By Lindsay LaNore
As a well-known speaker and educator in the community banking industry, Barret Graduate School of Banking President and Director Chris Kelley knows all too well the importance of continuous learning. As we prepare for an energetic LEAD FWD Summit, filled with education and workshops that will challenge our industry’s next generation of leaders, I talked with Chris about the necessity of growing and thinking outside of the traditional boundaries of community banking.
Why do you attend the LEAD FWD Summit?
We should never stop learning, growing, or networking!
What do you look forward to at the LEAD FWD Summit?
I love the collaborative break-out sessions – where people in smaller groups are more comfortable sharing ideas.
Have you had any "ah-ha" moments at the event?
It’s hard to single out just one moment…it’s more of a cumulative of conversations from participants who show such excitement to return home and implement what they’ve learned. It gives me such optimism in our industry’s future leaders.
Have you had a favorite speaker (or topic) at the event?
Probably Jason Dorsey from the very first LEAD FWD Summit in 2013. His keynote was the first serious discussion I remember about multi-generational forces that affect our workforce and, in turn, our banking, engagement, and marketing efforts.
If you had to describe the LEAD FWD Summit in three words, what would they be?
Inspiring, dynamic, innovative!
The community banking industry and Barret Graduate School of Banking are focused on moving forward. How do you leverage your experience at the LEAD FWD Summit to help support the Barret initiatives?
Attending incredible events like the LEAD FWD Summit or ICBA LIVE provides us the opportunity to see and meet the best the industry has to offer. We can leverage those connections to develop and improve our programming.
As a former community banker turned graduate school director, what motivates you to move the industry forward?
We have communities to serve, build, and ultimately lead. #MainStreet community banks are the heart and soul of this country.
What would you tell other community bankers who are still deciding on whether to attend the LEAD FWD Summit, or send staff?
Invest in yourself and your bank’s staff—the returns will be endless.
If you haven’t yet registered for ICBA’s LEAD FWD Summit in Louisville, Kentucky, I encourage you take advantage of early-bird discounts (which expire August 16). Help your rising stars realize their potential and take your institution to the next level. In addition to exciting speakers that will re-ignite your team’s passion, we’ve packed every minute of this collaborative event with hands-on education that offers real-world strategies that attendees can immediately begin using in your bank to improve ROI, increase profitability and serve your customers better.
See everyone in Derby City!
Lindsay LaNore is group executive vice president of ICBA's Community Banker University.