SAN ANTONIO, Texas, 18 March 2017 — R. Scott Heitkamp, president and CEO of ValueBank Texas of Corpus Christi, Texas, who becomes chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA - a WSBI member) today, rallied community bankers gathered at the ICBA Community Banking LIVE®2017 national convention by reminding them that they are difference makers in their communities.
“As community bankers, we are different. We honor and keep our commitments. We stay steady in our principles and our values, because our industry is built on values,” Heitkamp said. “I even have the word ‘value’ in my bank name: ValueBank Texas.”
In reinforcing his message that community bankers are difference makers, Heitkamp cited an example of a Small Business Administration loan he made to help a local entrepreneur finance a bakery. After only three years, she’s paid off her loan, is employing local residents, and is making a real name for her business, he said.
“That one loan, one idea, one community bank decision was a real difference maker—for the entrepreneur and for our community,” he said.
Heitkamp also encouraged community banks to embrace the “new normal” and the role of technology to help address the needs of their customers while continuing to fight for meaningful regulatory reform. “The future is bright for community banking,” he said. “And while we look to the future, we must never lose sight of what we stand for.”
In his remarks, Heitkamp also urged community bankers to seize the opportunity to start a conversation with policymakers, explain the vital role community banks serve in the nation’s economy, and discuss why tiered and proportional regulatory relief is necessary so that community banks can focus on what they do best—serving their customers and communities.
“We must stop this overzealous regulatory environment and put some common-sense practices back into the regulators who examine our banks,” Heitkamp said. “It is time that our lawmakers and regulators do what is right for this country. ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity is a great place to start.”
Heitkamp closed by asking community bankers to continue to be difference makers for ICBA, their communities, their banks and the community banking industry.
For more information about Heitkamp, including his biography, visit www.icba.org.
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The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 5,800 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.