Rebeca Romero Rainey: We stand the test of time

“We stand the test of time as pillars of our communities.”

I recently attended an ICBA Services Network meeting where a group of us started reminiscing about the evolution of banking over the past few decades. We collectively wondered at how much has changed for the better. From new products and services to digital strategies and internal efficiencies, we’ve evolved our business to support our customers’ growing needs. Thankfully, we’re no longer filing checks and stuffing statements!

But when we examine things more closely, we see that in some respects, much remains the same. Despite industry transformation, the core of who we are as community bankers stays constant. While how we do things has changed, our collective mission endures. We’re here to serve our customers and our communities to the best of our ability.

Where I’ll be this month

I will be attending the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota convention. While in Minnesota, I will also spend some time at our Sauk Centre office.

Nowhere was that more apparent than when I flew back to Taos, N.M., to attend Centinel Bank’s 50th anniversary celebration in April. The stories that were shared emphasized the pivotal, permanent role a community bank serves in its home environment. Over the past 50 years, our family and the incredible team at the bank have helped to support the creation of countless businesses. Many of those businesses, like the local auto part store and a local restaurant, are still flourishing, and they now are being passed down to the next generation of business owners: the daughters, sons and, in some cases, grandchildren of the founders. All the while, Centinel Bank has stood as a fixture for their banking needs. From the day it opened its doors, the community bank has maintained an active role and still serves as their bank today.

The relationships we forge allow us to support those who live and work locally, and we help to write the future of our towns. This is what makes us so unique. We stand the test of time as pillars of our communities.

This spirit of community is why ICBA exists. As you read this month’s issue celebrating membership, I hope you’ll take to heart the stories that show what it means to be a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America. I encourage you to look for new ways to leverage your membership to fulfill your mission to serve as a presence in your community for generations.

It’s often said that the only constant is change. In community banking, we need to flip that lens to account for generations of impact. Because when change is upon us, we remain constant, continuing to do what we do best: serve our customers and communities.

Rebeca Romero Rainey President and CEO, ICBA
Connect with Rebeca @romerorainey