credit analyst,” he said.
A year later, he took a loan-officer position with a branch in Grand Saline, but his wife, an Austin native, felt she wanted something more than small-town life.
He took a job as community lender with Austin Bank in Tyler in 2006. He has since become a vice president and commercial lender.
Vass cites working with customers as the best part of his work.
“One of the cool things is we get to hear about a lot of stuff that's coming to town before the general public knows,” he said.
One of those projects is The Village at Cumberland Park off Broadway Avenue on the city's south side.
Vass serves as president of the Tyler-Smith County Aggie Club. He also is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 21.
His wife, Jessica, is a physical therapy assistant for a nursing home. They were A&M students when they met at a Super Bowl party. It was Valentine's Day, and they went to Cheddar's afterward.
Vass, 32, and his wife have two children: Tyler, 4, and Natalie, 2.
In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, golf, reading, softball and volunteering at his church.
Most subjects for this column come from business cards randomly pulled from a briefcase. Send cards to Managing Editor Brian Pearson, 410 W. Front St., Tyler, Texas, 75702.