Central News

New President/CEO Announced by IBAT

June 19 — The Independent Bankers Association of Texas announced the selection of Christopher L. Williston VI to serve as the organization’s next president and CEO. Williston has been a member of the IBAT staff since 2009 and currently serves as the association’s chief operations officer. He will succeed his father, Christopher L. Williston, who has served as IBAT’s president and CEO for the past 30 years, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

IBAT Hosts 33rd Annual Leadership Conference

June 12 — The Independent Bankers Association of Texas — the largest state community banking association in the nation — will host its 33rd Annual Leadership Conference at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort, June 14-16, 2018. More than 200 community bankers and industry advocates from across the state will participate in this three-day event focused on developing leaders in Texas community banking.

This year’s theme at this annual conference designed for both the next generation of leaders and current leaders in community banking is “Connecting Leaders.” Attendees will enjoy a combination of educational offerings, leadership development activities, networking opportunities and entertainment. General sessions are presented by industry experts and nationally renowned speakers. Additionally, there is a golf tournament and Kids Camp as well as a Family Fun Night with dinner, dancing and entertainment by popular cover band Suede, which will perform rock hits from the past five decades and original music.

Educational offerings throughout the event are in the form of general sessions, hot topic breakout sessions and optional workshops. General session highlights include:

  • “Fail Faster: Building Resilient Leaders,” presented by author and TEDx speaker Anne Grady, who will discuss the importance of consistently bouncing back and overcoming failure to ultimately reach success. She will focus on building resilience in organizations.
  • “Never Give Up: The Survivor Way,” presented by motivational speaker and reality show “Survivor” competitor Holly Hoffman, who will explore how we decide to survive on a daily basis and the role adversity plays in learning who we are and what we’re made of.
  • “Business Ethics, Wells Fargo and Mickey Gilley: Why All New Accounts Look Profitable at Closing Time,” presented by author and professor Lyle Sussman, Ph.D., who will present strategies for transforming codes of ethics into behavioral realities, using Wells Fargo as an example.
  • “Lead with Character,” presented by former NFL player Matt Birk, who will look at the complicated and often misunderstood concept of character. He will share a relationship-based approach to leadership that will promote well-being and foster resilience throughout any organization, from top to bottom.

“IBAT’s Leadership Conference gives up-and-coming community bank leaders the opportunity to network, learn from and develop personal relationships with their peers and tenured leaders in the industry — all while enjoying family time in an informal setting,” said Chris Williston, IBAT president and CEO. “Members and staff both enjoy the unique aspects of this conference that make it unlike any other event throughout the year.”

To learn more about IBAT’s 33rd Leadership Conference, visit



First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. to Acquire Northern States Financial Corporation

June 7 – First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (“First Midwest”), headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and the parent company of First Midwest Bank, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Northern States Financial Corporation (“Northern States”), the holding company for NorStates Bank, based in Waukegan, Illinois.


Byline Bancorp, Inc. Completes the Acquisition of First Evanston Bancorp

June 1 – Byline Bancorp, Inc., the holding company of Byline Bank, has completed its acquisition of First Evanston Bancorp, Inc. (“First Evanston”), the parent company of First Bank & Trust. As a result of the transaction, First Bank & Trust has now merged into Byline Bank. The transaction brings Byline’s total assets to approximately $4.4 billion, based on information as of March 31, 2018.


ICBA Calls on Senate Banking Committee to Confirm Bowman

May 15 — The Independent Community Bankers of America has called on the Senate Banking Committee to advance the nomination of Kansas Bank Commissioner Michelle “Miki” Bowman for the Federal Reserve Board. In a letter to the committee ahead of today’s nomination hearing, ICBA said Bowman is ideally suited for the ICBA-advocated seat on the Fed board dedicated to individuals with experience in community banking.


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