Incoming ICBA Chairman Brad Bolton: There’s No Success without Sacrifice

March 02, 2022

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San Antonio (March 2, 2022) — Incoming Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) Chairman Brad Bolton encouraged community banks attending ICBA LIVE to sacrifice a few minutes of every day to engage in ICBA advocacy efforts for the benefit of future generations.

During his keynote speech, the second-generation community banker recounted his family’s poignant journey and legacy of community banking. He praised community bankers for leading with character and integrity, which has resulted in their hard-earned reputation and advocacy successes to support customers and communities nationwide.

“Community banking is different,” said Bolton, who serves as president, CEO and senior lender at Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay, Ala. “It is a story of personal relationships...we know our customers, we worship with them, we go to football games on Friday nights with them—we live and breathe our community because we all call it home.”

Bolton said community banks build better communities and explained how his community bank, which was chartered in 1908, strives for excellence in the tradition of community banks across the country.

“At Community Spirit Bank, our goals are to be accessible, responsive, and accountable to our customers,” said Bolton. “That’s how we provide those exceptional ‘wow’ moments at each interaction. Going above and beyond is our way of doing business, and this is no different when it comes to advocating for our industry.”

Bolton also highlighted notable ICBA advocacy successes and outlined his priorities as chairman, including identifying the next generation of future leaders through succession planning or, as he calls it, “community continuation.”

“Let us sacrifice a few minutes of every day to engage in our advocacy efforts,” Bolton said. “Let us make our community bank voice heard so we can continue to succeed, so that those who follow us will succeed and those communities we serve will continue to have an independent community bank they can count on.”

Bolton urged community banks to continue their innovation journey, noting the role of technology as the great equalizer to deliver the high-tech, high-touch relationships customers want and expect.

“Our mission is a noble cause of creating and promoting and environment where community banks flourish,” he said. “I am ready for this journey because so many people are counting on us, and so many have sacrificed before us.”

To view Bolton’s speech, visit ICBA’s You Tube channel.

For more information about Bolton, including his biography, visit

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