Below are excerpts from new WBA Chair Mark Meloy's remarks during the Board Installation Ceremony held at the Madison Marriott West on June 5, during which Meloy highlighted his goals for the industry and the association. 

Mark Meloy profileI'd like to take this opportunity to thank our current and outgoing Board of Directors as well as all the bankers in our state for the opportunity to lead our association during the upcoming year. This is truly an honor and I will do my very best along with the rest of the officers and the Board of Directors to further this association's excellent record of outstanding service to its member base. 

Part of that effort in the coming year is working to engage the WBA membership in our advocacy efforts. 2020 is an election year and it is vitally important that more members than ever speak up on behalf of the banking industry.

We've taken an important step with the creation of the Advocacy Officer program. The Advocacy Officer is the point person who leads their bank's advocacy efforts. We will also continue WBA's "100 Percent" campaign with our goal to have at least one representative from every bank in Wisconsin present when we meet with legislators during Capitol Day and to have contributions from every bank when looking at our political fundraising efforts. 

Advocacy won't be our only focus. Wisconsin's banking industry, like many other industries in the state, is facing a talent shortage. WBA is conducting college events promoting our industry as a strong career path for graduates. We've also invested in the inaugural BankWork$ program in Milwaukee, which is another avenue for developing a larger talent pool. 

We will also continue to develop our young leaders in the banking industry. BOLT has been a great program for this effort. Those leaders of the future will be the difference-maker as our banks and our industry evolve. We must remain open to new ideas and different ways of doing business as we develop the next generation of bankers. 

Through the Advocacy Officer program, the "100 Percent campaign," BankWork$, and BOLT, plus the strong educational and training offerings WBA helps create the framework for the best bankers our industry has ever produced. I encouraged all of you to take notice and take advantage of what WBA has to offer. It's why the association exists. 

I truly believe this is a great time to be a banker. The association and the industry have had a tremendous year, and we expect even better things this coming year. 

Again, thank you for the honor to lead the WBA Board of Directors. With your help and support, I look forward to tackling the challenges we face, but more importantly, taking advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Meloy is CEO of First Business Bank, Madison and WBA Chair.