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Tennessee Community Banker Named Chairman of ICBA Securities Board of Directors

July 05, 2022

ICBA Press Release Banner 2020

Kansas, Ohio and Oregon Community Bank Leaders Join the Board

Washington, D.C. (July 5, 2022) — ICBA Securities Inc.®, the broker-dealer subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), today announced the election of Thomas E. Bates Jr., president and CEO of Legends Bank in Clarksville, Tenn., as chairman of the ICBA Securities board of directors. Aza Bittinger, president and CEO of the Community Bankers Association of Ohio; Blake Heid, president and CEO of First Option Bank in Osawatomie, Kans.; and Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank in Eugene, Ore., were also elected to the board.

"We’re honored to have Tommy, an exceptional community banker and industry advocate, as our new chairman and to welcome respected community banking leaders Aza, Blake and Craig to our board,” ICBA Securities President and CEO Jim Reber said. “We look forward to leveraging their collective industry expertise in positioning our investment portfolio and educational offerings to reflect the needs of our community bank customers.”

Thomas Bates is chairman of ICBA's Safety and Soundness Committee and serves on ICBA’s Policy Development Committee and on the ICBA Services Network board. On the local level, Bates serves as finance chairman for the CMC Health Foundation, chairman of the Austin Peay State University Foundation, and as a member of the Tennessee Bankers Association.

Aza Bittinger serves on the Board of Regents at the Barret Graduate school of banking in Memphis. Active at the local level as well, he is past president of the Rotary Club of Westerville and previously served as the race director for the Rotary Honors Veterans 5K Walk/Run for five years.

Blake Heid serves on ICBA’s Consumer Financial Services Committee and is a past chairman of the Community Bankers of Kansas. He is also active in his community and serves as vice chairman and trustee for the Miami County Medical Center board and secretary of the My Father’s House homeless shelter.

Craig Wanichek is an appointed delegate for Oregon on ICBA’s Federal Delegate Board. He also served as past chairman of the Oregon Bankers Association and past chairman of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce and Cascade Health.

Community bankers serving on the ICBA Securities board with Bates, Bittinger, Heid and Wanichek are Brenda Foster, chairman, president and CEO of First Western Bank and Trust in Minot, N.D.; and Lucas White, ICBA vice chairman and president of The Fountain Trust Co. in Covington, Ind.

Since 1989, ICBA Securities, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICBA, has offered broker-dealer services with an inventory of portfolio investment products to community banks. It’s exclusively endorsed broker, Stifel, is one of the nation’s top 20 underwriters of agency securities.

For more information on ICBA Securities, visit

About ICBA Securities
ICBA Securities provides a full suite of investment products and services for community banks through its exclusively endorsed broker, Stifel. Included are traditional debt securities, interest rate products, whole loans, and M&A and bank valuation services. Stifel also has state-of-the-art asset/liability and bond accounting products. ICBA Securities, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICBA, provides a full calendar of educational events for community bankers and investment professionals. ICBA Securities is the only broker/dealer owned by the community banking industry.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at