Magazine article Independent Banker

Viva ICBA!

Magazine article Independent Banker

Viva ICBA!

Article excerpt

Bankers rock convention hall during name-change celebration

At first, Charley Jett sat momentarily stunned, shocked even. The music, a rendition of the upbeat 1970s disco tune "YMCA," jolted the audience and the stage erupted in light and sound. A group of singers and bankers romped down the middle of the auditorium and raced to the stage singing the "ICBA" song.

That sparked a celebration. That's when Jett and his fellow community bankers joined in. The conventioneers sprang from their chairs. They sang along. danced, clapped and cheered. They playfully twisted their arms and bodies into the ICBA letters.

In short, everyone had a ball.

And all this happened even before the confetti cannons exploded. "That woke everybody up," recalls Jett, chairman and CEO of Bank of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Ky. "I'm surprised nobody had a heart attack."

The announcement by ICBA Marketing Committee Chairman Candace Wiest that IBAA had officially changed its name to the Independent Community Bankers of America turned into a party of good feeling that spread throughout the stadium-size assembly hall. The celebration unfolded during the second general assembly at March's national convention in San Francisco.

"When Candace said, 'Let's have some fun,' we did," says Jett. "I haven't seen community bankers act that crazy in a long time. It's almost like we have a renewed association. and the name change has brought that about."

A longtime ICBA member, Jett said he's happy with the new name, an idea that had been discussed for a few years. He says ICBA, with "community" added, better conveys who our organization's members are. 'I think it's a great thing. It describes our association the way it should be described. It's a beautiful name."

Weeks after the convention, Jett still sounds pumped up about the celebration. "It's a new era and you brought it in right," he says. "I'm excited about it, the whole thing."

Changing our name to the Independent Community Bankers of America was approved by our members at March's national convention in San Francisco. …

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