By Donna Hoppenjan
In addition to kicking off the new year, January is just past the halfway point of my time as chair of the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). Though bankers have long demonstrated their commitment to the wellbeing of our industry and the communities we serve, now is the perfect time to consider the ways in which each of us is able to cultivate success throughout our industry for years to come.
Inspiration — a key priority for the Association this fiscal year — is demonstrated by the WBA membership in a number of ways. Whether your team takes advantage of WBA’s programs to connect and uplift peers or advocates for the ability of banks to thrive, adapt, and make meaningful contributions to communities across the state, each action contributes to the collective momentum towards a more successful future.
Talent recruitment and retention remain at the top of mind for many industries in Wisconsin, and as a shrinking talent pool threatens the long-term viability and competitiveness of our industry, it is vital that bankers are proactive in working to attract young talent to the banking industry and ensuring that our young professionals are well-equipped to navigate the banking sector as it continues to evolve.
By engaging with students through mentorship programs, internships, or career fairs, bankers can offer firsthand insights into the dynamic landscape of our industry. Furthermore, emphasizing the industry’s innovation, impact on the community, and diverse career opportunities helps to broaden students’ perspectives and encourage young people to consider banking as a promising and fulfilling career path.
Now’s our time to inspire and drive positive change throughout our industry; to invest in the ongoing success of Wisconsin. Together, we each pave the way for a stronger, more vibrant future for Wisconsin’s banking industry and the communities we serve.
Hoppenjan is president and CEO of Mound City Bank, Platteville, and the 2023–2024 WBA Chair.