Sessions, Workshops and Networking

See What Happened in 2018!

2019 Agenda Coming Soon!


Eye Openers 

Funding Strategies for a Changing Deposit Marketplace
Steve Kinner, Senior Managing Director, Promontory

Over the last decade, gathering deposits has not been a priority for many banks. Liquidity was plentiful and loan growth was the primary focus. However, over the last year the increase in loan demand has absorbed excess liquidity, the Fed has begun to unwind its quantitative easing policy, and the nation’s largest banks have shifted their deposit gathering priorities. All of this has led to a more competitive deposit market in what appears to be a rising rate environment. This session offers ideas for creating a well-defined deposit growth strategy leveraging both “on” and “off” balance sheet opportunities.


Kinner Steve

Developing a Payments Strategy
Tina Giorgio, President & CEO, ICBA Bancard

Combatting fraud is an important part of creating a successful payments strategy for your community bank. As we embrace new technology and develop innovative ways to serve customers, understanding potential threats and how to elevate cybersecurity is more important than ever.

Tina Giorgio

Optimizing the Profitability of Your Bank in 2018 and Beyond!

Neil Falken, CPA, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen
Josh Juergensen, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen

Is your community bank operating at its maximum performance? Explore all of the “moving parts” of your operation—tackling areas that are key to your bank’s success. Gather fresh methods and ideas based on practical examples and real-world case studies from high performing community banks. Return to your team with strategies, trends and tools for balance sheet management, lending, niche banking, utilizing technology and processes, outsourcing, co-outsourcing and more.

Neil Falken
ICBA LEAD FWD Josh Juergensen

Five Things Your Bank Should Know About the Current M&A Environment
Adam Maier, Partner & Co-Chair of the Banking & Financial Services Practice and
Scott Smalley, Partner, Banking & Financial Services Practice, Stinson Leonard Street

A successful M&A transaction relies on active participation on the part of both parties’ management teams and board members before, during, and after the negotiation. All this must be done while navigating a fast-paced and constantly evolving bank M&A market. In this session, explore the current challenges and opportunities in the market, critical steps to ensure a seamless process, which include strategic approach, corporate governance, operations, risk management, and compensation. Gain insights into recent examples of fruitful transactions and the approach that boards and management have taken.



Keynote Speaker

The “What If…?” Experience
Mike Rayburn

Mike Rayburn

Every major invention, accomplishment and victory in human history began with the simple, almost childlike curiosity of a “What If…?” question - “What if we could? I know we can’t, but what if we could?” International keynote artist, Mike Rayburn, will share three simple, powerful tools which took him from playing empty bars, to headlining Carnegie Hall (eight times!). They work for anyone. And everyone. Always.

Whiteboarding with Industry Experts (Back by Popular Request!)


We are taking the Collaboratory to the next level by providing industry experts a whiteboard and an inviting dialogue area. LEAD FWD participants will learn from industry experts on today’s hottest topics but they also stand ready to offer valuable banker feedback from the trenches. Each expert firm will pose 2-3 industry topics or questions on their whiteboards for bankers to consider. Topics may include, but not be limited to, bank profitability, cyber fraud, enterprise risk management, asset-liability management, lending and credit practices, customer experience, and more. 

Founded on education and enhanced by dynamic conversation, the whiteboard sessions will be a fast-paced exercise for all involved and eligible for CPE credit.

Whiteboard with experts from: FIS, Social Assurance, CliftonLarsonAllen, American Solutions for Business, ICBA Bancard, Mills Marketing, PMA Funding, Promontory Interfinacial Network, Visa, Malzahn Strategies, Stinson Leonard Street Law Firm, and Finastra.

Community Banking Family Feud

Greyson Tuck, Attorney, Gerrish Smith Tuck
Doc Bodine, Managing Director, Gerrish Smith Tuck

Name a word that best describes the LEAD FWD Summit. Survey says: Engage! 
Interact and connect with fellow participants in a fast-paced game combining Steve Harvey’s popular show, Family Feud, and community banking. While traditional Family Feud responses are provided by a survey of 100 people, this exciting session will pull responses directly from conference participants. Dive into hot community banking topics, share your own expertise and learn from speakers and colleagues. One team will achieve bragging rights as the Feud champion!

Doc Bodine

Key Elements of Successful Bank Exams        

Audra Cast, FDIC
Bill Hardy, FDIC

As one of the paramount activities for any community bank leader, the bank examination process can be insightful and nerve-racking all at the same time.  Bank leaders must fully understand the key elements of the examination process and adopt methods to respond to changing environmental circumstances, operational risks, and institutional exposures to ensure a smooth examination process.  Moreover, a bank’s composite CAMELS rating generally bears a close relationship to its component ratings.  In this session, FDIC examiners will share strategies for success and discuss emerging industry trends by clarifying common misconceptions.

William Hardy

Fireside Chat: A Conversation with Rebeca Romero Rainey

Rebeca Romero Rainey, ICBA 

Meet Rebeca Romero Rainey – ICBA’s new President and CEO. In this conversational Q & A session, Romero Rainey will take leadership questions directly from LEAD FWD participants while revealing the advice and motivations that drive her passion to lead community bankers across the nation. 

