By Rose Oswald Poels
Each year, I have the honor of presenting WBA-member bankers with numerous honors and awards for their achievements and service to their banks and communities. Some are recognized for serving between 30 and 40 years, receiving a Lifetime Service Award. Others will offer their insight and skills for over half a century and are inducted into the 50-and 60-Year Club for their respective commitments. The legacies of these individuals are ever-expanding, and each award I give acts as a reminder, not only of the incomparable culture and community that draws bankers to provide their talents, but of the dedication that bankers continue to offer every day.
A recent article published in the Wisconsin Banker Daily highlighted a few of these bankers – both retired and still serving a full-time role at their bank – and gathered their thoughts on what it means to be a lifetime banker, their favorite memories, and what they hope for the future of community banking. Though this only captured a few of the many perspectives we are so fortunate to have, the number of those who have dedicated this amount of time, knowledge, and effort to our industry is something to truly be proud of. WBA recently highlighted and continues to display the accomplishments of a few of these bankers with its first Leaders in Banking Excellence class.
The ceremony for the Leaders in Banking Excellence Class of 2020 has concluded, but the celebration for these individuals is yet another way of honoring lifetimes of service, innovation, and philanthropy to our banks and surrounding communities. This celebration, of course, lives on through the Wall of Excellence, which is on display in the WBA headquarters building in Madison. From now through Aug. 10, 2021, the WBA is accepting nominations for the next class of the WBA Leaders in Banking Excellence. To nominate a banker to be recognized as a Leader in Banking Excellence for the Class of 2021 or to learn more about the applications, please contact me. You can also find more information here.
To those who have earned a Lifetime Service Award, have been inducted into the 50-60-Year Club, or have been honored with a much-deserved spot on the Wall of Excellence, I thank you for everything you have given and still give to the banking industry, both in Wisconsin and beyond. If your bank has individuals who should be recognized for 30, 40, 50, or even 60 years in the industry, please nominate them by completing the form found here. For any questions, please contact WBA’s Debbie Nabholz.