By Daniel J. Peterson
When I first became Chair of the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s (WBA) Board of Directors in June of last year, I encouraged all members to consider deepening their engagement with the Association.
As my time as WBA Chair concludes on May 31, I look back on all the ways in which bankers across the state have found new ways to participate. Despite rising inflation, new regulatory proposals and rulings, and continued difficulties with talent recruitment, WBA members have stepped up this last year as advocates for the banking industry.
In just the last year, bankers helped raise over $270,000 to support pro-banking and pro-business candidates as well as help the team effectively lobby for key issues impacting the industry. Hundreds of bankers also joined WBA in its advocacy efforts by attending the Association’s annual Capitol Day, traveling to Washington D.C. during a summit, or casting their votes in various Wisconsin elections.
More than ever, 2022–2023 has emphasized the importance of speaking with our elected representatives and making our voices heard. These actions are critical to the continued success of our industry and help to educate the general public as well as shape their opinion.
Beyond this, partaking in activities as simple as sharing WBA’s consumer resources with your customers, calling the Legal team with questions, or volunteering for a committee, all greatly assist the WBA staff in understanding the needs of the membership and the communities we each serve. While educational opportunities and resources for bankers lie at the heart of the Association, our input and engagement keep these materials relevant and high-quality every year.
As I prepare to help usher Donna Hoppenjan in as the 2023–2024 WBA Chair, I thank you, WBA members, for your continued efforts in assisting our Association in creating an environment where bankers grow, and communities thrive. While the task of bettering our industry is daunting when faced alone, our efforts, combined with those of Rose Oswald Poels and her dedicated staff, continue to prove effective in making the change we wish to see for the banking community, and beyond.
Peterson is president and CEO of The Stephenson National Bank & Trust, Marinette, and the 2022–2023 Chair of the WBA Board of Directors.