Welcome to the post-convention issue of the Community Banker.
I am pleased to share that the Annual Convention and Tradeshow was a great success, with many attendees reporting that it was the best MIB convention to date. Attendees had fun participating in a variety of fun activities in Big Sky, like the whitewater rafting and golfing.
MIB was fortunate to have ICBA Chair Derek Williams join us. Derek provided a fun and informative keynote address during the closing dinner. He spoke to the need for the continued partnership by and between ICBA and MIB. He also spoke to the benefits both associations provide to Montana’s community banking industry through issue advocacy and member relations services. Derek also notified attendees that the 2024 ICBA national convention will be held in Orlando on March 14-17, so mark those dates in your calendar now.
MIB was also blessed to have a great lineup of convention speakers. The education sessions were well received by those in attendance. Timely topics ranged from covering Montana’s economic forecast to the growth of the fintech industry. And, of course, attendees heard from Melanie Hall, Montana’s Commissioner of Banking. Commissioner Hall provided a recap of banking legislation enacted by the 2023 Montana legislative session, including a bill passed to allow banks to provide employee housing.
In addition to the great list of speakers and education presentations, the tradeshow and vendor/associate member recognition night was widely attended. Representatives from some 22 member banks were in attendance — the largest turnout for a convention in the last 15 years. What’s more, MIB’s bank members were joined this year by some 67 different associate member businesses, including 20 exhibitors — most of which are faithful MIB associate members. MIB’s associate members have become part of Montana’s community banking family, and we enjoy seeing our friends and partners each and every year.
The success of this year’s state convention is also directly attributable to the high level of sponsorship received from MIB’s associate members. To this end, MIB’s board and officers recognize and appreciate the many contributions, monetary or otherwise, our association partners provide, and we thank those who sponsored and attended the convention. Please be sure to check out the page in this issue that lists these sponsors and, in turn, thank them with your business.
One of the best takeaways from the convention are the photographs that memorialize our time together. That’s why you will find, within this edition, pictures capturing the essence of the 2023 MIB Convention. I encourage you to turn to those pages and see all the memories created from this fun and exciting convention.
Turning now to other association events, in May, MIB traveled to Washington, D.C. for the ICBA Washington Policy Summit. The national summit is another way MIB partners with ICBA to benefit Montana’s community banks. The Summit is the community banking industry’s best opportunity to make known to federal regulators and policymakers what issues are on the minds of Montana’s community bankers.
Following in the footsteps of Jefferson Smith, MIB board members traveled to D.C., including MIB President Tim Schreiber, Shawn Dutton, Kenny Martin, Loren Brown, Scott Mizner and outgoing ICBA State Director Pete Johnson. During their time in our nation’s capital, the group met personally with all four of Montana’s congressional delegation, while taking in a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York.
The group discussed with Montana’s congressional delegation several national issues of interest. These issues included, but were not limited to: (1) eliminating unfair farm credit services and credit union tax subsidies and proper formulation of the next farm bill credit programs; (2) keeping credit unions within their proper mission and proper oversight of the same; (3) implementing adequate examination and supervision of the too-big-to-fail institutions, particularly in light of the recent bank failures; (4) supporting the SAFE Act, legislation to create a safe harbor from federal sanctions for banking cannabis-related businesses; and (5) opposing postal banking.
ICBA’s Washington Policy Summit is the most effective way to directly communicate the banking industry’s positions on federal policies to those making the policies. Your voice in this regard is important and needed. If you are interested in participating in the 2024 Washington Policy Summit, please contact me. There is a scholarship opportunity for first-time participants.
We very much look forward to seeing you at next year’s state convention and tradeshow. The event will be held in Missoula at the Hilton Garden Inn. The dates are slated for July 17-19, 2024. MIB has not held a convention in Missoula since 2018, and we are excited to make a return to the “Garden City” in the summer of 2024.
Thanks again to all those who attended this year’s convention. I hope you have a great rest of your summer.