Independent Banker

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Building hope for 2021

Independent Banker

“After a very challenging 2020, I encourage you and your loved ones to end the year strong and fill up with hope for what 2021 may bring.”

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Striking the right balance

Independent Banker

“We are poised to lead the charge in striking the right balance of technology and connection for our customers and communities.”. Remember when video conference calls were a novelty? A year ago, I had a smattering of them. Now, not a day goes by without at least eight.

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Rebeca Romero Rainey: A sense of connection

Independent Banker

“There’s an undeniable sense of connection among us, and I’ve seen how community banks have responded.”. What a different August this will be than in previous years.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Address customers’ hurdles

Independent Banker

“Just as we responded to the PPP loan curveball, so, too, have we been there to address the additional hurdles our customers face.”. When we flip our wall calendars to October, we’re regaled by images of pumpkins, ghosts and black cats. Halloween—the ultimate holiday.

5 Things a Data Scientist Can Do to Stay Current

DataRobot together with Snowflake – a leading cloud data platform provider — is helping data scientists stay current with the latest technology and data science best practices so that they can excel in an increasingly AI-driven workplace. Five Things a Data Scientist Can Do to Stay Current offers data scientists guidance for thriving in AI-driven enterprises.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Building hope for 2021

Independent Banker

“After a very challenging 2020, I encourage you and your loved ones to end the year strong and fill up with hope for what 2021 may bring.”

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Leadership is about teamwork

Independent Banker

“Well-executed leadership is less about marching to your own beat and more about creating a well-choreographed team play.”. Remember that childhood game follow-the-leader where one person directed, and the others walked in line? Well, it was not a favorite of mine, and I could never quite pinpoint why. As I’ve moved forward in my career, I realized what bothered me: The leader in that game dictated the path, and others blindly followed suit.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Let’s bring people together

Independent Banker

“With a heart led by compassion, let’s ask ourselves a question: Who do we want to be when we grow up?”. At times in our country, true independence has arisen from points of crisis—critical moments in time that require us to listen and reflect. Just think about the foundation of our nation so many years ago. A crescendo of events drove actions that ultimately led to the birth of a new nation.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: A world of opportunity

Independent Banker

“Today’s technology environment opens the door to a world of opportunity for community bankers.”. Welcome to Independent Banker’s ICBA LIVE 2020 issue! It’s amazing that we’re already celebrating our first convention of a new decade. As a child, the concept of the year 2020 seemed so far-fetched. Fueled by visions of flying cars and robot maids courtesy of The Jetsons, I was sure technology would dominate the landscape. There may be a nugget of truth in those childhood musings.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Do today for tomorrow

Independent Banker

“As community bankers, making the next right choice today will ensure we have a strong, flourishing future.”. We have entered a challenging environment, to say the least. Our banks have been dramatically affected by COVID-19, but without a doubt, we will weather this storm, because we build our model on relationships that stand the test of time. Our efforts don’t anticipate immediate gratification; quite the contrary. We lead with a drive toward what’s next.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

Rebeca Romero Rainey: We make every day better

Independent Banker

“Community banks work hard to ensure that every day is just a little bit better than the last.”. As community bankers, we strive for excellence. We are always looking for ways to build upon the strong foundation we’ve set, whether through the products we offer our customers, the services we bring to the community or the environment we create for our employees. In short, community banks work hard to ensure that every day is just a little bit better than the last. And hard work it is.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: We resolve to support you

Independent Banker

“Our resolution is to continue to bring you the very best support for your prosperity, growth and success in the new year.”. As we enter a new year, we’re filled with a sense of anticipation for everything that will unfold in the coming 12 months. We see a world full of potential, which is exactly what inspires us to set our New Year’s resolutions. However, it takes hard work to hold onto those goals.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: You are the backbone of our nation’s financing

Independent Banker

“When our customers’ needs take center stage, we identify creative solutions to help them achieve their dreams.”. When I think about how the lending market has changed over the past decade, there is one consistent theme—community banks have been, and continue to be, the backbone of our nation’s financing. Despite regulatory hurdles and increased competition from nonbank providers, community banks thrive in both consumer and commercial lending.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Community service is at our industry’s heart

Independent Banker

“Community service is a timeless tradition that’s core to every community bank.”. By Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO, ICBA. As I work on this column, I’m in Santa Fe, preparing to speak at the Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico’s annual convention. I was chairman of this great organization 10 years ago, and the theme of that convention was “Independent Community Banks—A Timeless Tradition.”

