Association Updates

ABA Faces Discrimination Lawsuit

October 22 — A new lawsuit brought by Outten & Golden LLP on behalf of Christine “Christy” Walika, alleges that women and minorities employed by the American Bankers Association “are subjected to systemic discrimination and a culture of fear designed to deter them from reporting discrimination or otherwise advocating for equal opportunity,” according to a release from the firm.


Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Honored

October 4 — Community Bankers Association of Illinois annually presents a Service Development Award to a provider of goods and/or services to Illinois community bankers who have performed above and beyond the call of duty to benefit the cause of community banking through CBAI either during the past year or over a period of years. CBAI announced at its 44th Annual Convention, held recently in St. Louis, that the recipient of the 2018 Service Development Award is Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.


IBAT Elects New Leadership Division Board Members

July 11 — The Leadership Division of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas elected new board members during the 33rd Annual IBAT Leadership Conference at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort, June 14-16.


Furlow Takes Office as TBA President, CEO

July 3 — Chris Furlow officially took the helm as the new president and CEO of the Texas Bankers Association, succeeding Eric Sandberg, who retired after holding the position for nine years. Furlow was named to the post in January 2018 following a nationwide search that included more than 200 candidates.

In advance of the leadership transition, Furlow joined TBA on April 1. Since that time, he has logged more than 8,000 miles on the road and in the air traveling Texas to hear directly from TBA members about their challenges and needs.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting around and meeting both leaders and employees of Texas banks,” Furlow said. “In addition to drilling down on the issues our members are facing, I’ve had the opportunity to see up-close and personal what wonderful people Texas bankers are. It’s certainly an honor to be leading the oldest and largest state banking association in the nation.”

Furlow says his No. 1 priority is “to work with urgency to address the competitive, regulatory and cyber risk that challenges banks of all sizes — but particularly our community banks that have fewer resources and personnel to combat them.”

Furlow understands these risks well. Most recently he served as president of Ridge Global, an international risk management and cybersecurity firm, where clients included banks and energy companies. He served in the George W. Bush White House following the 9/11 attacks and was a senior member of the founding staff at the Department of Homeland Security. He previously served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and as communications director for a member of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee.

“As Gov. Abbott will tell you, the Texas economy is among the top 10 on the planet. But with a world-class opportunity comes world-class threats. TBA will help our member banks reduce these risks so they can do what they do best — help Texas businesses grow and families succeed,” he said.

Furlow also brings deep statewide and national political experience to TBA’s advocacy efforts for community banks. A Louisiana native, he served as executive director of the Louisiana GOP in the early 1990s. He was later appointed National Field Director at the Republican National Committee where he managed the RNC’s political staff during the 2000 presidential election. More recently, he has held leadership roles with the U.S. Chamber Commerce Cyber Leadership Council.

“Whether we are advocating on behalf of our members in Austin or Washington, TBA will communicate that most Texas banks are themselves small and family-owned businesses that enable the growth of other small businesses,” Furlow said. “The well-being of Texas banks is directly tied to the success of the communities they serve.”



There Is the Economy, Then There Is the Challenge of Community Banking

By Bill Poquette, Editor-in-Chief

As is common when bankers gather for their annual meetings, there were touches of penetrating economic insight from the podium at the Missouri Bankers Association convention June 13-15 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach beside the Lake of the Ozarks.


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