Kevin Tweddle: Meet Charles Potts

Lightbulb in an egg

By Kevin Tweddle, ICBA

Our ThinkTECH Accelerator and ThinkTECH Network started with a blank piece of paper and a conversation about community bank innovation. Those initial seeds took root, and today, ICBA is on the second iteration of this highly successful program. It boasts participants from around the world and an expansive reach that has garnered widespread interest and media attention. To continue our innovation journey, we have brought on Charles Potts as ICBA’s chief innovation officer.

In this role, Charles will drive ICBA’s innovation strategy and develop new, value-added solutions that will help community banks flourish in today’s market. His background working with community banks contributes to his deep understanding of ICBA’s mission and the challenges community banks face. And his experience starting and running companies and partnering with fintechs and startups offers a unique understanding of the future of our industry given its rapid change.

Community banks are being bombarded with noise, information and even a bit of cynicism from competitors, nonbanks and global financial analysts. We see this as an opportunity to partner in a deeper way with our members, create a community effect and bring valuable solutions to our network of community banks.

Charles will build upon the foundation we have laid. While we have accomplished much, more work remains. It’s important to remember we are at the beginning of a comprehensive initiative that requires we maintain a laser-sharp focus on quality and effective solutions while closely managing the risk associated with new technologies.

The landscape is changing rapidly, and we need to make sure we have the most skilled people and optimal strategies in place to help our community banks move forward. Charles is the best of the best, and I’m delighted he will lead our innovation initiatives going forward.

I’ve also asked Charles to assume authorship of this column as a way to further get to know our members and share his perspectives on our dynamic industry. Charles will also be at our annual convention, so please take a moment to introduce yourself.

Meet Charles Potts at ICBA LIVE 2020

Sunday, March 8

  • 12:30–2:30 p.m.: ThinkTECH Accelerator Showcase
  • 2:30–3:30 p.m.: ThinkTECH Mixer

Tuesday, March 10

  • 7:30–8:25 a.m.: Community Banking and Fintech: What’s Next?
  • 1:00–1:55 p.m.: Innovation Case Studies

Wednesday, March 11

  • 8:40–9:35 a.m.: ThinkTECH the Year After

Kevin Tweddle ( is ICBA senior executive vice president of community bank solutions