The Empowered Consumer

When it comes to working with the empowered consumer, AI has the power to help your business thrive by leveraging your own data to better understand your customers. Read our ebook, The Empowered Consumer, to learn more about how AI can help you connect with your customers.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Embrace the opportunity

Independent Banker

“A plethora of new digital payments offerings now must factor into business strategies.”. As Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” That sentiment rings true for digital payments. Today, community bankers hold a place at the digital payments table, both as drivers of change and as witnesses to the flurry of activity.

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Rebeca Romero Rainey: Tell your incredible story

Independent Banker

“You’ve got an incredible story to tell, and ICBA is honored to help you tell it.”. Community Banking Month holds a special place in my heart. It began early in my career at Centinel Bank of Taos. Every April, I would visit local elementary schools to speak about community banking. And let me tell you, talking to a group of 8-year-olds is a lot more intimidating than speaking to a convention hall of colleagues! To keep their attention and make community banking relevant, I had to get creative.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Connections are critical

Independent Banker

“A plethora of new digital payments offerings now must factor into business strategies.”. What does “the best” mean? It can be a tricky question, as “the best” of anything is usually subject to interpretation. What I think is the best restaurant may not fit your palate, and vice versa. But, in some scenarios, a clear winner rises to the top. For example, in sports, you have a culminating game, race or match to determine the champion, like the World Series—GO NATS!

Rebeca Romero Rainey: We flourish in times of change

Independent Banker

“When community bankers join their voices, they are a powerful force, taking the industry to new levels.”. We’re in a season of unprecedented industry change, particularly when we look at faster payments. In August, the Federal Reserve announced the launch of FedNow, a round-the-clock, real-time payments and settlement service. For the first time in more than 40 years, the Federal Reserve will be standing up a new payments system, the penultimate example of industry change.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Take pride in the work we do

Independent Banker

“While community banks could certainly benefit from the tax advantages credit unions have, we flourish despite them.”. There’s something about September that inspires a focus on priorities. Maybe it’s a throwback to back-to-school, or perhaps I’m gearing up for the switch of seasons. But come September, I spend some time reflecting on where I stand against my goals and what still needs to be done.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: See you at ICBA LIVE

Independent Banker

. “Tim Zimmerman embodies what it means to be a community banker.”. I’m looking forward to seeing you at ICBA LIVE 2019! We’ve been working hard to ensure this year’s convention is the best yet. Our theme is “Community Banks Turn Up the Volume,” and community bankers and our ICBA chairman Tim Zimmerman did just that over the past year.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: We stand the test of time

Independent Banker

“We stand the test of time as pillars of our communities.”. I recently attended an ICBA Services Network meeting where a group of us started reminiscing about the evolution of banking over the past few decades. We collectively wondered at how much has changed for the better. From new products and services to digital strategies and internal efficiencies, we’ve evolved our business to support our customers’ growing needs. Thankfully, we’re no longer filing checks and stuffing statements!

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Create opportunities for new leaders

Independent Banker

“Leadership lies not in the position you hold but in what you do with it.”. After college, I moved back to my hometown of Taos, N.M. I was driven by the goal of doing whatever I could do to make a difference in my community. At the young age of 22, I became the third generation of my family to take the helm as president of Centinel Bank of Taos. I was given a significant opportunity by the board and bank management—one I didn’t take lightly.

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Data Science Fails: Building AI You Can Trust

The new DataRobot whitepaper, Data Science Fails: Building AI You Can Trust, outlines eight important lessons that organizations must understand to follow best data science practices and ensure that AI is being implemented successfully.

