Executive Letter: Advocating, Educating, Supporting Our Wisconsin Banks

By Rose Oswald Poels

As the end of WBA’s fiscal year approaches on May 31, I am incredibly proud of the way our association staff and members have overcome the constant waves of uncertainty this past year. The WBA team continued its focus on our mission to: “promote a healthy environment for banks in Wisconsin through actively advocating, educating and supporting our members.” Below are just a few examples of what we have accomplished this past year.

Advocacy remains one of our top priorities and we could not have achieved our successes without your help. This year, 38 banks earned WBA’s Gold Triangle Award, our highest level of recognition for bank fundraising, apportioned by bank asset size. Along with this award, 27 banks earned the Bankers Involved in Grassroots and Government (BIGG) award, WBA’s highest achievement level for bank involvement and advocacy. This level of commitment shows the very real ways that bankers like you are making a noticeable difference in the state. The hard work of our GR team saw two WBA legislative priorities signed into law early in this new session, 2021 Wisconsin Act 1 on PPP deductibility and Wisconsin Act 4 on COVID liability.

As we begin to offer in-person classes once again, we look back on the success of WBA education, in spite of the virtual shift we were forced to take this past year. WBA still offered 900 educational opportunities with over 9,000 attendees at our events. As we gradually return to a familiar setting with hybrid classes now taking center stage, we are excited for the new opportunities WBA will offer to grow the professional development of your team.

Finally, we are proud to continue supporting you, our members, however we can. Each day, 2,748 members received the Wisconsin Banker Daily to stay up to date on the most recent news in the banking industry. On top of this, more than 90 banks successfully transitioned to the new WBA EBC online benefit administration portal provided at no cost to banks. For more information on WBA’s 2020-21 fiscal year, please look for a complete, in-depth Year in Review in the upcoming June Wisconsin Banker.

Your dues invoice for the new fiscal year will arrive in the mail over the course of the next week. If you have any questions or concerns about your membership, please do not hesitate to contact me. As we prepare for another year as an association, we thank you for making everything we do possible.