By Donna Hoppenjan
One of the Association’s primary goals for the year ahead is to continue shaping a solid future for the banking industry. As our members are well aware, the industry has evolved a great deal in the last several years. In order to remain receptive to the development that is yet to come, it is vital that our current bank leaders prioritize their investment into the future success of the industry.
Through the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA), over 30,000 bankers across Wisconsin gain access to ongoing educational opportunities. These various schools, workshops, and conferences are designed specifically to aid bankers across the state in gaining leadership skills, expanding their expertise, and serving as advocates on behalf the industry they represent.
As we invest in our emerging leaders and bankers of the future, it is important to provide relevant, high-quality resources and connections. BOLT (Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow) and WBA Connect are just two of the programs WBA offers that combine personal and professional development opportunities with numerous chances to build networks, ask questions, and share ideas. Annually, hundreds of bankers benefit from cultivating relationships with their peers and becoming involved with the Association.
Additionally, bankers may choose to utilize WBA’s Legal Call Program to connect with seasoned attorneys that understand the industry, review best practices created by bankers in Wisconsin, or stay abreast of the latest industry news by subscribing to the Wisconsin Banker Daily e-newsletter or the Wisconsin Banker bimonthly publication.
Beyond developing our current teams, focusing on the future workforce is a priority for many. In order to drive our industry forward, it is critical that bankers commit themselves to promoting banking as a career. Taking part in volunteer work, hosting financial literacy presentations, and connecting with students are just a few meaningful and inspirational actions our membership can highlight when talking about the many rewarding aspects of a banking career. WBA provides resources to help members interact with future bankers including consumer-focused resources, financial education tools, and engagement opportunities at colleges across the state.
As your team considers new ways to invest in your employees and attract new talent, I encourage you to utilize the opportunities provided by WBA. No matter how your bank decides to make the most of WBA’s programs, it is gratifying to know that the success of our institutions and team members is the sole mission of the Association.
Hoppenjan is president and CEO of Mound City Bank, Platteville, and the 2023–2024 WBA Chair.