What to expect at ICBA Connect

ICBA Connect graphic

ICBA Connect is your moment to relax, reflect and recharge. This virtual event will be unlike anything you’ve seen before. On March 9 and 10, expect to be surprised. You, your team and community bankers all over the country will come together, be inspired and hear from one-of-a-kind thinkers and doers.

By Eric Best

After a hard 12 months, it’s time for community bankers to come together. You and your team have worked around the clock to help your customers and your communities get through a tough year. At the same time, the pandemic has made it harder for your team to keep in touch like you used to. ICBA Connect is an opportunity to reconnect and refocus on the future.

This year, ICBA’s annual convention will come in the form of ICBA Connect, an immersive livestreamed event on March 9 and 10 for community bank leaders and their teams. Don’t worry, this isn’t another Zoom or Skype call—far from it, in fact. Over two days, ICBA Connect will feature seven can’t-miss speakers and must-have moments to pause, breathe and begin piecing together the path ahead.

“ICBA Connect will kick-start a bank team’s energy, imagination and overall performance.”
—Lindsay LaNore, ICBA

“ICBA Connect allows your whole bank to take part in an energetic, creative, and power-packed two days,” says ICBA president and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. “With the lineup of speakers and programming over two days, ICBA Connect will provide your team and the community bank industry a way to recharge and join together.”

Why attend ICBA Connect?

Ditch your preconceived notions about what a digital meeting can be. This isn’t a webinar or a sales pitch. It will be an unforgettable spirit week for the community banking industry packed into two days.

ICBA Connect is a fully ICBA-produced virtual event tailored to the needs of your community bank and your teams. Think of it as a group training event with the dial turned up to 11. There simply isn’t another opportunity out there for community banks like ICBA Connect, thanks to its top-tier speakers and ICBA’s laser focus on member community banks.

“Sharing ICBA Connect with employees can also help employees be more creative, discover hidden talents and speed up productivity,” says Lindsay LaNore, ICBA’s chief learning and experience officer. “ICBA Connect will kick-start a bank team’s energy, imagination and overall performance.”

At a glance: ICBA Connect

Where: Online; just register for a connection to the event
When: Tuesday and Wednesday, March 9–10, from 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST

  • Seven electrifying keynote speakers
  • Speeches from ICBA leaders Rebeca Romero Rainey, Noah Wilcox and Robert Fisher
  • The 32nd annual silent auction fundraiser benefiting ICBPAC on March 9

How to register

Go to icba.org/connect to register on or before March 1. See the FAQ for more details on how and who to register.

Invite everyone on your team

Though community bankers can’t come together physically this year, this digital gathering will allow even more community bank employees to safely and easily attend from the convenience of their computer or other device. ICBA Connect is open to staff at any level of the bank, so you can get your entire team involved in the event with a single, bankwide registration. Join the action from your office, your home or wherever.

When has your community bank been able to invite all staff for a group training session without closing the bank or paying for expensive travel and accommodations? Employees can conveniently bring ICBA Connect into their workflow because it’s livestreamed, so they’ll be able to come and go as they need to—no time off necessary. Just have them access ICBA Connect through your registered connections, such as a computer or shared screen in a common space or conference room. This allows attendees to follow applicable social distancing requirements in their area and feel comfortable wherever they choose to attend ICBA Connect.

“As a community bank leader, I look forward to and appreciate the opportunity to share an event like ICBA Connect with my entire bank team,” says Kathy Underwood, president and CEO of Ledyard National Bank in Hanover, N.H. “Events that will certainly deliver inspiration, education and energy for all are hard to come by.”

ICBA Connect’s must-see speakers

Day 1

Michelle Poler

Michelle Poler

Fear less. Do more. It’s the mantra of speaker Michelle Poler, whose Hello Fears social movement claims to have reached more than 70 million people around the globe. The Venezuela native grew up naturally fearful but decided to face 100 fears in 100 days and documented her journey via YouTube. From dogs to skydiving—and even public speaking—she overcame long-held anxieties that stood between her and growth. As a speaker, she encourages others to focus on all the positive possibilities of their actions instead of the worst. Her book, Hello, Fears, inspires readers to name, accept and even embrace their fears to be their most authentic selves.

Vinh Giang

Vinh Giang

Vinh Giang will be a familiar name to the many community bankers who saw him speak in Nashville, Tenn., at ICBA LIVE 2019, but he has some new tricks up his sleeve for ICBA Connect. The Australian entrepreneur and magician got his start in magic after a short-lived stint in accounting. Unhappy in that career field, he and a friend created the Encyclopedia of Magic, an online resource for magicians everywhere. He now serves as CEO of Luminary Productions, a video production company. On stage, Giang emphasizes the importance of showmanship, a skill he’s perfected over the years as a seasoned magician, speaker and performer.

