Rebeca Romero Rainey: Do today for tomorrow

“As community bankers, making the next right choice today will ensure we have a strong, flourishing future.”

We have entered a challenging environment, to say the least. Our banks have been dramatically affected by COVID-19, but without a doubt, we will weather this storm, because we build our model on relationships that stand the test of time.

Our efforts don’t anticipate immediate gratification; quite the contrary. We lead with a drive toward what’s next. We focus on those short-term decisions that influence our future and advance long-term gains. From thoughtful choices about capital investments to ways we can support small businesses, what we do today intentionally shapes where we’re heading tomorrow.

Early in my career, my father instilled in me this “do today for tomorrow” philosophy. He pointed out that making the right hard decision today will fuel future success. While it’s not simple, as we tackle today’s challenges—placing our relationships at the center of our decisions—we will set ourselves up for a stronger future.

Where I’ll be this month

I’ll be looking forward to continuing our conversations virtually and connecting via social media and other channels.

This same mentality permeates our thinking at ICBA. As we reflect on the 90 years we have served community banks, we recognize that we have been and continue to be committed to our business model. We are focused on the long term, making investments now that will effect change over time, in advocacy and education, industry and association.

But that position will only hold if we, collectively, continue to make decisions that propel us forward. For example, we are making financial investments in the future of technology through the ThinkTECH Accelerator. Or consider our LEAD FWD program, which provides the framework to advance new leaders and helps support succession planning at the management and ownership levels. On the advocacy front, we look to our Wake Up campaign, designed to chip away at credit union injustices. As our impact accumulates over time, it will have a profound effect on our long-term competitive posture. And we have a renewed focus on de novo charters to help foster an environment that nurtures new charter creation and supports the continued growth and viability of community banking.

So, as we navigate the tricky waters of today’s environment, let’s not forget that today’s actions will continue to advance tomorrow’s opportunities. We see that sentiment reflected in this month’s best-performing banks, which exemplify community banks’ tenacity and leadership even when times are tough. Year after year, they have made the difficult daily decisions that are helping them achieve their long-term vision.

And, after all, isn’t that the key to our success? As community bankers, making the next right choice today will ensure we have a strong, flourishing future.

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