The American Bankers Association hosted their annual Washington Summit in Washington, D.C. on April 1-3, which included a special Emerging Leaders Forum for a portion of the attendees.  

BOLT board member Gary Kuter, senior vice president with Capitol Bank in Madison, received a scholarship to attend the summit as well as the Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF). Kuter also serves as Chair of WBA's Government Relations Committee.

A relatively new offering, ELF offers the opportunity for emerging leaders from around the country to gather for additional sessions and networking opportunities while in Washington. Approximately 400 bankers were part of ELF this year. In addition to traditional networking during breakfast and breaks, the attendees also worked together to assemble backpacks with school supplies that were then delivered to a local charity group for children in need of school supplies. 

Kuter recapped the speakers who spoke during the event:

  • Betsy Hubbard from Mindset Digital presented SOS Habit: Emails That Drive Action. In summary, Hubbard helped the group understand the need in keeping email brief and to highlight the action items in order for people to actually read and understand them. She also demonstrated the efficiency on both sides by doing so.  
  • A leadership panel that included Richard Adams, Jr., President of United Bank Shares; Jill Castilla, President of Citizens Bank in Oklahoma; Cathy Owen, Chairwoman of Eagle Bank and Trust; and Rob Nichols, President and CEO of ABA. Nichols moderated and asked questions about their leadership styles, how they juggle work/life balance, their current strategic initiatives, how they got into banking, advice they would give to emerging leaders, and more
  • Congressman Trey Hollingsworth from Indiana spoke on the topic Finding Your Voice: Engaging Policymakers Where it Matters. Kuter shared that this "awesome presentation helped set the stage for the ABA Summit and Hill visits that were happening the next day."
  • Kathy Pearson, Ph.D. spoke on the topic of Perceptive Leadership and Strategic Ability. Pearson works with companies of all sizes, advising on strategic thinking and decision-making. 
  • Captain Florent Groberg, Chief of Staff at Boeing, was the closing keynote speaker. A congressional medal of honor recipient and captain in the U.S. Army, Groberg was an excellent choice to share his story and inspire attendees of the forum.

Attendees of ELF joined the over 1,300 bankers who headed to capitol hill on Tuesday to meet with their representatives. A recap of the hill visits can be found online.

A key component of BOLT is advocacy, as our Wisconsin emerging leader bankers should engage with local, state and national representatives. Bankers interested in joining BOLT can learn more by visiting the BOLT membership homepage.