www.cbak.com 4 In Touch FLOURISH BY REBECA ROMERO, ICBA Connect with Rebeca @romerorainey A s the calendar flipped to 2021; we didn’t magically return to a simpler, pre-pandemic era, unfortunately. We are still grappling with a global health crisis and a hefty amount of ambiguity around what comes next. mid such uncertainty, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t know. But, as community bankers, we have a North Star in our mission, and we can find consistency in what we know to be true in this rapidly changing world: Community banks serve the needs of their communities. Our goal at ICBA is to pave the way for you to do just that by creating and promoting an environment where community banks can flourish. With a new administration in the White House and a new Congress, know that we’ll continue to fight on your behalf in Washington in 2021. We’ll work toward a level playing field, advocate for regulatory flexibility as we manage the impact of COVID-19 on communities and portfolios, and continue to promote and differentiate the business model of community banking and its importance to this country. Because in today’s landscape, our business model is more important than ever. Based on personal connections and relationships, it speaks to the needs of our society today. And, while relationships may look different in a virtual world, the links they create between people hold firm. No matter if you’re serving your customers in a lobby, on the phone, or via a webchat feature, you are working hard to exceed their expectations. And ICBA walks beside you on that journey. For example, we know that innovation — both for your customer experience and your internal processes — allows your bank to introduce new products and services. So, on Jan. 6, we’ll launch the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 3.0 to present you with community bank-centered fintech offerings. Beyond innovation, ICBA strives to support you and your teams as you expand your knowledge and connection with one another. To that point, we will be offering a new virtual event called ICBA Connect this year. While we won’t be able to come together in person, we’ve reimagined our annual convention to bring you new opportunities to learn, network, and engage with colleagues. This program will allow for the same relationship building and knowledge sharing as ICBA LIVE, and we’re excited to engage with you and your entire team in this new way. So, while this early 2021 environment remains tumultuous, I encourage you to focus on the stability in your continuous attention to your communities’ needs. You have an unwavering dedication to those you serve, and that remains true no matter the circumstances. What you need to know This year’s convention has a new name and format. The all- virtual ICBA Connect on March 9 and 10 will offer a dynamic community experience. Visit icba.org/connect to register and to sign up to receive updates. We can find consistency in what we know to be true in this rapidly changing world: Community banks serve the needs of their communities.