Other Day 1 Events

Independent Banker December 2020 cover
  • Honoring 2020’s Best Community Banks to Work For
  • At the core of Washington: ICBPAC update
  • A conversation with ICBA chairman Noah Wilcox
  • Community bank game changers, including hot topics and current industry trends
  • The 32nd annual ICBPAC silent auction (more information at icba.org/auction)
  • Remarks from ICBA president and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey

Day 2

Victoria Arlen

Victoria Arlen

You may have seen Victoria Arlen grooving on Dancing with the Stars or commentating on American Ninja Warrior, but from those appearances, you wouldn’t know the transformative journey she’s been on. At age 11, Arlen developed two little-known conditions, transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which caused her to go into a vegetative state. For four years, she wasn’t able to communicate with the outside world, but she eventually learned how to speak, eat and move again. Arlen went on to win several medals as a Paralympic swimmer and, after a decade in a wheelchair, she learned to walk. Arlen founded a nonprofit that provides resources for people with mobility challenges.

Dan Thurman

Dan Thurman

Keeping both your work and personal life in check can be a balancing act, which makes Dan Thurmon’s perspective all the more relevant. Thurmon isn’t just an expert juggler in the professional world; he’s also well-known for his juggling and acrobatic stunts during his speaking engagements. And, in this day and age, he aims to optimize the virtual meeting experience through a multicamera, experiential production that brings his message to life. Thurmon, the author of Off Balance on Purpose, teaches what it takes for teams to boost their perform-ability, or what he calls being able to deliver excellence when it matters the most. He is the president of Motivation Works, Inc., which does executive coaching and interactive workshops.

Jessica Matthews

Jessica O. Matthews

Before she turned 30, Jessica O. Matthews accomplished what many spend their entire careers doing. At age 19, she invented an energy-generating soccer ball. At 22, she founded a renewable energy company that weaves Internet of Things (IoT) devices into public infrastructure. She has more than 10 patents or patents pending. As a young, award-winning leader in the tech sector, Matthews knows a lot about innovation and disruption. When she speaks, Matthews touches on owning who you are because of her experience facing bias as an up-and-comer in her field. She now helps others reach their dreams as the chair of the board of the Harlem Tech Fund, the nonprofit arm of her company Uncharted Power.

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey

Little introduction is needed for this Academy Award–winning actor. From a high school grad with an unforgettable Texas drawl in Dazed and Confused to a brooding, intense police officer in True Detective, Matthew McConaughey is well-known for constantly reinventing himself and his image, whether that be through larger-than-life characters or new initiatives. Off the big screen, the native Texan is also a philanthropist and businessperson. He keeps busy with his roles as creative director of Wild Turkey (he also created his own bourbon) and as the minister of culture for the University of Texas. McConaughey also shares his insights through his bestselling book, Greenlights.

ICBA Connect FAQs


Who should attend ICBA Connect?
ICBA Connect registration is open to all employees of ICBA member and nonmember community banks, as well as community banking association staff, consultants, attorneys, banking agency staff and industry partners supporting the event. ICBA encourages participation from all levels of your community bank, including your management team, bank directors and others.

Who do I register for ICBA Connect?
Attendees have the option of an individual registration or registering their bank. A bank registration allows up to 30 connections or devices to access ICBA Connect for the institution. If your community bank requires more than 30 connections, reach out to ICBA for special pricing.

How should my team and I attend ICBA Connect?
A community bank attending ICBA Connect may split its 30 connections between individual employees or small groups streaming the event on a computer or other device. A bank may also use a connection to stream ICBA Connect on a single device for multiple employees in a conference room or other common space. Of course, ICBA recommends banks comply with safe and applicable social distancing requirements. Each connection must be registered with ICBA in advance by giving ICBA a full name for the registrant, bank name, phone number and email address for each connection. Each registered connection must have the same email domain as the registered bank.


What’s my deadline to register?
To ensure your community bank receives access to the virtual event, you must register on or before March 1. Any registrations received between March 2 and the event may risk delay of access to ICBA Connect.

Will my teams and I need to take time off to attend?
Don’t worry about taking vacation time to participate in ICBA Connect. Because ICBA Connect is livestreamed, it’s easy to move between watching and listening to the event and serving customers, attending meetings or whatever you and your teams need to do. Attendees will be able to take breaks and come back to the event at a later time as necessary.


Will ICBA be recording ICBA Connect?
Yes, ICBA will be recording ICBA Connect. ICBA will make recordings available on demand to community banks and other ICBA Connect attendees for 14 days following the event.

Will ICBA LIVE be back next year?
Yes, planning is already underway. ICBA LIVE will return in 2022. Missing the opportunity to travel to Hawaii? Don’t worry. ICBA LIVE will be in Honolulu in 2023.

Any other questions? Go to icba.org/connect for more details.

Eric Best is deputy editor of Independent Banker.