NJBankers 180 Days After the Convention
By Michael M. Quick
The present administration is in the home stretch of the 104th year of the existence of NJBankers. This quarter has been a challenging time for the members of the board of trustees and the officers of the association. In September, you were informed that a leadership change was taking place within the organization. Changes are never easy but are often necessary. It was apparent to the trustees and officers, after a 30-month discussion, that this decision had to be executed and that it was in the best interest of the association’s membership.
I have always believed that within every situation is a great opportunity for professional and corporate improvement. I would like to spend time in this article to introduce you to the great things that are happening within the association. They are as follows:
Our teammates, Rob, Tim, Jane Eiseman, Jane Swanson, Mary Lou, Sabrina and Lorraine, are wonderful people. They have taken the challenge that came out of the trustees’ decision in early September to find opportunities to improve the association for the benefit of the membership. The attitude and creative thinking that has developed is truly refreshing. During the last four months, they have worked with the membership to deliver several outstanding programs that not only benefited each of us and created record attendance, but exceeded our financial expectations for the first time in several years. In a recent luncheon, hosted by the officers, the group expressed their appreciation to the officers and trustees for our confidence in their abilities to do what is right for the association. Although challenging at times, the staff is enjoying the new relationship between the membership, trustees and officers this change has created. On behalf of the membership, we appreciate your efforts to make our association achieve its vision.
In early October, Roger, Norm and I attended the American Bankers Association Leadership Conference in Arizona. The conference was very challenging and beneficial to those who attended. During the conference, the leadership of the ABA – Ed Yingling, Gary Fields and Jeff Owen – spent considerable time with us, discussing the role ABA could play in rebuilding our association. We have forwarded to them information regarding our programs and financial situation for their assistance as we move forward. We also spent time with the leadership of the state associations and their individual members and leaders discussing our challenges. Collectively, we received assurances of their support and assistance as we move forward. Everyone we met recognized the importance of NJBankers to their state and national efforts. ABA leadership indicated that the lack of participation by NJBankers with ABA and its state associations has hindered their efforts. New Jersey has several key legislators in Washington who need our members’ outreach to accomplish the national goals that benefit our association. The officers committed to the leadership of ABA that NJBankers would emerge a stronger and more effective organization with a positive benefit for ABA.
The officers continue to work with several state associations to create opportunities for our members to use their professional development schools. It is our intention to have several proposals from these associations. The officers are certain the membership will have the opportunity to use these established schools for the summer programs in 2007. It is also our intention to continue to explore other areas of professional development from such groups as the Risk Management Association and Bank Administration Institute.
Our advocacy continues during this transition. The Action Bankers Council (ABC) continues their meetings with legislators. The association is having great success in presenting our positions to the legislators. More importantly, the attendees have indicated our commitment to the financial health of our state. Banking is a powerful financial tool; our survey continues to demonstrate how much our industry supports the economic and social success of the state. I would strongly suggest that you consider taking time to be part of this process. Our numbers at these meetings continue to grow and your voice is needed. The next time you get an invite to an ABC meeting, join your fellow bankers in letting NJBankers’ strong voice be heard.
The board of trustees met on Nov. 2 to discuss the direction of the association. The officers had completed their research and presented three different directions for the trustees to consider. There was a spirited discussion regarding our direction as an association. It was determined that we would begin the search for a new president of the association. Roger Bosma will chair the search and begin asking various members to serve on the committee. The ABA and other state associations have offered their assistance in this process. The choice made is not without challenges, but the consensus of the trustees is that they are committed to resolving the issues of the past and moving forward.
The 104th year of NJBankers will end on March 25, 2007 at the Breakers in Palm Beach. The officers and members of the convention committee have just returned from a planning meeting. We have heard your comments and this convention will not only increase the professional development of those in attendance, but be a convention to remember. There will be a reduced fee for early registration for the convention. When you receive the information, take advantage of the early registration and join your fellow bankers at the Breakers.
Much has been accomplished during the time since you elected the current slate of trustees and officers, but much is still left to be accomplished. Roger, Norm, Gerry and I will continue to work up until the beginning of the convention in order to finish what we started on March 18. Your support and help has been greatly appreciated. Do not hesitate to contact any one of us with your questions or suggestions.
See you at the convention in March!
Michael M. Quick is chairman of Susquehanna Patriot Bank, Mount Laurel, and executive vice president and group executive of affiliate banks of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc.