ABA Banking Journal - June 2012 - (Page 46)
Do banks benefit from the ABA-SBAs Alliance?
An interview with Gary Fields, ABA senior vice-president, Alliance of State Bankers Associations/BankPac
ABABJ: What can you tell us about the Alliance between ABA and the state bankers associations? Gary Fields: There are very few, if any, relationships at ABA that are more important than the one we share with the state bankers associations. This relationship between ABA and the 54 autonomous organizations in the Alliance provides immeasurable benefits to our members and is not replicated by any other association or industry. It’s unique in this town. ABABJ: How does the Alliance work? GF: ABA and state bankers associations have pledged to work together to improve the competitive position of our members. In practical terms, this means connecting, communicating, and coordinating on issues broad in scope and scale. This is absolutely critical to the success of our advocacy efforts, including ABA BankPac. Our annual Government Relations Summit, congressional fly-ins, our Washington Visits Program, grassroots advocacy—it’s the Alliance that makes these things possible and successful. ABABJ: How does everyone stay connected? GF: We have regularly scheduled conference calls for state execs and ABA’s legislative and regulatory staff experts to share their perspectives. The frequency of these calls can vary. During an intense legislative period, these calls can be daily or even hourly. We also have an online group site—the “State Association Network”—for all of us to share information. Each year we also host a State Executives Workshop, which brings everyone together in person. The Alliance also connects state associations’ volunteer banker leaders, many of whom serve on ABA’s councils and committees. ABABJ: Are the state executives active in ABA’s leadership? GF: Absolutely. Approximately 50% of state bankers association executives serve on committees, councils, or task forces at ABA, and the Alliance chair serves on the ABA Board. The state execs provide us with enormous help. Curt Everson, president of South Dakota Bankers Association, and Bruce Whitehurst, president and CEO of Virginia Bankers Association, are chairman and vice-chairman of the Alliance
| ABA BANKING JOURNAL | june 2012
of State Bankers Associations Administrative Committee. ABABJ: What can you tell us about ABA BankPac? GF: One of the many success stories at ABA is ABA BankPac and that success is due to the Alliance between ABA and state associations. There are 45 state association political action committees affiliated under Federal Election Committee rules with ABA BankPac. Because we’re able to raise $3.5 million to $4 million per election, we’re in 380 of 435 House races and every Senate race, which makes us one of the top 10 PACs in this town. We are the top financial services PAC in size and candidate contributions. We’re governed by a committee that is chaired by a banker and includes three state executives. For every dollar contributed, we’ve been in close consultation with a state association. ABABJ: You’ve had two holes-in-one playing golf, with your first coming at a well-known venue.... GF: My first was at the Blue Monster at Doral, with a 7 iron on the 165-yard 15th hole. I was playing with Jeff Owen (chief of staff, ABA), Max Cook (president/CEO, Missouri Bankers Association), and George Beattie (president/CEO, Nebraska Bankers Association). See how the Alliance works? For more information about the Alliance or ABA BankPac, e-mail Gary Fields at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - June 2012
ABA Banking Journal - June 2012
ABA Community Banking: A purpose-built bank
Pass the Aspirin
Science of the complaint
Top-performing community banks
ABA Banking Journal - June 2012