By Preston Kennedy and Rebeca Romero Rainey
In declaring independence 243 years ago, America’s founding fathers fought to secure certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit happiness. As Americans, we celebrate their vision, courage and determination every Fourth of July. At ICBA, we pay homage to that independent spirit every day by representing the nation’s community banks.
Our commitment to independent community banking is why ICBA continues to fight for tiered and proportionate regulations and for parity with non-bank providers. It’s why we urge our members to share their stories, stand up for their industry, and fight to retain their independence even as their oversized and tax-advantaged competitors threaten to usurp their place in the financial services landscape.
What community banks do every day—what they stand for, whom they serve, and the difference they make in the lives they touch—matters. ICBA’s founding fathers understood this truth and structured our organization to fulfill our single-minded purpose—to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish.
This clear mission is the barometer by which we measure our effectiveness and why ICBA focuses on three pillars—advocacy, education and innovation—to achieve near-term and long-term success.
As we celebrate our nation’s founding, let's remember the independent spirit that birthed our country and continues among thousands of independently owned and operated community banks.
Thank you for all you do, community bankers, to make your communities a better place for all who call this great nation home.
Happy Independence Day!
Preston Kennedy is ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Zachary Bancshares, Inc. Rebeca Romero Rainey is ICBA president and CEO.