Washington, D.C. (Dec. 6, 2023) — Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey and ICBA Group Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations and Strategy Paul Merski are among the top association executives featured in The Hill’s 2023 list of the top advocates in Washington. This is the sixth consecutive appearance for both Romero Rainey, who assumed the role of ICBA’s top lobbyist in May 2018, and for ICBA congressional relations team leader Paul Merski.

“This recognition further validates the work ICBA is engaged in every day to showcase the unmatched role of the nation’s community banks in serving local communities as relationship lenders and trusted advisors for consumers and small businesses,” Romero Rainey said. “We are honored to represent this important facet of our financial system and appreciate this acknowledgment by The Hill as we power the potential of community banks nationwide.”

A third-generation community banker born and raised in Taos, N.M., Romero Rainey is the former chairman and CEO of Centinel Bank of Taos. Romero Rainey is a life-long community banking advocate, having held several ICBA volunteer leadership positions, including ICBA chairman in 2016, before assuming her role as ICBA president and CEO.

Merski has more than 30 years of experience in legislative and economic policy development and analysis for some of the most prominent organizations in Washington, D.C. Before joining ICBA, Merski served as the chief economist for the Joint Economic Committee and as senior tax and banking policy adviser to Sen. Connie Mack, director of fiscal policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy, director of fiscal affairs for the Tax Foundation, and an economist for the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“It’s an honor to serve with Rebeca and ICBA’s congressional and government relations team for the benefit of community banks and consumers,” Merski said. “ICBA is proud to share the community banking story, in partnership with our state and regional allies and volunteer leadership bankers, to ensure our elected officials put forth meaningful policies that support local communities.”

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® has one mission: to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish. We power the potential of the nation’s community banks through effective advocacy, education, and innovation.

As local and trusted sources of credit, America’s community banks leverage their relationship-based business model and innovative offerings to channel deposits into the neighborhoods they serve, creating jobs, fostering economic prosperity, and fueling their customers’ financial goals and dreams. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at icba.org.