ABA Banking Journal - May 2014 - (Page 6)

editor's column BY BILL STREETER When opportunity knocks, will you answer? S "Such stories remind us that there is no wall between business and life, or between life and anything else. IT'S ALL ONE" BILL STREETER bstreeter@sbpub.com 6| ABA BANKING JOURNAL | MAY 2014 ometimes a motivational speaker really does motivate. Such was the case with the subject of our First Person article this month (p. 44). The story is about Ken Wood, a bank director who runs a water-drilling business. Here's how he describes his reaction upon hearing a motivational speaker talk about conditions in Africa: "When God rings the phone, you better pick it up." All of us have moments when something awakens us to an opportunity-a comment from a trusted friend, a mentor, or our own intuition. These moments usually can be uncomfortable because they present us with a decision-will we act? The bank director did act on his "call," and, as you can read, it has made all the difference in his life and the lives of many others. Such stories remind us that there is no wall between business and life, or between life and anything else. It's all one. We are presented with a combination of time and circumstances in which to live. How we use those ultimately is the most important thing. Bank CEO Kelly King spoke about this at some length at the end of his keynote address to the ABA Real Estate Lending Conference last month. "Life goes by really fast," said the head of BB&T Corp., where he has worked for 42 years. "And the shame of it is most people spend their lives either living in the past or in the future. ... Not one of us can change yesterday," he said, "and not one of us has tomorrow promised. The essence of life is to get hold of that reality and to live in the moment, focused on doing the best you can do today." (Read a transcript of King's remarks at http:// tinyurl.com/kinglessons) In another article (p. 28), you'll read how the visit of a banker to an inner city classroom inspired a young black man to strive to be like that banker. That alone would be a good result, but the young man did not pursue success only for himself. He built an organization to help others in poverty to "learn the language of money," which he believes is the key to achieving financial dignity. That young man, John Hope Bryant, founded Operation Hope in 1992. In March, ABA and Operation Hope agreed to partner toward the goal of increasing financial literacy and economic empowerment. Quite a few banks have worked with Operation Hope over the years, but many may be unfamiliar with the group. The article will tell you a lot, but the best way to learn about Hope is to see it in action. In early April I took the subway to the 125th St. branch of Popular Community Bank to attend the opening of the first Hope Inside office in New York City. There I had a chance to speak with two participants in the Hope Inside small business seminar-Chauntee Jackson and Mansur Abdus-Salaam. This was an inspiration in itself. Both spoke convincingly of their commitment to get their fledgling businesses up and running. Any bank would want them as customers. There are likely millions of people like these two around the country who, as Bryant observes, don't need a handout, but a hand up. This new ABA alliance is an opportunity for the industry to embrace a task for which it is very well suited. Doing so can only bring benefits short and long term to a bank, its community, and the country. http://tinyurl.com/kinglessons http://tinyurl.com/kinglessons

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - May 2014

Chairman's View
Editor's Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
ABABJ Online
Picture This
Who will fill the chair?
Pass the Aspirin
Midsize Standouts
Doing well by doing good
Tech Topics
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - May 2014

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