Rebeca Romero Rainey: The power of our stories

Rebeca Romero Rainey

Our marketing efforts as community banks often center on the stories we tell, and they resonate because they unveil the beauty of our joint community experience.

The art of storytelling began as a way to solidify cultural history and preserve details for future generations. Yet, to be retained, stories have to trigger us to remember them; they have to elicit an emotional response. In short, stories from the heart stick with us.

Our marketing efforts as community banks often center on the stories we tell, and they resonate because they unveil the beauty of our joint community experience. For example, we’ve given home mortgages to the children we watched grow up in our backyards. We have supported retirement plans for those we sought out for advice when we were kicking off our careers. We have kept our communities thriving by offering loans to new entrepreneurs putting down roots in our area. One story at a time, we’ve supported generations of people.

What you need to know

lightbulb illustration

ICBA offers a “Tell Your Story” Toolkit to empower you to share your community bank’s impact. To find the toolkit, visit icba.org/marketingtoolkit

We can’t underestimate how much that community connection matters. We are a culture unto ourselves, with deep roots in our communities, and those intertwined experiences demonstrate the strength of the bonds between us. This connected relationship means that when one of us flourishes, the other does as well. So, when we share our banking success stories, we also spotlight members of our communities.

Consider the small business that stayed open during the pandemic because we were able to secure them a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, or the expectant parents who built a new nursery through a home equity loan.

Think of the local nonprofit that was able to continue its fundraising because of electronic payment options enabled by our banks, or the family that was able to send emergency funds to an aging parent. These are the histories of our journey as a collective community, supporting one another in times of celebration and difficulty.

ICBA, too, embodies this rich history of community connection. Founded by a group of passionate community bankers, its members continue to fight to preserve the future of community banking. We carry that torch as we come together during this month’s ICBA Connect and continue our work to advance our founding members’ legacy at a national level.

As you read this month’s Independent Banker, I hope its marketing insights inspire your community bank in its own storytelling efforts. We cannot lose sight of the power of our stories and the emotional connection that will link our past to our present and our future. As a close-knit community, we must continue to share our stories for generations to come.


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