ABA Banking Journal - October 2012 - (Page 4)
By KELL KELLy
One year later: Where do we stand?
“For us to have an industry into the future, much more must be done. As Churchill said, we can
‘Never, Never, Never give up’”
Albert C. “Kell” Kelly, Jr. President and CEO, SpiritBank, Bristow, Okla.
year surely goes by fast! It is hard to believe that this is my last column as ABA chairman. The robust path I laid out for our association seems to be only a portion complete, and that is probably my greatest disappointment. The time it takes to achieve change can be frustrating. One year ago in San Antonio, Texas, as I was preparing to begin my term, several bankers very kindly inquired if I were ready for such a momentous responsibility. My swift and sure response was, “Yes, I am.” The opportunity to serve our industry in this role was something I aspired to and welcomed. And now that it is ending, I can look back and say it has been a year filled with both fulfillment and frustration. The opportunities that I have had to travel to dozens of states, speak with thousands of bankers, and carry the ABA message of unity and action were both energizing and rewarding. I saw, firsthand, how committed the incomparable ABA staff is to excellence as well as high performance. The leadership that collective group of ABA professionals provides for our industry is unmatched. But for their untiring effort, in what condition would our industry find itself? The difficulty, for instance, of getting Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.Va.) Exam Fairness Bill passed into law—even with 190 cosponsors—seems counterintuitive to me. Also, the subversion of the legislative process in granting some credit unions increased small-business lending authority—by the President’s executive fiat in August—is highly disturbing.
Despite the hard work so many do to champion our industry, we still are losing a bank a day in our country with none coming on to replace them. Our calling as bankers, as citizens, as the true champions of the American economic engine is to loudly and forcefully assert ourselves and our industry as never before. I have said many times across this country that we, today, are the stewards of this industry. For us to have an industry into the future, much more must be done. As Churchill said, we can “Never, never, never give up.” Yes, we face uncertain times, and, therefore, our action has never been more important. Our commitment over the next 30 days should be to put in place elected officials that will reverse the course we have been on these past three and a half years, and be pro-business, pro-banking, and pro-economic growth and job creation. We have a great team at ABA. The volunteer bankers on the executive team have become not only my trusted colleagues but also my dear friends. Soon, we will have a great new chairman in Matt Williams. He and his team are positioned to make history—but only with all of you behind them. Please support them, rally to them, and engage with them as never before. Will Rogers once said, “Every man gets an opportunity once in a lifetime.” I will forever be grateful to have had the honor to serve my industry and fellow bankers. I hope I made a small difference. I will value each of you and the experience for the rest of my life. Thanks to you all! n
ABA BANKING JOURNAL
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - October 2012
ABA Banking Journal - October 2012
Ag bank rebrands—literally
Pass the Aspirin
Ready for the leadership ride
Community Bank Survival: Matter of attitude?
Card biz: Playing the hand you’re dealt
ABA At Your Service
100 years of service to farmers
ABA Banking Journal - October 2012