ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 47


> POWER UP PROFILE

Building a

LAWMAKER
RELATIONSHIP

MAULDIN (THIRD FROM RIGHT) WELCOMES THORNBERRY
(FOURTH FROM RIGHT) DURING A RECENT BANK VISIT.

Texas banker Mike Mauldin gets to know his representatives
by providing expertise to congressional staff, participating in
fundraising and having an open door policy.
BY EVAN SPARKS

ll grassroots advocacy builds
up to making an ask. And
when it comes time for the
big ask, it helps to have a
solid relationship with the
lawmaker you're trying to reach, says
Michael Mauldin, president and CEO
of First Financial Bank's Hereford,
Texas, region.
For Mauldin, that relationship abruptly
changed in 2013, when the Texas
panhandle town of Hereford was
among those moved from Rep. Randy
Neugebauer's district to Rep. Mac
Thornberry's. Mauldin-the incoming
chairman of ABA's Bankers and
Advocacy Grassroots Committee-
knew it would be essential to build
a strong relationship with his new
representative on Capitol Hill.
The recipe for a strong lawmaker
relationship is equal parts personal
connection, fundraising and networks
with congressional staff, Mauldin
says. And it's often best to start with
the staff.
"The staff are as anxious to get to
know you as you were to get to know
them. They are always looking for
sources of reliable information," he
explains. "I've always tried to be that
whenever they have any questions and
I have the knowledge or expertise."

This was especially important for Mauldin
during the redistricting. As a senior
member of the House Financial Services
Committee, Neugebauer had strong
expertise and staff support on banking
issues. While Thornberry has experience
working on cybersecurity, most of his
legislative attention has been focused
on military, intelligence and agriculture
issues. His staff could thus benefit
from Mauldin's advice and insights
on banking.
"I want to be one of those people they
call on," he says. "Once you create
that relationship, they'll call on you for
advice." He maintains an open lunch
invitation for Thornberry's staff to swing
by whenever they're in Hereford.
Participating in fundraising is another
way to build the lawmaker relationship,
Mauldin notes. When he co-hosts a
fundraiser, Mauldin calls the Texas
Bankers Association and asks for a PAC
contribution as well, which he and other
local bankers can personally deliver to
the lawmaker or his campaign staff.
"I think that makes a big difference
as well."
Mauldin-an ABA-recognized Power
Player who has hosted a grassroots event,
given to BankPac and given to the Fund
for Economic Growth-believes that

everyone in the bank can give. "What I
always tell them is, 'Give what you can
afford.' If they can give only $25 or $50,
they may think that's not going to do any
good. They're wrong!" However, Mauldin
notes that he always leaves the amount
of giving up to the employee and that he
never goes back to check the amount.
He's especially excited about the
Fund for Economic Growth, a 501(c)
(4) nonprofit that allows the banking
industry to amplify its advocacy through
issue advertising and educational
campaigns. "We can do so much
more as an industry because it allows
corporate contributions," he says,
compared to individual contributions to
BankPac. "It levels the playing field with
other industries."
Staff relationships and fundraising help
open the door to lawmakers, but nothing
substitutes for getting the congressman
in the bank. Both this year and last year,
Mauldin co-hosted a bank visit with
Thornberry for Take Your Lawmaker
to Work Month. "The frontline people
could see that it made a difference," he
says. "As informed as Rep. Thornberry
is, hearing first-hand accounts from the
staff helped bring it all home."
And that's how you build a relationship
that lets you make the big ask.
aba.com/BankingJournal | ABA BANKING JOURNAL

47


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016

Chairman’s View
Upfront
Picture This
Banking’s ‘Amazon Moment’
Special Report on Innovation and Technology
Building an ‘Internet of Value’
Do You Do What the Data Tell You?
Innovation in the Bank
Core Exercises
Cover Story Pillar of Her Community
Maintaining a Commitment to Ag Customers
Who You Gonna Call?
Anti-Money Laundering
Power Up Profile
Compliance ‘When Can I Call My Customer?’
Risk Management
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
From the States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - bellyband1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - bellyband2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 3
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 4
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 5
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 6
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 7
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Chairman’s View
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 9
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 10
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Upfront
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 12
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 13
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 14
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 15
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Picture This
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 17
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 18
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 19
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Special Report on Innovation and Technology
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 21
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 22
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Building an ‘Internet of Value’
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 24
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 25
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Do You Do What the Data Tell You?
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 27
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - insert1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - insert2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Innovation in the Bank
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 29
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 30
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Core Exercises
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Cover Story Pillar of Her Community
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 33
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 34
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 35
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 36
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 37
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Maintaining a Commitment to Ag Customers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 39
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 40
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Who You Gonna Call?
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 42
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 43
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Anti-Money Laundering
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 45
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 46
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Power Up Profile
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 48
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Compliance ‘When Can I Call My Customer?’
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 50
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Risk Management
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - ABA Compliance Center Inbox
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 53
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 54
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - From the States
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 56
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Corporate Social Responsibility
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover3
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover4
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