Over 40 bankers took charge of their career growth by attending the inaugural WBA Diversity in Banking Conference in mid-October. Designed for WBA member bankers with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and roles, the conference featured keynote speakers, a panel of bankers sharing their experiences, and an interactive workshop with tools and exercises to help them grow in their careers in banking. The day also offered ample networking opportunities. As one attendee noted, “the program tackled issues and empowering yourself really well.” 

Marci Mahlzahn, president & founder of Malzahn Strategic, encouraged first-time leaders and veteran managers alike to stay true to themselves while stepping into bigger and bigger roles. An experienced banker turned consultant, “She kept everyone engaged the whole time and talked about her experiences which is awesome. It’s always helpful to hear stories!” Attendees will received a copy of Marci's latest book, Bring Your Shoes: A Fresh Perspective for Leaders with Big Shoes to Fill.

After lunch, attendees gathered for The Banker Experience: A Panel Discussion session. The panel was a huge hit as panelists Alvero Araque, JPMorgan Chase, New Berlin; Suzanne Johnson, The Park Bank, Madison; and Tracy Meeks, Park Bank, Milwaukee shared their stories with the group. The panel was moderated by Elizabeth Strike, Associated Bank, Milwaukee. Many attendees noted how they enjoyed hearing the experiences of the panelists and took a lot of good information away from the panel. As stated by one banker, “This is what I was looking for!” 

Diversity and inclusion consultant James Gray led hands-on workshop exercises guiding attendees through building a plan for leveraging their strengths to achieve their vision and goals including identifying key “career anchors,” which Gray explained are positions or experiences that are essential for an individual to advance to a certain role. 


WBA is committed to supporting our membership in fostering a culture for members and employees where everyone feels welcome, included, empowered and valued. Make plans for your team members to attend the next Diversity in Banking Conference in 2020 and invest in them as they grow in their careers!


Wisconsin Bankers Association Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

The Wisconsin Bankers Association’s (WBA) mission is to promote a healthy environment for banks in Wisconsin that, in turn, focus on helping their local communities. Ensuring that a broad mix of individuals with a variety of ideas, differing viewpoints, thought processes, backgrounds, and experiences play a meaningful role in all aspects of the banking industry is critical to the success of WBA and its members. Embracing differences and promoting equity is at the foundation of WBA as an employer and as a trade association.

Similar to the banking industry we serve, WBA understands that in order to more fully accomplish our mission, and live our values, we must leverage the diverse backgrounds, skills, knowledge and perspectives of our members, Board of Directors, vendors and employees. WBA is passionate about fostering a culture for members and employees where everyone feels welcome, included, empowered and valued. This includes attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and encouraging our staff to promote diversity and inclusion in all internal teams and across external relationships and services.