Incoming Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) Chairman Noah Wilcox called on 2020 ICBA LIVE national convention attendees to exert their political influence and strong community ties to support the community banking industry.
“We are all part of the same strong root system that underpins the forest of community banking nationwide,” said the President, CEO, and Chairman of Grand Rapids State Bank and its holding company, Wilcox Bancshares Inc., in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. “We depend on one another, and that's how we thrive and flourish.”
The fourth-generation community banker noted the symbiotic relationship that binds community banks to their customers and communities. He also cited the importance of instituting a grassroots advocacy program to instruct and empower future community bank leaders to make their voices heard in Washington.
Wilcox recounted several key legislative and regulatory victories of the past year and implored the assembled crowd to utilize ICBA’s resources to illuminate the path forward for lawmakers and help strengthen Main Street.
“Advocacy success takes time, but we community bankers have shown again and again that we have the diligence and the patience to see our campaigns all the way through to the harvest,” he said.
Wilcox concluded his remarks by encouraging community bankers to foster the next generation of community banking through innovation and succession planning.
“The community bank reputation, name, and integrity are ours and ours alone to defend, protect and promote,” he said. “Just like the waters in Minnesota's 10,000 lakes that ebb and flow, we must be nimble and agile as we navigate to ensure our prosperous future.