Pub. 13 2024 Issue

Chairman’s Message – Recruitment and Development of Leadership

Fellow Community Bankers,

It is hard to believe it has been almost five months since we met in Roanoke. 2023 had to be one of the toughest years to be a community banker. Thank you for supporting your communities during a period of rapidly rising interest rates and uncertainty. Community banks are vital to the growth and stability of our local economies. Your tireless efforts do not go unnoticed.

Continuing to expand on our themes for this year (Building Unity, Recruitment and Development of Leadership, and Execution of our Value Proposition), I would like to focus this column on the second theme: Recruitment and Development of Leadership. Our industry is rapidly changing. New regulations, technology innovations, artificial intelligence, increased fraud, new and expanded customer expectations and competition from the non-banking sector have increased the need to recruit and develop talent within our financial institutions. This is exactly where the VACB and the ICBA can assist.

The VACB provides affordable continuing education and specialized training in several areas that can help develop our future leaders. Log into the VACB website and see the extensive lists of webinars and series. They include topics such as credit analysis, ACH specialist, call reports, fraud, new accounts, compliance and many more. The talent we recruit today comes from many other industries, and the VACB can assist in educating these new employees in the financial services industry.

Likewise, the ICBA also provides a broad selection of courses, seminars and certifications. I recently sent one of my employees to be certified in Enterprise Risk Management. She indicated that it was an excellent series of courses and has provided an increased understanding of ERM in our bank. The VACB website also includes the resources provided by the ICBA.

Speaking of recruiting talent, let me update you on the progress the board has made in recruiting a new leader for the VACB. We have hired a search firm, Vetted Solutions, to assist us with finding Steve’s successor. Next, we created a search committee, which primarily consists of members of the board. Then, we clearly defined the characteristics and skills necessary to lead the VACB in the years ahead, and we developed a thorough job description. We are now actively recruiting candidates to lead the VACB. Initial screenings will be conducted by Vetted Solutions. Interviews by the search committee will begin in late spring and early summer. Our goal is to identify our final candidate by early August and have that individual on board prior to the next convention in Williamsburg.

Thank you to the many Virginia bankers who are registered to attend the ICBA Live annual conference on March 14-17. I look forward to seeing each of you in Orlando. Please mark your calendars for the ICBA Capital Summit in D.C., April 28-30. It’s an excellent time to gather with fellow community bankers and let our legislators know what is important to our communities and how we serve them effectively.

Best regards,
Joe Witt

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