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Ken Thompson HeadshotBy Kenneth D. Thompson

As my time as WBA Chair comes to a close on May 31, and I prepare to hand the baton over to Daniel Peterson, I wish to reflect upon the remarkable efforts bankers throughout our state have made this year to ensure the success of our industry. Even as we continue to feel the residual impacts of the pandemic, Wisconsin bankers continue to face every challenge in stride and stand as trusted partners in their communities.

 

Advocacy

This year, over 100 bankers from around the state attended WBA’s annual Capitol Day at the State Capitol in Madison. In addition to hearing from Wisconsin political leaders, bankers met with legislators to convey how issues like credit union expansion, banking regulatory modernization, interchange fee legislation, and elder fraud directly impact their local economies and consumers.

Similarly, many bankers have testified on several WBA key issues in the last year. Your grassroot involvement was critical in preventing bills such as those allowing for the expansion of credit unions from moving past either House. Your engagement in testifying, commenting, and supporting WBA’s efforts further unites our industry.

Education

As bankers continue to embrace new post-pandemic realities, WBA staff too is learning and shifting to best meet the needs of WBA members. Between new hybrid approaches to specific conferences and events geared at keeping our bankers informed — thousands of bankers from throughout the state have benefited from WBA’s adaptability in times of uncertainty which has allowed banks across the state to continue to grow and embrace each challenge faced.

These challenges, though difficult, have also been extremely rewarding. Bankers have shown their innovation and flexibility not only for the sake of their team members, but for their communities. This year, over 100 banks participated in WBA’s fifth annual Power of Community Week to engage with members of their communities through various service events. Throughout the year, the efforts bankers make in establishing connections within the communities they serve prove valuable in aiding the financial wellbeing of our neighbors. Additionally, your efforts assist in shaping the public’s opinion of the banking industry — a valuable perspective to hold especially as we approach election season — continue to explore new ways of embracing technology, and evolve as an industry.

I would also like to extend a sincere ‘thank you’ to WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels and her staff — I speak for many of us when I say I am deeply grateful for the work that the association does for the banking community in Wisconsin and beyond.

How your bank can make the most out of April

By Daryll J. Lund

During the week of April 18–23, the fifth annual Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) Power of Community Week will once again bring bankers, Associate Members, and WBA staff together to highlight the collective impact the banking industry has on the communities it serves. This tradition has allowed Wisconsin bankers to demonstrate to the public their ongoing commitment through participating in community service events.

This campaign, held in conjunction with Community Banking Month and Financial Literacy Month, allows bankers not only to further engage with local businesses and organizations, but celebrate the work they do each day in equipping their community members for financial success. Whether it be volunteering with a local non-profit or taking part in National Teach Children to Save Day on Thursday, April 28, bankers have time and time again shown diligence and creativity in their efforts to connect with and empower individuals across the state.

In 2021, over 70 banks across Wisconsin participated in WBA’s Power of Community Week and reported over 2,700 volunteer hours. This remarkable achievement encompasses the dedication and compassion WBA members have for their neighbors. While I understand bankers’ commitment to serving their communities is a year-round practice, I invite you to participate in one or more service events during April to showcase your efforts in empowering members of your community.

During the campaign and continuing after it ends, WBA will highlight your hard work to show the ongoing commitment displayed by Wisconsin’s banking industry. If you know how you’ll be participating in Power of Community Week or want inspiration, visit wisbank.com/BanksPowerWI to share your plan and be added to our state map! Please contact WBA’s Lori Kalscheuer at lkalscheuer@wisbank.com with any questions.

Ken Thompson HeadshotBy Kenneth D. Thompson

April is a busy month for community bankers in Wisconsin. Between Community Banking Month and Financial Literacy Month, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) and its non-profit arm, the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF), are looking forward to providing bankers throughout the state with opportunities to further strengthen our commitment to every member of our communities.

Teach Children to Save Day is approaching on Thursday, April 28. This campaign highlights the value of teaching kids the importance of financial literacy. To facilitate this campaign in Wisconsin, WBF is once again distributing over 2,500 free books and resources for WBA-member banks to use as they engage with the youngest members of their communities. You can help support this program — along with many other financial education projects — with a tax-deductible donation to WBF. To learn more, visit wisbankfoundation.org or contact Hannah Flanders.

I am excited to see how our bankers’ creativity and dedication to financial responsibility shines yet again this year. As always, you are encouraged to share your efforts in improving financial literacy with WBF as part of both Teach Children to Save Day and other educational events you take part in. Visit wisbankfoundation.org/education to submit a presentation form recording your efforts between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022.

This year also marks the fifth annual WBA Power of Community Week. Member banks are encouraged to participate, during the week of April 18–23, in one or more community service activities. This effort highlights the Wisconsin banking industry’s long-standing commitment to the communities in our state. If you are looking for ways to get involved this year, would like to share your plans to be included on the interactive map, or to learn more about WBA’s plans, please visit wisbank.com/BanksPowerWI.

Whether it be through promoting the importance of financial literacy or volunteering at shelters, food pantries, or non-profit organizations, the month of April presents the perfect opportunity to showcase your bank’s involvement in making Wisconsin the exceptional state that it is. Your efforts, especially in the last two years, have not gone unnoticed and are deeply appreciated by your community. We thank those bankers who have continually gone above and beyond to lend a helping hand to others.

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Every year, bankers, WBA Associate Members, and WBA staff look forward to getting out into their communities for a week that shows our collective impact in a meaningful way. While we know that the banking industry is committed to serving Wisconsin communities throughout the year, the Power of Community Week is a major highlight that demonstrates to the public our ongoing commitment to those local communities.

The 2022 WBA Power of Community Week will take place April 18–23, 2022 and will be followed by National Teach Children to Save Day on April 28, 2022. Activities in late April and early May still count toward a bank’s participation in the WBA Power of Community Week. Examples of participation in the WBA Power of Community Week include volunteering at nursing homes, hosting shredding events at the bank, running a food drive, or giving financial literacy presentations in K–12 classrooms (including virtual presentations). We invite all members to participate in this effort to show how much Wisconsin’s banking industry supports the communities in our state.

Create team spirit by ordering Power of Community t-shirts for your company! The shirts feature the campaign logo and hashtag (#BanksPowerWI). A company logo may also be added to the back of the t-shirts. T-shirt orders are due March 1, 2022.

Visit www.wisbank.com/BanksPowerWI to

  • order t-shirts,
  • designate a Power of Community Week contact for your organization, and
  • let WBA know about your planned activities, so they can be added to the interactive map of activities statewide.

We look forward to an impactful week of serving the communities we are proud to call home!