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Bankers group trying a new strategy

MAC DEAVER

By CALLIE DANIELS BRYANT

The Mississippi Bankers Association has survived for the last 129 years because it adjusts to changes and remains relevant in the industry.

This year is no different, according to MBA President Mac Deaver as he prepares for the 2017 state convention on May 17-21 in Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort.

“This year, the MBA began operating under a new strategic plan approved by its Board of Directors,” said Deaver. “This plan seeks to maximize the value of MBA membership to all Mississippi banks. This plans covers all aspects of our association – including banker and consumer education, government relations at both state and federal level, internal and external communications, and providing products and services to member banks – and it also explores other ways we can deliver meaningful support to member banks.

“The MBA goal is to evaluate our effectiveness in all areas – and to implement improvements and enhancements to increase value delivered to member banks.”

Other topics of interest at this year’s convention:

» Opportunities for regulatory reform that will help Mississippi banks better serve its customers and support their communities.

» Economic and industry trends and how they impact Mississippi and Mississippi banks.

» The political landscape – in the state and nation – and how it impacts Mississippi and its banks.

» Best practices for banks to utilize to remain strong and successful and to serve their customers and communities.

“The topics select themselves based on the current needs of the banking industry at a particular time,” said Frank Sibley, CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust Co. in Marks and chairman of the MBA.

This is Sibley’s first year to preside over the annual event.

Deaver said Mississippi’s banking industry continues to be “one of the strongest and successful in the nation” and that the convention is a “great opportunity” to recognize and thank numerous Mississippi bankers for the industry’s success and for their ardent support of each other.

“It has been a very enjoyable but time-consuming experience,” Sibley said. “Most of the organizational duties are performed by the staff of the association.”

He is looking forward to seeing long-lasting friends, some whom he only sees once or twice a year.

Over 600 attendees – including Mississippi bankers, political leaders, state and federal bank regulators and industry vendors and professionals are expected.

The convention will kick off with a trade show featuring over 60 firms and companies on May 17 to 18.

There are four speakers who will focus on the previously mentioned topics: Deborah Savarese, chairman of the American Bankers Association and chairman and CEO of Cape Cod Five Mutual Company in Orleans, Mass.; Preston Kennedy, vice chairman of Independent Community Bankers of America and CEO of Bank of Zachary in Zachary, Louis.; Jill Castilla, 2015 Banker of the Year and CEO of Citizens Bank in Edmond, Okla.; and Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard and a regular guest on Special Report with Bret Baier.

On May 18, MBA will host a silent auction to raise funds for the MBA Education Foundation which provides scholarships to college and high school students as well as supporting financial literacy in Mississippi.

After spending the day at the annual MBA Golf Tournament on May 19, the attendees are invited to the annual Chairman’s Dinner where MBA will recognize its officers and board members as well as honoring its past chairmen.

On May 20, MBA members will elect new leaders for 2017 to 2018. Later that night, Chairman Sibley will pass the gavel to the newly elected chairman. That Saturday night, MBA will recognize association leaders as well as members who have been with MBA for 40, 50 and 60 years.

Deaver said, “We will present plaques to retiring Board members to thank them for their service over the past three years.”

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