It’s hard to believe July is nearly over. It’s been a very busy spring and summer at ICBND and it’s been my pleasure to witness firsthand some of the fabulous education and development programs that were established before my time as your association president. The Emerging Leaders summer conference in Fargo included a tremendous program with Steve Scheel delivering the keynote address along with a tour of Scheels corporate campus. The success of the Scheels organization is rooted in customer service, understanding customers’ wants and needs, teamwork, and accountability. It reminded me very much of the independent community bankers in our state. The talent, enthusiasm and camaraderie of the Emerging Leaders group is impressive and infectious. It’s not too late to get involved in Emerging Leaders for 2015 as the fall session in Riverdale on September 18 is sure to be another great event.
In late June, ICBND convened the 2nd year of the Agricultural Lending School. I won’t dwell on this too much as you can read more specifics about the school in this newsletter. Suffice it to say, it was a tremendous success with 39 participants and an almost equal mix of first-year and second-year students. I’ve been anxious to participate in the school since the day I started at ICBND because I know how critical agriculture and the success of our farmers and ranchers is to our state and to community banking. The timeliness of this school and its curriculum can’t be overstated. We all know that we are in the midst of challenging times in agriculture particularly on the crop production side. Understanding customers and the challenges of their business is vital to the relationship with them. This school is possible because of ICBND’s tremendous partnership with NDSU and BSC and the overwhelming support of our bank and associate members. Whether it’s instructional expertise, event sponsorship, or student participation, our members always seem to deliver!
Finally, if you’ve not already done so, please register for the 48th Annual ICBND Convention on August 16-18 in Bismarck. An impressive lineup of speakers, events and exhibitors is slated with Cam Fine, President and CEO of ICBA, delivering the keynote address at Tuesday evening’s banquet. ICBND staff puts a tremendous amount of work into the convention and I’m certain it will be another memorable event.
I hope to see you in a couple weeks!