ABA Banking Journal - February 2013 - (Page 4)

aBa chairman’s view BY MATT WILLIAMS Why the future looks bright S “What impreSSed me most was the dedication of the bankers to learn as much as they could about the business” Matt williaMs Chairman and President, Gothenburg State Bank, Gothenburg, Neb. 4| ABA BANKING JOURNAL | February 2013 ometime during the past year, a Washington journalist labeled me as the banker who’s 1,362 miles from Wall Street. He didn’t realize how “right” he was. That distance places me right in the bread basket of our country. My family has been involved with agriculture and banking for over a century. I’m proud to be an ag banker, and I was never more proud than when I received a special invitation to attend this past year’s ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference held in Milwaukee, Wis. This conference really fired me up about the future of the banking industry. More than 500 people attended the conference. Many were young, and many were attending an ABA event for the very first time. For those of you who don’t know, the ag sector has been enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity. Clearly, this has been one of the bright spots for our nation’s economy. We have a new generation of ag banking specialists, who are replacing those of us who went through the financial turmoil of the 1980s farm crisis. This new group of bankers has the opportunity to experience something completely different from what was experienced by my contemporaries. What impressed me most about the conference was the dedication of the bankers who attended. They wanted to learn as much as they could about the business, so they could be more effective risk managers, more customer-focused, as well as better advocates for agriculture and banking. My bank is focused on agriculture, so seeing bankers from more than 35 states and a half-dozen provinces in Canada come together for a common purpose was thrilling for me, and, once more, it gave me the confidence that the future of our industry is bright. These people were focused. I applaud John Blanchfield, ABA’s senior vice-president for agricultural and rural banking; Cynthia Watkins, director, congressional relations and political affairs; and the other ABA staff members who helped plan this event, along with the ABA Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee, which is led by Chairman Keith Geis of Wyoming and Vice-Chairman Kreg Denton of Kentucky. Congratulations, and keep up the good work. I look forward to attending again next year in Minneapolis, Minn. Advocacy has never been more important to our industry than it is today. Our responsibility, as bankers, is to be part of the advocacy process. Please mark your calendars to attend the ABA Government Relations Summit on April 15, 16, and 17 in Washington, D.C. We need you to be there, along with other members of your staff and your directors. Let’s make this the largest turnout ever of bankers on Capitol Hill. Thanks again for your continued support and commitment to our industry. n

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - February 2013

ABA Banking Journal - February 2013
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
“I’m not just a banker anymore”
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
High-energy banker—a tale of four cities
What’s in it for the customer?
Wealth management goes holistic
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
Legal Issues
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - February 2013

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