By Amy Heaslet, Executive Vice President/General Counsel, Tennessee Bankers Association
Just as TBA has to come to rely on the sound advice of its board of directors to navigate difficult and important issues ranging from how to address industry challenges to addressing the Association’s strategic direction, banks rely on their directors for the same. During my time at TBA, I have witnessed how the role of and the expectations for a bank’s directors have evolved.
In fact, the strength of a bank’s directors can “make or break” the bank’s success in every area. Strong directors open the doors for new business opportunities, oversee your corporate governance, and ensure that you have the resources needed for the bank’s long-term success.
It is for these reasons why the TBA’s Independent board of directors hosts the Bank Directors Retreat along with the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions each year in Nashville.
The Independent board was organized in 1973 to focus on the needs and concerns of Tennessee community banks. This happened during the time of debate around interstate branching and a desire to make sure that the needs of small, community banks would always have a prominent voice within the TBA.
Fast forward 49 years later and the Tennessee banking industry has evolved into a strong mix of banks of all sizes serving their communities, with the Independent board still focused on the success of community banks. Using the vast knowledge of those serving on the board, its scope has grown, and it now oversees the Community Banking Conference, The Southeastern School of Banking, fintech initiatives and the Bank Directors Retreat.
This year’s Bank Directors Retreat will be held October 28-29 at the Westin Nashville. This program is built to dive into a number of specific issues that are essential for bank directors today. These include learning the traits of a strong bank board, strategies for additional capital, cybersecurity, maintaining your independence and other topics that a bank board needs to be aware of in today’s changing landscape.
Additionally, as part of our partnership with TDFI, you will get an opportunity to visit with Commissioner Greg Gonzales on state regulatory initiatives as well as his current view of Washington.
Immediately preceding this program, from October 27-28 will be the Community Banking Conference. With in-depth programming covering payments, real estate, changes in branch strategies, engaging employees, managing efficiency ratios and more, this is another great opportunity to engage your bank’s leadership.
I encourage you to continue to invest in your bank by bringing your directors to Nashville next month for the Bank Directors Retreat and Community Banking Conference. The educational and networking opportunities will help them build towards the long-term success of your bank.