Pub. 14 2023 Issue 3

President’s Message: Value Is in the Eye of the Beholder

The West Virginia Bankers Association board and management team are committed to continually enhancing the association’s value to its members and their employees. But what constitutes value? The association provides diverse services. Each member and each banker values particular association-provided services. At the same time, they may not highly value other services. Our challenge is to recognize and ensure that we meet all the value elements desired across our membership.

We believe that we deliver value by combining:

  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Political Engagement
  • Products and Services
  • Connection
  • Leadership

These elements are individually important and, in sum, drive the association’s value to our members. To successfully deliver each element, we must clearly define our goals, develop effective strategies and create systems to consistently execute our strategies. Below I will briefly define our goals for each value element:


The association is an advocate that can amplify and aggregate individual bank voices. Advocacy is often equated to lobbying. Lobbying is critical, but advocacy involves much more. Effective advocacy requires communication and conversation both inside and outside the association. Inside conversations must foster insight and perspective and build consensus on association policy. External conversations must educate decision-makers, allies and opponents on the merits of our industry’s priorities.


Education focuses on providing core services that include seminars, courses, certification programs, leadership development and schools. In addition, we will continually evaluate and deliver resources to address emerging banker needs.

Political Engagement

Successfully defending and advancing the banking industry requires more than advocacy. Political engagement among the association’s members and their employees is an essential complement to advocacy efforts. Political engagement includes participation in the association’s political action committee but also includes providing the opportunity, guidance and resources for interested bankers to directly participate in influencing government policies that impact their banks, careers and communities.

Products and Services

Through Proserv, the association’s for-profit subsidiary, we curate vendors that provide best-of-breed solutions, offer significant pricing advantages to members and support other association services.


The association is uniquely positioned to foster personal connections among bankers, vendors, lawmakers, public officials and other stakeholders. These connections provide financial opportunities and build relationships that strengthen the industry’s resilience and success. We pursue connection through facilitating in-person and virtual meetings, maintaining diverse communication channels and exploring opportunities for mutual benefit related to cooperation.


The association is driven by volunteer leaders. Over 150 bankers per year provide their time and talent to serve on the association board and committees. While they do not receive monetary payment for their service, we recognize that their service must provide them with value in return. We are committed to making volunteer service meaningful, educational, collegial and satisfying.

We are living in an exciting and challenging time in the banking industry. The association is committed to providing resources to support our members’ success. We welcome your input on how we define, balance and deliver the six value elements. We will continually seek to create optimal value for our members and their employees.