Association Update: Opening Day for WBA

Baseball fans recently rejoiced as opening day stretched across many U.S. stadiums and people were invited to watch their home team’s game the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Not only did this symbolize a return to America’s favorite pastime – it showed the progress toward normalcy that we continue to make. 

For the Wisconsin Bankers Association, our version of opening day came as we welcomed the Board of Directors back into our building for the first time in over a year. The hybrid meeting took place with safety guidelines and a virtual option for those unable to attend in person. While at WBA, the members took a tour of the newly remodeled building, met the newest WBA staff members, and caught up with some familiar faces around the office. In addition, the WBA Board enjoyed our version of a tailgate party with lunch served in our new café.  

Hosting this meeting in our building has only been the start of this change. We are also moving ahead to welcome the bankers back to the Engagement Center soon, following appropriate safety protocol, and we are excited to create an environment where bankers can expand their industry knowledge once again. In the coming weeks, WBA will be hosting banking schools covering topics on Commercial Lending, Residential Mortgage Lending and a School of Bank Management.  

With the WBA fiscal year concluding at the end of this month, I am reminded of how WBA’s education pivoted swiftly and performed successfully during this past year. Delivering educational programs to our members is a team effort across our many departments, including education, communications, legal, IT, and administrative support. Having to shift to mainly virtual education due to COVID was a challenge for all of us, but we made it through. I am thankful for the great work accomplished internally, and this of course could not have been achieved without the strong support of our WBA-member bankers. 

Throughout the course of the pandemic, WBA education had in many cases higher participation levels virtually compared to just in-person events. Because of this, the education projections achieved budget levels that will help contribute to furthering the mission of WBA. Regardless of how familiar we have all become with virtual learning, we realize how significant of a role networking plays for our members. We look forward to resuming in-person events, and WBA is excited to offer education virtually, in-person, or in a hybrid approach depending on the event. We thank you for supporting WBA education every step of the way, and we’re excited to see you all and welcome you back into the building. 

By, Alex Paniagua