Another ICBSD Retreat at beautiful Sylvan Lake has come and gone. Teresa and I always look forward to the retreat to reconnect with the other community bankers and associate members. Sylvan lake provides a perfect setting that brings us together to renew and make new friendships. This year’s retreat featured great speakers that gave our members some educational value to take back to their banks. During the annual meeting, ICBSD Chairman Terry Torgerson passed the chairmanship to me. Thank you Terry for everything you did this year as chairman. I am very humbled when I see the names that served before me.
I would like to thank Greg McCurry and Summer Geraets for putting on a great retreat, Dick Behl for announcing at the ICBSD Pac fundraising effort, Kelly Eisemann for organizing the golf scramble, our speakers for adding entertainment and educational value and our sponsors for being so generous to make this retreat a great value for our members. Our retreat would not be as successful without the support of these people.
Earlier this spring I was asked by a fellow banker, what my agenda was going to be when I became chairman? I answered that I didn’t have an agenda but thought that ICBSD effort toward regulatory relief was important and should continue. Since that time, I have thought about what I, as chairman, and the board should focus on to further the cause of community banking. Regulatory Relief, ICBSD involvement in the political process, young banker leadership training and the unfair tax advantages of credit unions and farm credit are issues that our association will continue to have on our agenda and discuss throughout the year.
I believe that the burden of regulatory requirements poses the biggest risk to community banking. Bankers that have been banking for twenty plus years have seen the burden of regulation increase exponentially over the years. I’m afraid if we can’t get some type of meaningful regulatory relief, we’ll continue to lose more and more community banks to mergers and acquisitions. Our President, Greg McCurry has a real gift communicating with our congressional delegation, and our association will continue to communicate with our politicians for regulatory relief.
We as an association will continue to get young bankers involved in community bank leadership. Our Emerging Leaders Program will help develop the next generation of bankers to become active and take on leadership roles in our association. I’m impressed when I talk to the young men that are in the program now. We hope that our banks will see the importance in the Emerging Leaders Program and continue to encourage their young bankers to enroll in the program.
We will continue to voice our opposition to any expanded powers of credit unions and continue to educate people about the tax advantages that credit unions and Farm Credit have. Lynn Peterson has done a tremendous job putting a spread sheet together that shows the amount of money that state and local governments would gain if the credit unions and farm credit were taxed like community banks.
The ICBSD board will have a strategic planning session on August 25. We will have discussion on what the association’s strengths and weaknesses are and how we should move forward. Please contact me or a board member if you have any comments or concerns that you would like to have the board discuss.
Hope everyone is having a good summer and I look forward to serving as your chairman this year.