15 Minutes With—Les Leskovin

Independent Banker

Photo by Aggie Brooks. Les Leskoven. Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer. for the $521 Million-Asset. Community National Bank & Trust of Texas. in Corsicana, Texas. IB: Tell me about Corsicana. Where’s it located? Leskoven: We’re about 45 miles southeast of Dallas. We’re very centrally located on Interstate 45. It’s a town of about 25,000 people. Our county’s about 50,000. We have several large manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, due to its central location.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: The future is bright

Independent Banker

“The future is bright, and the opportunities for growth are endless.”. I had the opportunity to read this month’s cover story ahead of writing my column. I’m so glad that I did. I was blown away by the incredible community banks that are featured, and I have a feeling you’ll feel the same way! Even after such a phenomenal ICBA LIVE and the ICBA Capital Summit, which may be happening as you read this, I can still draw such inspiration from our nation’s community bankers.

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Analytical and Personable

Independent Banker

Jamey Smith Citizens Bank in Kilgore, Texas. Jamey Smith forges complete partnerships for successful commercial lending. By Judith Sears. As a successful commercial lending specialist for more than 30 years, Jamey Smith, Houston region CEO of Citizens Bank in Kilgore, Texas, has pursued a strategy of getting an in-depth understanding of potential customers and their businesses.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Let’s continue to push the boundaries

Independent Banker

. “Stepping into the unknown can help us accomplish great things.”. It was wonderful to see so many of you at ICBA LIVE a few weeks ago in Nashville, Tenn. It’s always great to be with fellow community bankers, and now, as ICBA president and CEO, our members! What a great time we had—full of learning, inspiration and fun. Our theme this year was all about being bold, in innovation, leadership and life. Stepping into the unknown can help us accomplish great things.

Pressure Points: How to Ensure Your B2B Pipeline Passes Inspection

This eBook highlights best practices for developing a pipeline management process that helps sales leaders and their team C.L.O.S.E (you’ll see what we mean in this eBook) more revenue through data-driven prospecting, stage analysis, and subsequent sales enablement.

Capstone Conference

Independent Banker

Wisconsin bank uses LEAD FWD Summit as a development resource. By Tim Cook. You can feel the energy boost at Park Bank from its leadership development program. Young employees at the community bank in Madison, Wis., are excited. They’re learning new skills. They’re undertaking new challenges. They’re contributing new ideas. “It

15 Minutes With … Jimmy Rasmussen

Independent Banker

In addition to spending time with family, Jimmy Rasmussen enjoys sporting activities, including fishing and deer hunting. Photo by Robert Seale. President and CEO for the $543 Million-Asset HomeTown Bank, N.A., in Galveston, Texas. IB: You were recently reelected to serve a second term on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas board of directors. Rasmussen: Yes, it is an honor to serve the Group 3 Banks in Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Louisiana for three more years.

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Rebeca Romero Rainey: Community bankers take the high road

Independent Banker

“Your character, integrity and strong reputations will continue to serve you well.”. With the 10th anniversary of the Wall Street financial crisis just behind us, let us not forget the wrongdoings of the nation’s largest and most systemically important banks—wrongdoings that led to the Great Recession and the undoing of one too many American dreams. What’s amazing to me is that 10 years later, nearly to the day, the megabanks are doubling down.

Rebeca Romero Rainey: Our efforts are paying off

Independent Banker

. “I know many of these successes took years, but our efforts are paying off.”. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful we are when we work together, community bankers. Since sharing our advocacy successes with you in December, I’ve been thrilled to see more hard-fought victories come our way. And it’s not by luck—it’s through years of telling our unique stories and making our voices heard.

Intelligent Process Automation: Boosting Bots with AI and Machine Learning

Across all sectors, companies are learning that they can transform their businesses by embracing Intelligent Process Automation, or IPA. With the pairing of AI and RPA, IPA adds a new layer of intelligent decision-making processes to automated RPA tasks. By automating repetitive work, and adding the ability to automate intelligent decision making, intelligent automation frees up your most valuable resources – your employees – to spend more time on higher value and more strategic work. But in order to reap the rewards of Intelligent Process Automation, organizations must first educate themselves and prepare for the adoption of IPA. In our ebook, Intelligent Process Automation: Boosting Bots with AI and Machine Learning.