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Chairman’s Column: Helping Our Communities Thrive in April and Beyond

April is a lot of things. It’s a month of celebration, the first full month of spring, and the tail-end of winter for most northern Wisconsinites. But more importantly, April is the month we are reminded of how strong our impact is on the communities we serve. Our commitment to engaging in Community Banking Month and Financial Literacy Month are strong indications of this, and there are many ways for your bank to participate this year.

Teach Children to Save Day is approaching on April 22. This campaign highlights the value of teaching kids the importance of financial literacy, but last year’s drastic transition at the end of March highlighted the innovation and creativity of bankers as well. Many of you were excited to make it back into the classrooms then and were certainly hoping to by now, but your dedication to increasing smart spending habits has not been stopped by the pandemic. This has been apparent through the donations made to schools and libraries, as well as the recordings of bankers reading the financial literacy book which was distributed to schools.

The Wisconsin Bankers Foundation once again encourages all participating member banks to contact their local schools to see how they would prefer to hold the event this year and to once again show the many ideas our industry has to offer. You can also make the continuation of this program and other financial education projects possible with a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Visit www.wisbankfoundation.org or contact Foundation Director Mike Semmann (msemmann@wisbank.com, 608-441-1206) for more information.

April 19–24 marks the fourth-annual Power of Community Week, and we are excited to highlight another year of bankers engaging in one or more community service activities. The Power of Community campaign shows the many ways banks are the backbones of our communities. Although 2020 emphasized this, each year before and after continue to make it evident. The different ways to get involved in your community are endless, but if you’re looking for inspiration, please visit www.wisbank.com/community/power-ofcommunity-week.

The impact you have on your community’s growth and development does not go unnoticed. Whether it be through promoting the importance of financial literacy or helping the schools, places of worship, and businesses affected by the pandemic, the month of April is the perfect opportunity to showcase your bank’s involvement in making Wisconsin the exceptional state that it is. There is appreciation every step of the way, and there is power in every helping hand you lend.

Kohler is president and CEO of Charter Bank, Eau Claire and the 2020-2021 WBA board chair.

By, Alex Paniagua