Q&A with first-time Capital Summit attendee

“It’s critical that congressional delegations hear from their constituents and get firsthand reports of how legislation is affecting their districts.”
—Greg Miskovsky,
first international bank and trust

The Arizona-based community banker attended the ICBA Capital Summit for the first time this year. He tells us about the highlights—including a trip to the White House.

Interview by Sara Schlueter

In May, Greg Miskovsky, Arizona regional president of the $2.4 billion-asset First International Bank and Trust, which is headquartered in North Dakota, traveled to Washington, D.C., for the 2017 ICBA Capital Summit and Future of Banking Symposium. As a first-timer, what were his impressions?

IB: Why did you decide to attend this year’s ICBA Capital Summit? 
Miskovsky: As the newly elected Arizona federal delegate, I was excited to participate in the summit, and I had heard good things about the experience. I wasn’t disappointed. There are many benefits of going, including meeting colleagues from around the country and working together to make sure community bankers have our voices heard. Others from First International Bank and Trust had attended in the past, and we have a history of supporting ICBA.

IB: Did you meet with any legislators?
Miskovsky: Our headquarters is in North Dakota, so we met with Rep. Kevin Cramer, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Sen. John Hoeven. Our Arizona legislators were unable to meet with us at the appointed times, so we met with the staffs of Sen. Jeff Flake and Congressman David Schweikert. We look forward to meeting them in person next time.

IB: What was the best part of the Capital Summit?
Miskovsky: I enjoyed meeting the various legislators and forging new professional relationships. But without a doubt, the highlight of the trip was the opportunity to go to the Rose Garden and listen to Linda McMahon, Gary Cohn, Vice President Pence and President Trump speak directly to 100 ICBA members.

IB: What were some key takeaways for you?
Miskovsky: Your voice makes a difference. It’s critical that congressional delegations hear from their constituents and get firsthand reports of how legislation is affecting their districts.  

IB: What messages will you bring back to your bank?
Miskovsky: Bankers need to be engaged and get involved. Community banks play a vital role in our nation’s economy, and they need to have a voice in Washington. The more we work together to make necessary changes, the better service we can provide to our communities.

IB: What was the primary message of the Future of Banking Symposium?
Miskovsky: To me, the key message was that ICBA is consistently advocating for change in areas that affect community banking. Things like capital, regulatory relief and mortgage reform directly affect how we run our business and service our customers.

Sara Schlueter is associate managing editor of Independent Banker.