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New Format Combines Events

By: Robb Bertels

The California Bankers Association opened its 119th Annual Convention with a twist. Combining events for the first time, CBA held the 43rd Annual Bank Counsel Seminar in conjunction with its annual convention.

“We are certain that this combined format will be as robust and positive as the two separate conferences, with the added benefit of our bank counsel representatives having the opportunity to attend all of the convention general sessions, social events and meal functions,” said Dan Doyle, CBA chairman and president and CEO of Central Valley Community Bank in Fresno.

The theme of the event was “Defining Success in the New Decade” and explored the new challenges that bankers expect to face, along with the strategies needed for success.

“The past couple of years were dedicated to dealing with and managing the challenges brought by a turbulent economy nationwide, as well as at the state level,” said Doyle. “Yet, as we make our way out of this recession, as a country and as an industry, we find ourselves entering a new era of banking — an era that will be shaped by new, yet still unforeseen federal regulations, and defined by how well we are able to repair the undeservedly tarnished image of our industry and rebuild trust with the public.”

The general sessions at the conference addressed some of the specific challenges faced by bankers, including motivating employees to succeed. The keynote speaker Roxanne Emmerich, president of the Emmerich Group and noted workplace transformation expert and bank consultant, focused on practical strategies to use — and what to stop doing — to make an immediate, positive impact for individual banks.

The program also featured a panel discussion of regulatory reform with panelists representing major state and federal regulatory bodies. Moderated by CBA Chief Administrative Officer Maureen Padden, the panel featured discussions of key regulatory issues, and approaches to examinations and compliance in the current regulatory and economic environment.

The concurrent bank counsel sessions featured discussions on dealing with problem construction loans, litigation in a post-bailout environment and Regulation E overdraft rules changes.

The closing keynote presentation focused on the United States and California economic outlook, with a presentation from Lynn Reaser, chief economist with Point Loma Nazarene University. In her presentation, Reaser discussed the outlook for jobs, interest rates and commercial real estates, as well as the potential for growth in the banking industry in California.

Overall attendance was at the highest level ever, according to CBA President Rod Brown. Total registration was more than 300 between bankers and bank counsel members, Brown reported.

In addition to the concurrent bank counsel and convention sessions, the expo floor hosted more than 30 exhibitors providing products and services for the California banking industry.

Elected as officers for 2010–2011 at the convention were chairman, Richard Smith, president and CEO of Tri Counties Bank, Chico; chairman-elect, Steven Buster, president and CEO of Mechanics Bank, Richmond; treasurer, Mary Allis Curren, executive vice president, Union Bank, San Francisco; and immediate past chairman, Dan Doyle, president and CEO of Central Valley Community Bank, Fresno.

Robb Bertels is national sales director for Western Banking.

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