Wisconsin's banking industry is well-represented at the Federal Reserve. FRB-Chicago recently appointed Douglas Gordon, president/CEO of WaterStone Bank, Wauwatosa, to the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC). In addition, Bob Atwell, chairman & CEO of Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. (the holding company for Nicolet National Bank, Green Bay) was appointed in 2017. Atwell and Gordon are each serving a three-year term on the council, a panel of financial institution executives that meets to discuss business conditions in the Midwest.

The goal of the advisory council—which has about 10 banks and credit unions from the region represented—is to promote communication between the Chicago Fed and representatives from community depository institutions, including banks, thrifts, and credit unions. The panel meets twice a year to provide views on current business conditions to Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and other senior officials of the bank. Input from the group helps the Federal Reserve System form national supervisory and monetary policy, simultaneously giving the bankers who serve on the CDIAC insight into the Fed and an important voice in the policy-making process. "Serving on CDIAC has been both enlightening and an honor," said Atwell.

The CDIAC's most recent meeting in March was also Gordon's first, which he called both "interesting and informative," particularly the dialogue with Evans. "Meeting with [Evans] gave us insight into the Fed's thoughts on the economy and future monetary policy. He was receptive to hear the Advisory Councils' experience in their individual markets as to our local economies, loan and deposit activities, and the challenges facing the banking system."

According to Atwell, discussion at the meetings is candid and informative. "There is high level of candor on the part of the bankers and Fed officials," he said. "They want to know what is happening with our customers, in our communities and with our business. The people are interesting, informative, and challenging."

In addition to the discussions with Fed officials, serving on the advisory council provides Atwell and Gordon the opportunity to hear from their peers in other areas of the region. "Getting insights from the other council members as to their markets yielded similar challenges we face in Wisconsin," said Gordon. "The consensus was that the Midwest economy was strong with good loan growth, but challenges everywhere in deposit gathering."

Thank you to both Atwell and Gordon for the time and energy you have committed to representing our industry so well on the council!