Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Advisory Boards Play Key Role at Ohio Bank

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Advisory Boards Play Key Role at Ohio Bank

Article excerpt

Mid Am's chairman, Edward J. Reiter, likes input. So much so that besides maintaining a corporate board, bank and non-bank affiliate boards, and groups of emeritus directors--totalling more than 100 people--Mid Am maintains advisory boards for branches (banking centers, in the bank's parlance) or clusters of branches that total more than 330 members.

Mid Am, Inc., a $2.2 billion multibank holding company based in Bowling Green, Ohio, is now one of the largest banking companies in its state. However, its quest for advice goes back about 30 years ago, says Reiter, when the $8 million-assets Bowling Green bank that evolved into Mid Am, Inc., opened its first branch in Rossford, just south of Toledo. In fact, it was through that first advisory board that Reiter, a Rossford schoolteacher, became involved with the bank. The effort has been blossoming since.

Recruitment of Mid Am's banking center boards (Reiter dislikes the term "advisory board" because it makes the groups sound like an afterthought) is somewhat different from other banks with advisory boards. Mid Am people select the first three or four members of a board. "And then they in tun1 appoint their fellow members over time," says Reiter.

Reiter adds that Mid Am advisory boards not only include some of the usual selections for members, but some others that aren't so typical. Case in point: housewives. Many banks recruit their advisory boards from the local business community. However, Reiter believes housewives can make a very significant contribution to an advisory hoard. First, he points out, housewives do much of their families' banking. …

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