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New Community Bank Survey Calls Attention to Developing New Leaders

Recruit and Train New Leaders Now Before Baby Boom Retirement Explosion Begins

Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), in connection with the Financial Women International Foundation (FWI) and Red Ladder, Inc., released a study titled, The Leadership Gap that shows community banks face a pending labor shortage, the result of the explosion of retiring baby boomer employees and community bank officers.

"These survey results offer community bank executives and human capital professionals a solid resource that shows community banks must recruit, train, mentor and retain our valued employees," said Greg Martinson, senior vice president/director of ICBA's Sauk Centre Operations. "Now is the time to prepare our future leaders so that community banks remain vital to our customers and to our communities."

"Effective leadership is critical to the long-term success and viability of any organization," added Cindy Haas, FWI Foundation chair and senior vice president, Anchor Bank, Eagan, Minn. "It is crucial that we prepare leaders now - particularly women - or we will put our organizations and ultimately our customers, at risk."

The survey was conducted in December 2006 and includes 168 respondents from all levels of community banking, including 60 percent from senior management. More than two-thirds of respondents reported that they had more than 20 years of banking experience. Among the major findings of the survey:

  • 51 percent of respondents agreed that the boomer retirement will create a substantial labor shortage by 2010;
  • 52 percent agreed their bank is at risk of losing top talent;
  • 60 percent agreed their bank will need to cultivate a broader talent pool from which to draw leaders, including women and minorities;
  • Slightly less than 50 percent of respondents agreed that their organizations would experience both a knowledge and leadership gap;
  • Succession planning will be an important focus area for at least 48 percent of banks due to the shrinking pool of available talent;
  • 71 percent of survey respondents indicated that leadership development is an essential component of planning for their banks future given the expected competitive staffing environment;
  • Almost 50 percent of survey respondents indicated that investing more resources in preparing and training younger workers to assume leadership roles will be critical in broadening the organizational talent pool.

About FWI Foundation
Founded in 1921, Financial Women International (FWI) is a professional association dedicated to developing leaders, accelerating careers, and generating results for professionals in the banking and financial services industry. For over 85 years, FWI has been representing women in the banking and financial services industry. Today, FWI has 44 groups and 18 districts that serve almost 800 members in the United States as well as Canada and Russia. The FWI Foundation was established in 1973 to serve as the educational and research arm of FWI. The Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of banking and financial services industry professionals, the industry, and the community at-large. Visit FWI online at www.fwi.org.

About Red Ladder, Inc.
Red Ladder, Inc. is an organizational and leadership development consulting firm specializing in the banking and financial services industry. Red Ladder serves its clients through three divisions: Consulting (Transition Management, Project Management, Research), Executive Coaching (Group and Individual) and Speaking (Team Building, Keynotes, Seminars and Workshops). Red Ladder's services are delivered through a copyrighted RED Approach — Research, Education and Development — illustrating Red Ladder's unique approach to workplace and leadership challenges. Visit Red Ladder online at www.redladder.com.