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Texas Banker Elected ICBA Chairman

Blankenship of Irving to Serve the Nation's Community Banks

Orlando, Fla. (March 5, 2008)—Cynthia L. Blankenship, vice chairman of Bank of the West, Irving, Texas, was elected 2008-2009 chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and serves as chairman of the ICBA Executive Committee and of the ICBA board of directors.

Blankenship was elected during the ICBA National Convention and Techworld in Orlando, Fla. Her term begins at the conclusion of the convention on March 5.

"As chairman of ICBA, I will work with Congress to pass legislation that benefits community banks and the communities we serve," said Blankenship. "Main Street America is best served by community banks that are active and have the resources they need to focus on serving our customers and our communities."

Blankenship has been active in ICBA, having served as chairman of its Congressional Affairs, Bank Education, Policy Development and Membership/Marketing committees. She has also held leadership positions in the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) and the Community Bankers Association of Oklahoma, including chairman of IBAT and of the IBAT Education Foundation.

Blankenship currently sits on the Foundation Board of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. In 2004, U.S. Banker magazine named Blankenship one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Banking." She is active in her community, having served on the Colleyville Women's Club, Community Bankers Education Foundation, Bear Creek Community Development project and Dallas Summer Musicals. She is a member of the Irving/Las Colinas Women's Chamber of Commerce and the recipient of the 1999 Arts Education Award and the 2004 Colleyville Women's Club Novus Award.

ICBA is the only national trade association dedicated exclusively to promoting the interests of locally operated community banks and savings institutions. With trusted financial expertise and quality customer service as their hallmarks, community banks offer the best financial services option for millions of consumers, small businesses, farms and ranches.

For more information, including a biography of Blankenship, visit ICBA's Media Center at www.icba.org/pressroom.