ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 20

> POWER UP PROFILE

The Strength
of Storytelling
BY MONICA C. MEINERT

FOR KEN JOHNSON, president & CEO of North Shore
Bank of Commerce in Duluth, Minn., success in advocacy
starts with sharing stories.
"One of the things I focus on is trying
to figure out what's unique about
us, and then share with lawmakers
why they might be interested in
seeing what's happening here at the
bank and how we're helping their
constituents," Johnson says of his
approach to lawmaker visits. "We talk
a lot about what kinds of good things
we do in the community-the nonprofit
organizations we support, the small
business lending that we do to help
local entrepreneurs, our mortgage area
that provides homes for many people."
Johnson has been a passionate
advocate for the industry for almost a
decade since he was asked by Doug
Lewis, the bank's owner, to step in
and fill a position on the government
relations council of the Minnesota
Bankers Association. (Lewis had
been actively involved with the MBA
for more than 25 years). Since then,
Johnson has played an active role on
the council (he currently serves as past
chair), is a member of the MBA board
of directors, and also spent three years
as a member of ABA's Community
Bankers Council.
North Shore Bank has previously
hosted lawmakers, including Rep. Rick
Nolan (D) and Sen. Al Franken (D).
During these visits, "I start out with
a conversation about our ownership
structure," he explains. "We've been
around for over 100 years under the
20

ABA BANKING JOURNAL | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

KEN JOHNSON (SECOND FROM LEFT) WITH SEN. AL FRANKEN
(D-MINN., SECOND FROM RIGHT) DURING A RECENT BANK VISIT.

same ownership, the same family
structure. We're quite proud of that and
we would like to keep it that way, but
we highlight to our lawmakers that there
are some things that are happening
that make it challenging at times."
As the top originator of residential
mortgages in northeastern Minnesota,
the $266 million community bank has
a unique perspective on the effects
of regulation such as the TRID or
Qualified Mortgage rules. "We try to
stress that many of these changes have
been first and foremost a burden to the
consumer-whether it's the time they
have to wait to get their money or the
fact that many feel so overwhelmed
by paperwork that they can't possibly
comprehend," Johnson says.
Johnson also makes a point to involve
employees-particularly those in
compliance and mortgage origination
departments-in lawmaker visits.
"They talk about how their jobs have
changed over time, especially how
the compliance area has changed,"
he explains. "Lawmakers love to hear
specifics about exactly what in the
regulation is making things difficult for
our compliance team. And then we go
to the mortgage originator and they talk
about how the customer is impacted
and what the customer response
has been. That seems to really get
their attention."

Johnson acknowledges that while
a single branch visit doesn't always
translate to sweeping legislative
change, it can go a long way to
helping lawmakers deepen their
understanding of the challenges
facing the financial services
industry. "I think that in both
cases, [lawmakers] have walked
out of here with a really different
level of understanding of how the
consumer has been impacted and
how the bank has been impacted
by regulation."
That's why it's critical for bankers
across the country to speak up
and tell their own stories, he adds.
"When people say you can't make
a difference, I say 'nonsense.' You
absolutely can make a difference,
you just have to develop relationships
and be persistent."
And when it comes to sharing stories,
Johnson tells his employees that it's
not about talking points, but personal
experiences. "Just share your
perspective on what's going on in
your bank. That's really the story that
you need to tell. Whether you know
what the industry talking points are
or not, just say what's happening in
your bank and how it's affecting you
or affecting your customers."
MONICA C. MEINERT is associate editor of the
ABA Banking Journal.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017

CHAIRMAN’S VIEW
UPFRONT
PICTURE THIS
LEGAL BRIEFS
POWER UP PROFILE
THE TOP FINTECH TRENDS DRIVING THE NEXT DECADE
PLUG AND PLAY: FOUR WAYS TO LEVEL UP YOUR MOBILE BANKING APP
MAKING FRIENDS WITH FINTECH
LOOKING AT FINTECH THROUGH THE LEGISLATIVE LENS
LET’S TALK PAYMENTS
IS OUTSOURCING IT SECURITY RIGHT FOR YOUR BANK?
THE CECL RIPPLE EFFECT
FROM YOUNG AMERICANS TO ENTREPRENEURIAL CITIZENS
FINDING THE PERFECT NICHE
THREE ELEMENTS OF BANK LEADERSHIP
REAL ESTATE LENDING
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
WEALTH MANAGEMENT
FROM THE STATES
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
FROM THE VAULT
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - Intro
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - bellyband1
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - bellyband2
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - cover1
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - cover2
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 3
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 4
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 5
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 6
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 7
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - CHAIRMAN’S VIEW
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 9
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 10
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - UPFRONT
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 12
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 13
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 14
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 15
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - PICTURE THIS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 17
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - LEGAL BRIEFS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 19
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - POWER UP PROFILE
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 21
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - THE TOP FINTECH TRENDS DRIVING THE NEXT DECADE
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 23
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 24
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 25
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 26
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 27
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - PLUG AND PLAY: FOUR WAYS TO LEVEL UP YOUR MOBILE BANKING APP
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 29
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 30
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 31
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - MAKING FRIENDS WITH FINTECH
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 33
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - LOOKING AT FINTECH THROUGH THE LEGISLATIVE LENS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 35
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - LET’S TALK PAYMENTS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 37
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 38
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - IS OUTSOURCING IT SECURITY RIGHT FOR YOUR BANK?
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - THE CECL RIPPLE EFFECT
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 41
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 42
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - FROM YOUNG AMERICANS TO ENTREPRENEURIAL CITIZENS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 44
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 45
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 46
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - FINDING THE PERFECT NICHE
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 48
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 49
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 50
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - THREE ELEMENTS OF BANK LEADERSHIP
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 52
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 53
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - REAL ESTATE LENDING
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 55
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 56
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 57
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 58
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 59
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - 61
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - WEALTH MANAGEMENT
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - FROM THE STATES
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - FROM THE VAULT
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - cover3
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - cover4
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - outsert1
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - outsert2
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - outsert3
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - outsert4
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - outsert5
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2017 - outsert6
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