Rose Oswald PoelsBy Rose Oswald Poels

The Society of Bank Executives, a nationwide organization for building new connections and accessing accelerated programing related to leadership, is looking ahead to the official launch in January 2023. Currently, the Society is comprised of over 120 executives from 15 states, including several from Wisconsin, and these bankers are participating in the pre-launch cohort this fall.

As I have announced in previous publications, the Society was established by several banking trade groups across the country — including WBA — to promote individual professional development. The initiative focuses specifically on granting C-suite bankers the opportunity to network among peers, attend relevant and flexible education seminars by experts, and enhance critical leadership competencies and skills.

As we all work to navigate within our ever-evolving industry, I encourage you to consider the importance of taking part in opportunities such as the Society of Bank Executives. Unlike other leadership seminars, the program offers bankers not just the education, but the relationships and soft skills necessary to masterfully lead our banks. In addition to studying, analyzing, and applying knowledge learned during the four-month program, bank executives will form invaluable networks among peers outside of our markets.

Although the pre-launch session is in full swing, Wisconsin bankers are invited to join the Society during its third meeting in Sun Valley, Idaho. The three-day event focuses specifically on the power of peer groups, and will kick off on October 19. I encourage bank executives who have not already registered for Society membership to consider utilizing this opportunity to garner a sneak peek of what’s in store for programing as the initiative formally launches in January.

Thank you to those Wisconsin bankers who have already registered as a member the Society. If you would like to learn more about the Society and how its program could impact your bank, please visit Additionally, if you are interested in taking part in the Society’s upcoming in-person educational event in Sun Valley, please click here for details on how to register.

The Society of Bank Executives offers opportunities for professional development

As the deadline to sign up for the Society of Bank Executives pre-launch session quickly approaches on July 30, c-suite bankers and executive team members are reminded to use this opportunity to invest in their own professional development for the benefit of their entire team.

The Society of Bank Executive, officially launching in January 2023, is offering Wisconsin bankers the ability to participate in the Society’s pre-launch session starting this August. Bankers receive a 25% discount for two years when they sign up before July 30, 2022.

The pre-launch session will focus on honing the skills of trust and team building of bank executives from around the country. During the four-month session, bankers will have the opportunity to hear from Doug Faber, consultant at Franklin Covey during a virtual presentation on “the speed of trust” as well as Casey Thompson, principal consultant at The Table Group during a virtual presentation on “trust and the dysfunctions of a team”. All virtual presentations will also be available on demand for 30 days after the live event.

In addition to learning from experts — Wisconsin bankers are also invited to join bank executives from around the country in Sun Valley, Idaho for a two-day networking event. Not only does this event offer bankers the ability to expand their networks outside of their typical markets, bankers will also be able to share tips from their experience and ask questions of their peers.

The pre-launch session will wrap up in November with a virtual refection moderated by Dr. Paul Godfrey, Society of Bank Executive’s academic advisor. In this final meeting, bankers will reflect on the previous meetings and how they will be able to implement their personal strategy to leverage the power of trust.

Learn more about the Society of Bank Executive by visiting

Rose Oswald PoelsBy Rose Oswald Poels

Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) board approved WBA’s participation as a partner in the newly created Society of Bank Executives. This initiative, first brought forth by the Utah Bankers Association, includes several partner trade associations throughout the U.S. aiming to provide bank leaders with opportunities to network and further develop the skills necessary for staying ahead of our ever-changing industry.

As the banking landscape continues to rapidly evolve, it remains ever so important that banking leaders continue to develop professionally and personally. These opportunities include engaging with peers outside of our markets and ongoing programs relating to shareholders, regulators, customers, and communities.

The Society, directed by Dr. Paul Godfrey — the William and Roceil Low Professor of Business Strategy at the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business, will officially launch in January 2023. However, the application period for the pre-launch session opens May 1, 2022. I encourage all C-suite bank executives and bank executive teams from across Wisconsin to take advantage of this unique opportunity to not only become a founding member, but to further develop important skills regarding bank operation alongside bankers from across the country. A two-year discount is available through July 30, 2022.

The annual sessions, split into two four-month programs, feature three 60–90-minute online presentations/virtual meetings that incorporate self-paced elements and one, two-day, in-person meeting aimed at expanding bankers’ networks beyond their markets. The pre-launch session, scheduled for August through November 2022, will focus bank executives on the challenge of “Trust and Team Building.”

As recent events have proved, peer networks are critical to the success of our industry. The Society hopes to assist bank leaders in establishing and utilizing networks among bankers beyond state boundaries. The two-day, in-person meeting each session is designed as a networking-focused event at which bankers around the country are able to share information, ask questions, and give (or receive) advice around strategic decision-making. These conversations may or may not be related to the specific session focus.

The Society’s program — involving study, analysis, application, and interaction with peers — is unlike any other leadership seminar. Created with bank executives in mind, the Society of Bank Executives offers opportunities to acquire and develop skills and master the “art” of leading a bank. Again, I invite every Wisconsin bank C-suite leader to take advantage of the opportunities created by the Society of Bank Executives when the application period opens May 1, 2022.