By Jodi Stacy
Vice President, Bank of the Mountains
The 2017 Bluegrass Community Bankers Association Annual Convention is behind us so I wanted to take a minute to reflect on this year’s event. It is my opinion that our convention continues to improve each and every year. In fact, you can see this by the number of banks represented and the number of attendees registered. The secret is getting out: the BCBA Convention is a fantastic opportunity to educate your staff and Board; to network with other bankers and vendors; and to have a good time.
The driver of our success as an association is membership. This year’s Convention featured the most banks ever represented at one of our Conventions. To me, this is a testament to the work the BCBA Board and representatives have done to increase membership and to invite bankers to join us for this great event. As past President, I am certainly thrilled to see our numbers grow and am certain that the trend will continue during 2018.
Even more evidence can be found in the number of attendees. This Convention featured the largest number of attendees versus past Conventions. It is my opinion that this speaks to the educational benefit of our Convention. Bank Presidents and CEO’s are finding it very beneficial (and affordable!) to bring both Board members and key management personnel. We are doing our Convention right and folks are finding out!
Third, we approached a new Congressman to speak for the very first time, Congressman James Comer. This provided us with an opportunity to communicate the issues community banks face on a daily basis and to recruit another elected official to work on behalf of our industry. Forging new relationships and strengthening old ones, at both the State and Federal level, is an integral part of what we as an Association strive to do. It is this work that allows us to help community banks voice their concerns and the importance of that cannot be overstated.
Last but not least, the BCBA got a makeover! Long overdue, the BCBA will now be in more constant contact with you throughout the year via e-newsletters, an updated website, social media and printed materials. Implementing these tools will allow us to keep you up-to-date with current events relevant to the banking industry; to communicate what is happening with the BCBA including upcoming events; and will allow our members to network with one another digitally. We look forward to using each of these resources to better serve our members. We hope you will enjoy them.
In summary, this has been a good year for the BCBA and the culmination of that was put on full display during our Annual Convention. We hope you found the Convention to be worthwhile and we are always looking for feedback on ways in which we can improve. Thanks to all of you for a great year! We look forward to 2018.