Learn how Romero Rainey makes time to continue learning and innovating and inspiring her team while leading the community bank industry.

Networking Night of Fun!

Tavern on 4th (4th Street Live – 2nd Floor) 

Community bank networking event

After a packed first day of thinking outside the box, venture outside the Seelbach
Hotel for an off-site networking event! Relax and get to know other community bankers
over a variety of games, including pool, darts, cornhole and bocce. Admission for
LEAD FWD registrants is free and light appetizers will be provided. Individuals will be responsible for purchasing their own beverages. No need to RSVP.


Eye Openers 

The Dark Web Store—Keeping Your Data Off the Shelf
Daniel Rodriguez, FIS

What is the Dark Web and why is it so useful to fraudsters? Gain unique insights into the marketplace of consumer identities and payments card data spurring the billion dollar business of fraud. Join FIS’ Daniel Rodriguez for a demonstration of the Dark Web. Learn what types of cardholder and consumer information can be discovered and how this data can be used as actionable intelligence.

Daniel FIS

Eye Openers 

Starting the Digital Journey in Mortgage Lending
Jennifer Fluge, Finastra

The pace at which technology is changing is constant. For some financial institutions, taking the first step can be the hardest. Join us as we share a six step process to start the digital journey and why waiting is not an option.

Headshot_Jennifer Flug

Keynote Speaker

The Hero Effect™- Being Your Best When it Matters Most!
Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown

Learn strategies and principles that will inspire and equip you to show up every day and make apositive difference. At the heart of Kevin’s message is a simple, yet powerful philosophy for life that drives every thought, every action and ultimately every result we achieve both personally and professionally. Return to your community bank motivated to reach beyond what is required and do something remarkable!


How Do You Beat Bank Fraud? Learn from a Fraudster
Brett Johnson - Known as the "Original Internet Godfather"

Brett Johnson

Cybercrime costs the global economy $450 billion each year and is projected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021. The question isn’t IF you will be a victim of cybercrime, but WHEN.  Brett details how cybercriminals operate, how they pick their targets, the most current techniques online criminals are using against banks, and how to protect yourself, your family, and your bank against the fastest growing crime on earth. 

Working alongside the top cyber criminals of our time, Brett “Gollumfun” Johnson helped design, implement, and refine modern Identity Theft, ATO fraud, Card Not Present fraud, IRS Tax Fraud, and countless other social engineering attacks, breaches, and hacking operations. Brett understands cybercrime as no one else.  Hear critical strategies to prevent cybercrime at your bank and protect your institution's money, sensitive data and reputation.

Leadership-in-a-Box Challenge: Lead with Vision

Melissa Kohlsdorf, Growth Catalyst, The Growth Collaborative
Cindy Ebert, Growth Catalyst, The Growth Collaborative

Community Bank Leadership in a Box
         Changing regulatory pressures, transforming customer

demands and emerging technology make it difficult to explore and expand leadership skills and opportunities. As a community banker, you likely spend a significant amount of time putting out “fires,” resulting in reactionary leadership and limited productivity. Examine the components of leadership in a collaborative, unconventional way—with the Leadership Vision mystery box! Discuss communication strategies, problem-solving tactics, leadership wellness and time management while participating in hands-on exercises that will provide a clear picture of how you want to lead your team. Develop an innovative “bag of tricks” to draw upon in challenging situations and uncover new ways to achieve leadership, team and institution goals. Return to your bank with a strategic development plan and visual representation of your own leadership aspirations to remind you what drives your passion as a community banking leader.

Let's Get Digital         

Sarah Bacehowski, Mills Marketing Sarah Bacehowski
In this interactive session we’ll explore best practices for creating your overall bank strategy, new ways to target using innovative channels, the coolest bank (and non-bank) apps – and what we can learn from competitors (yes, competitors!) like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. If you join us, remember to bring your creativity – and your mobile phones so you can follow along real-time!

Cash Management: How Sales, Operations, and Technology Can Work Together to Generate More Fee Income

Marci Malzahn, President, Malzahn Strategic

Marci Malzahn

Every great banker should have a solid understanding of their bank’s cash management products, services, and income strategies.  In this session, participants will dive into a cash management inventory and review how the most important bank products interact with technology.  Participants will also discuss how bank teams can work together to leap beyond core competencies and become trusted advisors for their customers. Highlights include:

  • How to determine the "right" products to offer business customers
  • Evaluate in-house cash management resources and day-to-day management tactics
  • Maximize your banks branding of cash management products
  • Emerging technologies that will impact cash management, including blockchain and bitcoin

Closing Networking Reception

Rathskeller Room, Hilton Seelbach

Networking opportunities for new bankers

One of the hallmarks of the LEAD FWD Summit is growth and comradery that continues long after the event is over. Close out this year’s event with a bang by joining speakers and new-found friends at a reception taking place in the famed Rathskeller Room in lower level of the Seelbach. Exchange contact information to stay in touch while enjoying food, beverages and exciting prizes (attendees must be present to win).

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