Executive Letter: Engaging in Advocacy, Driving Results

By Rose Oswald Poels

Advocacy on the grassroots level is the line that connects citizens with solutions, and it is one of the most significant roles we at WBA engage in on behalf of and with all Wisconsin bankers.

The issues our industry faces are diverse and impactful, a testament to the many responsibilities that you take on and the challenges you face each day. PPP of course is at the forefront of these efforts, but we have not let the exigence distract us from the other causes we are committed to: the state of local economies, ECORA legislation, credit union fairness, federal agency head transitions, and non-banks getting into the payments system all remain of high importance and continue to be discussed with our congressional districts.

In place of our usual in-person visit to Washington D.C. in the spring, WBA invited bankers to participate in a series of 2021 Virtual Hill Visits to speak with members of the entire Wisconsin Congressional delegation. Several meetings occurred last month, including those with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Ron Johnson, and Congressman Brian Steil, while others are occurring over the next few weeks. Our D.C. meetings in conjunction with both ABA and ICBA will still be held, one online and one tentatively in person. The WBA/ABA Washington Trip will be held virtually on March 16-17, and is open for registration. Registration for the WBA/ICBA Washington Trip is not yet open, but it is reflected on the schedule for late April as an in-person event. Once final information is available from ICBA, WBA will share the details with the membership. These events are ideal ways to learn more about key policy issues from those who put them into action and get involved in advocacy at the grassroots level.

I’d like to thank the many bankers who accepted WBA’s invitation to join in our congressional advocacy outreach and engage in these efforts. Making your voices heard will always be the way we move our industry forward. I’d also like to commend the banks who were recently named Gold Triangle and BIGG award winners during our Bank Executives Conference. These awards represent banks whose directors and employees contributed to the ABW conduit or Wisbankpac as well as those who have earned the highest achievement level for involvement and advocacy, respectively. Through their work, these participants prove that the efforts of our advocacy are not only important; they drive results.