WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald PoelsBy Rose Oswald Poels

One of the best ways to convey an important message is by telling a memorable story. When we hear a story about people and places we are familiar with, we are able to understand a situation or perspective better and are more apt to recall the information later on. The Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) is committed to advocating for Wisconsin’s banking industry, and one of the best tools we have to do that is to share the positive stories of the important role you play in the wellbeing of our state’s communities and economy.

Over the recent legislative session, Wisconsin credit unions have been very vocal about their community engagement in their testimony at hearings, in their conversations with legislators, and in their public relations initiatives. While the community engagement work they do is a good thing, we know that credit unions are far from alone in their efforts. The more than 200 banks and over 35,000 bank employees in Wisconsin have a tremendous impact on their local communities, and WBA is ready to amplify the messaging about the positive work you are already known for in your local areas.

I ask that you take a few moments to complete the survey below to share examples of the ways you contribute to your community through volunteer work, donations, and other initiatives. The 1.1 million jobs that were supported by over 77,700 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans throughout the pandemic are just one example of the impact bankers have through their relationships with their 5.8 million customers statewide. The stories of the partnerships and service projects bankers engage in help to show the full scope of the difference our industry makes in our state.

The information from the survey will help inform our conversations with legislators at the state and federal levels. Elected officials and their staff like to hear specific examples of work that is happening in their districts. Any time we are able to share an anecdote of a unique initiative, it goes a long way. Policymakers are much more likely to remember an interesting story about a bank and people they know of doing something to impact their district than they are to remember facts and figures.

Bankers give back for the right reasons — it is not about getting recognition for our own benefit — but we need to get out of our humble comfort zones. By sharing your stories, you are showing the vibrancy of your communities. You are also leading by example and giving others the encouragement to get involved in their own way. With all that is going on in the world today, I’m sure everyone can agree that we can use more good news. Please share your good news with WBA by taking a few minutes to complete the survey.