Bring a Notebook

Article excerpt

I've spent the past year listening to your concerns about the future of your banks and of community banking in general. I get it. I too have many questions about our banks' many challenges and how our industry will look in the next five years.

Fortunately, many of the answers are in one place at one time, coming soon-San Diego, March 20-24, at the ICBA National Convention and Techworld. The inspiring theme is "Community Banks: America's Financial Foundation."

Yes, we're all trying to keep expenses down, and few of us think we have the time to leave our banks to attend a convention for three or four days. But we also have to keep up with regulations, technology, customer relations, mortgage reform, shareholder value, succession planning ... a whole slew of issues. So if you think you can't afford to go, I contend that you can't afford not to go.

Where else can you find more than 1,000 community bankers in one place with whom to trade practical ideas for real-world problems? Where else can you find hundreds of vendors who specialize in serving community banks in one great exhibit hall? And where else can you find the top regulators in one location, talking specifics about the future of our industry?

That doesn't even include dozens of workshops, broken down into eight topics or tracks geared to specific bank positions or responsibilities, from CEO to senior lender to auditor to teller-and even to bank director. Each session highlights current key issues-and offers solutions. The speakers are experts in their fields, and by attending you will have the opportunity to speak to them one on one.

Bring a notebook-you'll be writing down not just abstractions but real advice that you can put into action when you return to your community bank. …