New ICBA Chairman’s Message to Community Bankers: Fight to Promote the Community Banking Model


Nashville, Tenn. (Mar. 21, 2019)— Incoming Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) Chairman Preston Kennedy encouraged 2019 ICBA LIVE® national convention attendees to exert their political influence to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish.

“Through ICBA, we have taken advantage of professional enrichment programs, been able to acquire the latest technology, and forged a sterling reputation with regulators, legislators and the general public,” said the president and CEO of Zachary Bancshares Inc. in Zachary, La. “We are smart, we are plugged in, we are well-respected, yet we constantly must prove ourselves as the best financial alternative.” 

During his remarks, Kennedy shared how defining the community bank’s value proposition and the bank’s efforts in service of its constituents—customers, employees, shareholders, and community—has helped his community bank thrive. 

By nature, community bankers are competitors who don’t roll over when faced with a challenge, said Kennedy, who urged community bankers to embrace the intrinsic value that community banks offer as relationship lenders.

“This is the business we have chosen, and this is the way we have chosen to conduct it,” said Kennedy, who vowed to work alongside ICBA and its state affiliates to help community banks stay informed and innovative while retaining their sterling reputations.

“We ask for nothing but a level playing field on which to compete,” said Kennedy. “In a fair fight, I like our chances. Because nobody—nobody—will ever love our customers, our employees, our shareholders and our communities the way we do.” 

For more information about Kennedy, including his biography, visit

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 52,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 760,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in five U.S. counties. Holding more than $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $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