By Donna J. Hoppenjan
Throughout my 46 years in banking, one thing has remained absolutely certain — the dedication of bankers in Wisconsin. For over 130 years, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) has stood as the pillar for banking throughout the state. From educational and advocacy opportunities to resources for members to utilize, our Association remains top tier in its ability to provide bankers in Wisconsin with a wide variety of ways in which they can get involved and make a difference in their bank and throughout their community.
As I begin my term as chair of WBA’s Board of Directors — representing over 30,000 bankers throughout Wisconsin — I look forward to continuing the Association’s longstanding tradition of inspiring success within our industry and encouraging every member to consider their role in shaping the future.
The inspiration to expand your skillset, grow your connections, and engage with your community is around every corner. In partnership with WBA, member banks have the ability to take advantage of educational programs designed to assist all bank employees in their pursuit of knowledge and expertise. Our Association hosts a variety of in-person and virtual courses that are not only relevant to bankers in our state, but also facilitate connections with their peers.
At its core, the Association is rooted in engagement. Without the participation of over 150 volunteer Advocacy Officers, committee participants, and advisory board members, WBA would be nowhere near as relevant or impactful as it is today. However, just as the WBA membership plays a role in shaping our Association, each of us has the responsibility to prepare our next generation of banking leaders and shape the perception of our industry.
Through WBA, bankers can participate in events or any combination of peer groups, networks, and committees to enhance their leadership skills and be inspired by the efforts of their peers. WBA also spearheads initiatives such as Power of Community Week, Teach Children to Save Day, Capitol Day, and career nights at various schools that encourage bankers to step out of the office and into their communities. The events offer members opportunities to establish and foster relationships with students, business owners, nonprofit organizations, elected officials, and so many others.
This year, as your team considers the multitude of ways in which you can inspire your fellow bankers, encourage the next generation, and influence growth throughout the industry, I remind you to look to your Association and stand united. Together, we can continue to support the long-term growth of the banking industry and elevate our Association for years to come.
Hoppenjan is president and CEO of Mound City Bank, Platteville, and the 2023–2024 WBA Chair.