By Rose Oswald Poels
Last Thursday marked the beginning of the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s (WBA) 2023–2024 fiscal year. As I reflect upon the accomplishments our community of bankers has made in the past year, I am honored to not only work alongside a membership so dedicated to the success of their institutions and communities, but also to represent each of you in your unwavering resilience and adaptability.
For over 130 years, our Association has focused intently on the positive impact banks make on communities in Wisconsin. Advocacy — a foundational component to WBA’s mission — allows bankers to make their voice heard on policy that impacts them.
Not only does the team at the Association work tirelessly to comment on proposed rulings and regulations — submitting 11 comment letters in 2022–2023 — and tracking WBA legislative priorities at the State Capitol and in Washington, D.C., I am proud to highlight that over 200 bankers participated in WBA’s advocacy efforts by way of attending the Association’s annual Capitol Day or a D.C. summit. Additionally, bankers in Wisconsin contributed over $275,000 to WBA’s political action and issue advocacy funds.
Alongside advocating on behalf of the Wisconsin banking industry, our Association prides itself on providing bankers with in-depth and up-to-date educational opportunities. In the last year, 6,016 bankers attended at least one of the 93 training programs hosted in-person throughout the state or virtually. Tailored to every level of the bank, these schools, conferences, and webinars allow members to expand their expertise, gain leadership skills, and network with peers.
Above all, WBA’s top priority continues to be supporting its members however possible. Not only did the team produce 30 videos and create 11 consumer resources in 2022–2023, but the Legal Hotline wielded a total of 2,094 calls and the Wisconsin Banker Daily reached over 2,500 bankers from across the state each day.
Looking ahead to the Association’s next year, in addition to our efforts advocating, informing, and educating, WBA staff will continue to update resources and provide Wisconsin banks with the best tools for your technology, insurance, consulting, and other needs. For more information on WBA’s 2022–2023 fiscal year, please look for a complete, in-depth Year in Review in the upcoming July/August Wisconsin Banker.
As always, I thank you for your support of WBA and deeply appreciate your efforts in ensuring the success of our industry. Your membership allows us to continue to advocate for our industry, educate beginning and experienced bankers, and provide valued resources for all areas of the bank. If they have not arrived in the mail already, please expect an invoice for the new fiscal year dues to arrive in the coming days. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about your membership. I look forward to working with you and for you.