During the last week of March, the PACB traveled across PA to reach out to members and provide them with an opportunity to network, learn and grow. During the three-day blitz we met with more than 200 bankers to talk about the importance of community banking and encourage PACB members to communicate how they are positively impacting their hometowns each and every day. It was exciting to see so many new faces in the crowd, as each Region had a great showing of NextGen Community Bank Leaders!
The meetings were held in Monroeville, State College and Malvern and were designed to foster facilitated roundtable discussions and spontaneous networking around topics that are impacting the community banking industry. Some of the roundtable topics included; appealing to millennials and attracting younger customer base, combating emerging digital security threats (Spectre etc.), hot legislative & regulatory issues, leveraging community involvement to create growth, payments technology – where is it going and emerging technology Blockchain/Bitcoin…how is it being used for clearing and interbank payments. The discussions were intense and provided an excellent forum for the bankers to connect and expand their network of colleagues.
In each region, the roundtable discussions were followed by two fantastic sessions. The first, “Community Banks and the Media – Winning with the Press” was provided by Pat Dix from SHAZAM. Pat is a senior public relations manager, but spent the majority of his career as a television news anchor. The program challenged bankers to think differently, define what it is that makes them different and provided tips and tools to earn unpaid PR/media the right way.
The second presentation, from Dave DeFazio of StrategyCorps, was entitled “The Amazon Prime Effect – Surviving in the New Subscription Society.” Armed with Alexa, mobile apps like Zelle, Venmo, Digit, and a preview of Erica – Bank of America’s app that has intuitive AI – DeFazio blew the audience away. He also provided research results that show younger generations are more than willing to pay fees, buy subscriptions for services and engage in other behaviors that can make banking relationships personal and loyal. Banks just need to create strategy around this next wave of purchasing behaviors and provide customers more than what they expect. Dare to think differently…dare to take some risk…dare to change.
Following an amazing morning of education and discussion, it was PACB’s pleasure to honor the Grow Your Community Award winners at each location. Each bank provided a verbal synopsis of their community project, service and/or support to the colleagues in the audience and accepted the awards from PACB. It was an excellent opportunity for banks to learn from one another and consider implementing impactful programs from other communities into their own.
This year’s PACB Regional Meetings were three days dedicated to the value, importance, economic involvement and the compassionate message of community banking. We were so pleased to be able to highlight the industry, and recognize just a sampling of its good works. But what is always more rewarding is spending time with the people who make dreams come true in hometowns across the Commonwealth. You all are truly community bankers doing community good. Here’s to Keeping the Lights In Our Hometown!
To review the winning entries from the 2017 GROW Awards, please CLICK HERE.