NJBankers 180 Days After the Convention
By Michael M. Quick
I consider it an honor to have been elected as the 2006-2007 chairman of NJBankers. When I was asked to be on the board of trustees several years ago, I never dreamed that the appointment would lead to the position of chairman. Observing the leadership of our immediate past chairmen Jim Hyman and Ted Bessler during my past two years in the chairs, I am aware of the time and effort that is needed to be an effective chairman and I have prepared my schedule accordingly. I, like my predecessors, have every intention to meet the goal of providing value to the members of our association, but before I get into the specifics of the plan to bring our organization from “good to great,” I wish to thank several individuals for their part in this venture.
It hardly seems possible that it is almost 180 days since we met in Phoenix for our annual convention. At the convention, the officers outlined a program to enhance the association in the areas of advocacy and professional development. Although we have not addressed all that was discussed, collectively we have been busy. I would like to summarize our efforts since we last met.
The officers and members of the association on May 16 and 17 traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the American Bankers Association, the Federal Reserve Bank, the senators from the state of New Jersey, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. During our visit, we had the opportunity to discuss current issues affecting our industry with our leaders, our regulators and our trade organization. Although I am not certain that the above group (ABA excluded) is ready to fully engage in correcting some of the issues that hurt our competitiveness, your delegation made significant progress in moving forward our concerns.
MARYLAND BANKERS ASSOCIATION
On June 29, Vice Chairman Roger Bosma, Treasurer Norman Beatty and I traveled to Baltimore to meet with Kathleen Murphy, president and CEO of the MBA. From research provided by NJBankers President Stu Cameron to the officers, we were able to determine that the MBA’s demographics, number of financial institutions and total deposits in FDIC-insured institutions are similar to those of NJBankers within the Middle Atlantic States. We had an engaging meeting that provided the officers with information on improving our advocacy and professional development for our membership. Thank you, Kathleen, for your assistance and time.
ABA SUMMER MEETING
From Saturday, July 15 until Tuesday, July 18, Stu, Roger, Norm and I attended the ABA summer convention. Highlights of the convention were as follows:
• NJBankers increased its contribution to the ABA PAC to the average of the 50 states represented at the convention. This was a positive step forward and we thank the efforts of past JebPac Chairman Jim Hyman and present Chairman Ted Bessler for their tireless efforts on behalf of our PAC.
• The attendees committed NJBankers to support the ABA’s legislative issues during the current year. The issues in the super priority list are as follows:
• Fighting terrorism
• Regulatory relief burden
• Basel capital standards (II and IA)
• Health savings accounts
• The ABA presented its financial literacy programs for review by the attendees. They continue to expand their programs to insure that they are current and available through a series of distribution channels. These programs will close the gap that the association has for its members. Stu and his team are working on the process to create a working relationship with the ABA to provide financial literacy information for our membership.
• The major benefit of the annual ABA meeting is the opportunity for your officers to meet their counterparts at the 50 state associations from around the country. We continue to learn about cooperative efforts by the various associations to find new sources of revenue.
NEW YORK BANKERS ASSOCIATION
On Aug. 14, Roger, Norm and Secretary Gerry Lipkin visited with Mike Smith, president and CEO of New York Bankers Association. Again, the exchange of information with NYBA was invaluable. Very similar to our meeting in Maryland, the information from other associations will assist in improving NJBankers contributions to its membership. Again, we would like to thank Mike for taking time from his schedule to meet the officers.
I would like to thank Paul Van Ostenbridge and his Compensation Committee for their work on the association’s pension program. He and his committee have done an excellent job of assisting Stu and his team to position the program to benefit the long-range plans of the association.
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Vice President Rob Tartaglia and Mary Kay Roberts (the association’s outside counsel who assists Rob with legislative matters) continue our positive progress with our legislators in Trenton. Their work is the subject of this issue’s cover story that begins on page 20. We have had several meetings with our legislative representatives as part of our ABC (Action Banker Council) program. The association continues to build upon the successes of the past several years under the leadership of Rob, Mary Kay and Committee Chairman Tom Holt.
The fall will be another busy time for the association. It will provide professional development in the form of its Senior Management Seminar, the Trust Seminar and the BankHorizons 2006 event in conjunction with the League of Community Bankers. These are excellent programs that, by the time this article is published, your respective banks have either participated in or have agreed to send representatives to the meetings. Supporting these types of pograms will enhance the educational benefit for your teams and support the association’s budget to continue its focus on professional development.
This fall we have a pivotal election for our country. Our association and our primary trade group, the ABA, need our support. The contributions to our respective PACs enhance our ability to support our stated concerns. During the past several years, we have seen the impacts on our industry from the national and local legislators’ reactions to current events.
Although well-intentioned, many of the laws that have been enacted have created significant increases in our cost to operate. As I indicated in my acceptance speech, the association has seen its share of membership decline due to mergers. Our state needs a strong financial community to support its long-term initiatives. Supporting our trade groups and the association’s efforts in Trenton is accomplished through JebPac. Please reach out to Ted Bessler and determine how you can assist him in reaching this year’s JebPac goal.
BENEFITING FUTURE GENERATIONS
The first five months have been a busy time for the association. As we promised in the acceptance speech, our main goal is to move the association into a position to be a benefit to the future generation of bankers. Collectively, we are off to a great start. We have attempted to speak to many of you either directly or in joint meetings. I know that you share the vision for the association with Roger, Norm, Gerry and me. Your input and comments are appreciated and enable us to assist in the positioning of the association to achieve its goals. Please do not hesitate to forward your thoughts and comments to any of the four officers.
Michael M. Quick is chairman and chief executive officer of Susquehanna Patriot Bank, Marlton, and executive vice president and group executive of affiliate banks of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc.