Several years ago, I was listening to an executive for a large company give an update on their financial performance. After several minutes of pointing out the company’s strong results, she transitioned into a discussion of its community investment. Her transition statement has always stuck with me: “So it’s obvious that, as a company, we are doing well. More importantly, though, are we doing good?”

As our ICBA LIVE theme points out, community banks and bankers are “here for good,” and that phrase works in multiple ways.

“We are committed to making the lives of those around us better, to serve and to truly be here for good.”

First, we are not going away. Our relationship-based model of banking will always be relevant and in demand. We tailor our products and services to each individual customer. We take local deposits from people we know and trust and use them to make loans to people we know and trust. There will always be a place in our communities for bankers who live, work and play in those communities. We are here in perpetuity—here for good. 

But it goes much deeper than that. Community banks are important investors in the communities we serve. Our loans to local individuals and small businesses fuel community growth and prosperity. Our support of local charities and civic organizations assists those who are struggling and in need. Many community bankers serve on local boards for philanthropic organizations and as elected officials to lead and guide our communities. We are all about building better communities because our families are part of them. We are committed to making the lives of those around us better, to serve and to truly be here for good.

Quote of the month

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

— Booker T. Washington, educator, author, orator and advisor

This mindset speaks to how we are evolving our banks today. Take fintech partnerships, which add high-tech products to our high‑touch model of service. Or think of new compliance solutions, which help us take care of our customers and give us confidence that we’re fair and equitable in everything we do. Consider fraud mitigation technologies and education efforts, which help our customers better protect their hard-earned funds. No matter which product line you review, you see our here-for-good mentality leading us into the future. 

As we prepare for ICBA LIVE next month, let’s lean into this theme. Every general session, educational opportunity and personal interaction is a reminder that what we do matters. The LIVE experience cannot be replicated; it’s like an energy drink for community bankers, inspiring us with new ideas for supporting our communities. Join us in Orlando, so we, collectively, can advance our mission to be here for good.