Rebeca Romero Rainey: The people make the bank

Photo by Chris Williams

How we hire, retain, recruit and advance our missions amid momentous change will remain a key topic for community bank leaders and will influence our plans for the future.

December creates a natural opportunity for reflection, and as I look back on our efforts over the past year, I’m struck by one core truth: It’s the people who make the bank.

This month’s issue focuses on the best banks to work for, because community banking is about so much more than transactions. It is made up of the spirit of community, deep and personal relationships, and customer trust. Our people—committed, connected, caring—continue to differentiate us as community banks and keep our organization relationship-first and mission-centric.

map pin

Where I’ll Be

I’ll be meeting with the team at TCM Bank in Tampa, making a visit to our Sauk Centre, Minn., office, and just like you, finishing budgeting, taking a deep breath and then jumping right into 2023.

As we grow and respond to today’s environment, one of our greatest challenges and opportunities is cultivating the next generation of leaders. As hiring organizations, we are looking for skill sets that extend beyond technical knowledge to a values-based ideology that prioritizes personal relationships, customer service and community. We are relationship businesses that are looking for professional relationship builders.

Thankfully, in this digital landscape, we have more opportunity than ever to cultivate the exact talent we need. While many positions remain vital on an in-person level, some roles allow for off-site work options, meaning that you now have a larger applicant pool at your disposal. You can remotely engage a tenured community banking professional to complement your team on the ground. You can expand your search for positions that are hard to source in your market, or look for expertise in particular technical skill sets. You can broaden your ability to hire the best and brightest staff both in market and out.

This month’s issue touches on these trends, how community banks continue to excel as employers and what you can do to ensure you achieve and retain that position. I hope that as you read these stories, you’re struck—as I was—by the importance of the people who make community banks what they are, and the cascading impact they have on one another, customers and communities.

How we hire, retain, recruit and advance our missions amid momentous change will remain a key topic for community bank leaders and will influence our plans for the future. But as the year closes, now is the time to take a collective breath, celebrate our successes and recharge, so that come Jan. 2, we’re renewed, ready to write our next chapters and fully prepared to embrace new possibilities.

In that spirit, on behalf of the entire team at ICBA, I wish you a very happy holiday season and new year!


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