Remember the Alamo!

Article excerpt

Following the footsteps of many outstanding community bankers, I am honored to begin the job as your new ICBA chairman. This association has a long and prestigious history, as many of you rediscovered at this year's National Convention and Techworld, where ICBA celebrated 75 years of service to the ideals of community banking.

San Antonio, the host city for this year's convention, also has a rich history. I'm speaking, of course, of the famous Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, for Texas' independence.

It's true that Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna dismissed the resistance as a "small affair." If ever there was an understatement that was one! It's also true that 183 Americans lost their lives on that fateful day. But the story doesn't end there. The Alamo's defenders, through their courage and sacrifice, became enduring symbols of what can be accomplished if the fire burns brightly enough.

The battle was lost, but the war was won.

As community bankers, we too must be prepared to sacrifice and take action. We must give our PAC dollars and invest our time and effort to advance our united cause-the ongoing success of community banking. Such efforts have already borne fruit. Last year we won victories for broader Subchapter S corporation qualifications and expanded access to streamlined CRA and safety and soundness exams. We also continued to build important relationships with policymakers in support of key issues such as expanding tiered regulation and bankruptcy reform. I am pleased to report a bright outlook for both.

But we must keep up the vigilance in other ways if we hope to maintain our standing. That's why I recently appointed a Payments Product Task Force composed of both ICBA members and staff to explore our options in this new and evolving payments world. …