As the former Chair of the Future Leaders Council and CFO of Pleasants County Bank, I am proud to highlight the recent involvement of the Future Leaders Council at the ABA Government Relations Summit held in Washington, D.C., from March 20-22, 2023. The Summit is a great platform to advocate for the banking industry, and the Future Leaders Council had an active presence at the event.
The Summit kicked off with the Women and Allies Forum, where attendees had the opportunity to hear presentations on various topics like inclusive culture in a hybrid environment, lessons learned by women leaders in banking and a chat with former FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams. This was followed by the Emerging Leaders Forum, where attendees gained valuable insights and knowledge through discussions and presentations on topics such as mindful leadership, leading for today and tomorrow and artificial intelligence in banking. Brian Cayton, Founding Chairman of the FLC, current member of the ABA Emerging Leaders Council and Vice President, and Director of Operations and Innovations at Community Bank of Parkersburg, was invited to be an expert panelist during the forum to discuss Innovations and the Use of Artificial Intelligence in banking. During the forum and summit, members of the Future Leaders Council had an opportunity to network with peers and share ideas about the future of Emerging Leader programs in their state, innovations, best practices and general knowledge.
The following day, attendees had the opportunity to hear from Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and also had the chance to meet directly with congressional leaders like Senator Manchin and Senator Capito to discuss the failures of Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. We used this as an opportunity to reassure our leadership that the trust in the banking system is high, and these failures were not due to a lack of governance by the Fed, but poor risk and liquidity management and lack of supervision on behalf of the San Francisco FDIC. We also discussed the effect of such fast rate increases and the unintended negative effects it was having on banks. Given the timing and the significance of the recent events, this was probably the perfect and most stressful time to be in D.C. as a banker.
The Summit wrapped up on Wednesday with speakers Tim Scott (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee; and Rob Nichols, ABA President all presenting hot topics and the future of banking.
The Future Leaders Council is a great way for leaders at any bank to become more active under the umbrella of the West Virginia Bankers Association. Our current Chair, Jesse Bumps of Clear Mountain Bank, leads the Council in its mission to promote careers in banking, advocate for the banking industry, and oversee the emerging leaders’ curriculum. To help promote attendance, the Council created a $750 scholarship to help with the cost of attending the Summit, which pairs with a $750 ABA scholarship. Having an additional $1,500 for one attendee lightens the burden on the bank and allows those to attend that might not have been able to otherwise.
Of the 11 attendees for this year’s Summit, six had ties to the Future Leaders Council, which is a testament to the importance of empowering the next generation of bank leaders and executives. The WVBA and the Future Leaders Council are committed to promoting careers in banking and advocating for the industry. Participation in events like the Washington Summit is a great way to achieve this mission. I encourage presidents and CEOs to identify individuals within their organization and promote their participation in groups like the Future Leaders Council, the WVBA and the ABA’s Washington Summit.