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On Membership, Education, Programs and Advocacy

By John Witkowski

We have had a very productive year at IBANYS to date. We are pleased we have welcomed six new bank members over the past several months: Country Bank, Genesee Regional Bank, Saratoga National Bank & Trust, Empire State Bank, Salisbury Bank and Trustco Bank.

The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) has represented the interests of independent community banks throughout New York since 1974. Community banks share a commitment to meeting the financial needs of their respective local communities, and IBANYS is pleased to be their voice in Albany, New York, Washington, D.C. and around the state.
One of the most important functions IBANYS provides to our members is professional education. Through our conferences, seminars, webinars and publications, we keep New York community banks informed and up-to-date on the latest important trends, developments and activities impacting their business. We offer New York community banks the very latest information and tools for profitability and success. During the first half of 2016, IBANYS has held Regional Compliance Conferences and Regional Bank Directors Conferences, the CFO and Senior Management Conference, and the annual Lending Conference. In October, we will hold our Annual Convention and Regional Security Conferences. Significantly, we provide CPE credits to participants. Our preferred provider partners and associate members enjoy unique opportunities for networking, sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities.
We also offer a full menu of webinars designed specifically to meet the needs of community banks (available on our website,, and also offer select webinars offered by outside experts. We thank the efforts of our member banks, who work closely with staff to develop program content that is timely and relevant to their institutions and our industry.
All of IBANYS’ 2016 educational programs, events and webinars may be viewed online at under the “education/upcoming meetings” tab. You can both look ahead at our future meetings, and access the presentations from our past meetings. Take a moment to explore – then join us for our next round of programs!
IBANYS has also introduced exciting new initiatives to benefit member banks during this past year.
IBANYS and the New York Business Development Corp. (NYBDC) recently announced a new partnership with Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution formed by NYBDC. EGF has been endorsed by IBANYS as the exclusive online lending partner for association members. (See the article by Patrick MacKrell and Robert Fisher, president and CEO of Tioga State Bank, in this issue of Banking New York.)
EGF provides innovative financial solutions and business advisory services to underserved small businesses in New York state through a fast, simple and secure online lending platform. Its core product is the EGF SmartLoan, which features amounts up to $100,000, approvals within one to two days and disbursements within one week. Importantly, interest rates are a fraction of those typically offered by online lenders. EGF offers banks a unique customer retention solution when a customer either does not qualify for a bank’s loan offerings, or is seeking the fast, transparent process available through online lenders. To facilitate retention, EGF shares performance information on the referred loan portfolio on a quarterly basis and offers the opportunity for the bank to purchase referred loans at par at any time. Additional details on the EGF SmartLoan, including eligibility criteria, are available at: For more information or to make a referral, please contact Bryan Doxford, chief lending officer at Excelsior Growth Fund: or (212) 430-4512.
The “My Wellness Resource Card” offers a low-cost, nontraditional program to help community banks to save time and money. It helps provide on demand health care from U.S. board-certified doctors who provide diagnosis, treatment options and necessary prescriptions via unlimited telephone medical consultations. The My Wellness program offers discounts and significant savings on a variety of medical and dental products, and is designed to improve productivity, decrease absenteeism and boost morale without straining your bottom line. It’s an exciting new way for community banks to provide health care benefits, reduce cost and retain employees. For more information, contact Alan Justin, Managing Partner at (716) 907-5500.
IBANYS has also joined the “Cure the Blue” effort to raise funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. We are partnering with the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation, and hope to see a number of IBANYS members participate. Please join us in supporting this worthwhile cause. Visit to get involved!

At IBANYS, we are most fortunate to have the participation and support of a number of firms that bring their expertise, products and services to the table to benefit our member banks. We truly appreciate the ongoing support of all our sponsors, endorsed providers and affiliates and their continued support throughout the year! Please visit our website ( and click on the “Members” tab to see the complete list, and learn more about the value these outstanding companies can bring to community banks.
At IBANYS, we look forward to the second half of 2016, as we look to build on a productive first two quarters of the year on behalf of our membership.■

John Witkowski is president and CEO of the Independent Bankers Association of New York State. He may be reached at or (518) 436-4646.

Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 (Archive on Tuesday, August 30, 2016)
Posted by Scott  Contributed by Scott


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