Colin Barrett, President/CEO, Tennessee Bankers Association
The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs was the perfect backdrop for the 132nd Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Bankers Association. With 640 attendees, this annual gathering of Tennessee bankers and industry allies has remarkably grown over the past decade despite continued consolidation among banks. I’m confident that it is a result of the strong sense of community that has always existed among the Tennessee banking industry and has grown through the pandemic.
And while picking favorite Conventions is like picking a favorite child, this one stood out in large part because of the great speakers and activities that took place during our time together. Opening with the Travelers Institute President Joan Woodward providing an overview of the economic and the political landscape and wrapping up with an inspirational story of leadership from famed mountain climber Eric Alexander, the program was full of memorable moments for attendees. And former Comptroller of the Currency Gene Ludwig and our friends at ABA and ICBA provided a deep dive into issues facing the industry. A significant portion of the program and breakouts were focused on the future of our industry and how changing technology is opening doors for banks to compete in ways that would never have been considered possible a short time ago.
The convention also represents a time of transition for the Association as we welcome a new board of directors. It was a privilege to work with TBA’s 2021-22 Chairman Allen McClary, Chairman and CEO of UBank. His good-natured personality provided a steady hand for the Association as we returned to our first “normal” post-pandemic Association year. As Allen led the Association, he was also overseeing a time of unprecedented growth at his bank. One of the highlights for our team was visiting UBank’s newest branch in Knoxville during our membership meetings last August to witness firsthand how Tennessee banks continue to evolve and serve our communities.
I’m looking forward to working with our new TBA Chairman McCall Wilson in the year ahead. In addition to serving as the president and CEO of The Bank of Fayette County, McCall brings years of experience, having served the industry on the national stage as Chairman of the ABA Community Bankers Council.
As we enter a new Association year, here is a preview of what to expect in our core mission of serving the industry through education and government relations.
Over the past year, our education programs, led by Monique White and Sheena Frech, saw tremendous growth that we will continue to build on. The Women in Banking Conference outgrew the TBA Training Center and will be in a new location this fall. TBA’s forums also saw continued growth, and we are adding additional groups to meet demand. And our Young Bankers’ Division experienced significant growth with new bankers and banks participating in each of its programs throughout the year, and we expect that trend to continue.
Our schools continue to grow to levels not seen in 20 years. With a renewed need to train the next generation of bankers, our Commercial Lending and Consumer Lending Schools as well as The Southeastern School of Banking are all experiencing growth, and in some cases hitting our capacity for the number of students.
TBA had a successful 2022 legislative session in Nashville with the passage of legislation to expand collateral used to pledge against public deposits as well as stopping legislation that would have restricted interchange fee income. Amy Heaslet and Stacey Langford are actively preparing for what we expect to be an active 2023 session. As you think of potential legislation that would help you better serve your customers, please reach out to our team.
And to be successful in the political process, we must continue to support those that support our banks and customers. BankPac set a record last year, and under the leadership of TBA Government Relations Chair Pete Williston and TBA’s Caroline Latham, we are well on our way to setting a new record in 2022.
The year ahead is full of opportunity for the Tennessee banking industry, and I look forward to working with each of you to make it a success.