Rebeca Romero Rainey: Striking the right balance

Rebeca Romero Rainey

“We are poised to lead the charge in striking the right balance of technology and connection for our customers and communities.”

Remember when video conference calls were a novelty? A year ago, I had a smattering of them. Now, not a day goes by without at least eight. I’m grateful for the technology, but, as social creatures, we’re also hardwired to seek connection. So, as we become more digital, what becomes of the relationship?

This conundrum presents a significant opportunity for community bankers. Our business model has always been a combination of high tech and high touch. As we move to a more technology-forward environment, retaining that personal component will be paramount. Given our relationship banking approach, we are poised to lead the charge in striking the right balance of technology and connection for our customers and communities.

What you need to know

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ICBA offers resources to support community banks in telling their stories. Beyond the Marketing and Communications Toolkit, consider our Community Bank Virtual Marketing Seminar later this month ( or use the ICBA Social Media Monitor as a no-cost member benefit (

Because what we do is personal. When we can work with small business owners to make their dreams come true or help those first-time homebuyers close on their perfect house, it creates a link that can’t be replaced. It also builds trust, creating a unique bond that allows us to become a partner and advisor. Any technological solution we have in place simply offers the mechanism to cement that relationship; it’s the partnership with our customer that provides the true value.

Take our work this year on Paycheck Protection Program loans. While small businesses turned to community bankers in need of capital, they also were looking for understanding and support. With branches closed and social distancing in effect, community bankers answered their needs with a combination of technological innovation and human compassion.

The stories in this Independent Banker issue highlight our continued efforts to innovate in ways that allow us to build relationships. As you read this month, I hope that you’ll think about using our Marketing and Communications Toolkit ( to share your community bank’s successes with your customers. The country needs to know what differentiates community bankers: You lead with your hearts, rising to respond to the needs of your communities.

While the pandemic has been horrific, this time of year gives us an opportunity to count our blessings. I, for one, am thankful for technological solutions that allow us to pivot and serve our customers in new ways. I am thankful for the resilience of community bankers, who never give up when it comes to providing for their communities. Above all, I am thankful to work with such a passionate, empathetic industry that puts their communities first.

In that spirit of gratitude for all that you do, we at ICBA wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

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