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ICBA National Convention Kicks Off

Largest educational gathering for community bankers begins in San Diego

San Diego, Calif. (March 14, 2004) - If your community bank seems to be missing a few people this week, fear not. Your banker is probably attending the Independent Community Bankers of America's National Convention and Techworld, which starts today in San Diego. More than 3,000 attendees representing every state in the United States are gathered at the San Diego Marriott and Convention Center for the country's largest educational event for community bankers. The convention features speeches by national newsmakers such as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, numerous workshops and networking events, and the industry's largest trade show called Techworld.

"Every year the ICBA National Convention and Techworld draws community bankers throughout the country who discover the latest ideas, trends and developments in our industry," said ICBA Chairman C.R. (Rusty) Cloutier, the president and CEO of MidSouth Bank, N.A., in Lafayette, La. This year the ICBA convention offers more than 70 workshops on such subjects as technology, lending, regulations, marketing and strategic planning. In addition to Greenspan, FDIC Chairman Donald E. Powell, Federal Housing Finance Board Chairman John T. Korsmo, Operation HOPE Chairman and CEO John Bryant, and former Wyoming U.S. senator Alan Simpson are among this year's featured speakers.

Techworld, the most comprehensive trade show for community bankers, has more exhibitors this year than ever. "With more than 230 companies exhibiting their latest wares, the astounding number of first-class community bank-tailored products and services under one roof is unmatched anywhere," Cloutier said. "Techworld has it all."

This year, in addition to electing a new slate of officers for 2004-2005, ICBA will honor its President and CEO Kenneth A. Guenther as he retires Tuesday after 25 years of serving the nation's community banks. ICBA is also set to welcome Guenther's successor, former community banker Camden R. Fine.

"This is going to be a special ICBA convention for community banks all across the country," Cloutier said. "We're all looking forward to a productive but memorable week in San Diego."