Tim Zimmerman: Be an advocacy mentor

“By mentoring a fellow community banker, you are growing our community bank advocacy family.”

Tim Zimmerman, Chairman, ICBA

What a great event in Washington! The recent ICBA Capital Summit brought together hundreds of community bankers from across the country to carry our industry’s message to the halls of Congress when it is needed most. With meaningful regulatory relief awaiting action by the House of Representatives, we community bankers rallied in the nation’s capital to advocate the immediate passage of S.2155. And yes, we made a statement!

While it was a successful event and a pleasure to see so many of you, community banker outreach shouldn’t be restricted to those who came to D.C. ICBA continues to put the full-court press on immediate House passage of regulatory relief with our regulatory relief petition (bit.ly/regreliefpetition). If you haven’t signed it yet, please do so as soon as possible. Quite simply, now is our time to act.

Pass it on
I also continue my call for active bankers to enlist colleagues who are not engaged in our advocacy initiatives. During my speech at ICBA Community Banking LIVE in March, I asked those in attendance to commit to seeking out a fellow community banker who isn’t currently advocating and encourage them to participate.

For those committed to serving as mentors, there is a vast array of resources to help. ICBA offers an advocacy guide with tips on getting involved, a short webinar tutorial about community bank advocacy, customizable messages in the Be Heard grassroots action center, and a guide to inviting lawmakers to visit your community bank. See icba.org/advocacy for the full suite of resources.

Think laterally
For community bankers having a hard time finding someone to mentor, think about your contacts and peers. There are plenty of community bankers out there who are talented and knowledgeable but who might be intimidated by the advocacy process or simply short on time. Tell them they already have what they need. They have a story to tell, and ICBA has the resources to help them tell it.

By mentoring a fellow community banker, you are growing our community bank advocacy family and helping to make a positive impact on our industry. And as you know by now, every voice counts.

Tim Zimmerman is CEO of Standard Bank, Monroeville, Pa.
Connect with Tim @TimZimPgh