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Program | Unconventional Convention


Explore over 60 on-demand dedicated sessions for bank marketers, CFOs and operations professional, agricultural bankers, CEO and leadership roles-and on fintech and payments. Sessions are pre-recorded and available for viewing at your leisure.

  • General Sessions

  • Business/Growth Strategies

  • Marketing/Retail

  • Agricultural

  • Innovation/Payments

General Sessions


Welcome to ABA’s Unconventional Convention

  • Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association


Economic Outlook

This year has shocked our nation’s economy in unexpected ways. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida will join ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols to discuss the economic outlook from Washington, outlining the effects of COVID-19, the upcoming election, and what to expect in the coming months for the banking industry and beyond.

  • Richard Clarida, Vice Chairman, Federal Reserve
  • Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association


ABA Chair Address

  • Laurie Stewart, President and CEO, Sound Community Bank


A Candid Conversation with CNN Political Analyst and Author Bakari Sellers

South Carolina Bankers Association Chairman James Bennett, EVP of First Citizens Bank, leads a candid conversation with his friend, customer, and CNN Political Analyst Bakari Sellers. They’ll discuss Sellers’ best-selling book “My Vanishing Country” about life in the rural south, how Sellers became the youngest African American elected official in the U.S., and the role banks can and should play in promoting economic inclusion.

  • James A. Bennett, Area Executive Vice President First Citizens BancShares, Inc. and Chairman, South Carolina Bankers Association
  • Bakari Sellers, CNN Political Analyst and Former Representative from South Carolina


Pandemic Risks, Timelines and Mitigation Measures

Dr. Bob Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services will join ABA’s Paul Benda to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the financial sector and to learn of response plans for the fall. They will discuss metrics to help guide when we should return to on-site operations, any actions we should take in advance of the distribution of a vaccine, and what we think are some of the biggest risks facing the financial sector from the pandemic and how we can mitigate them.

  • Paul Benda, Senior Vice President, Risk and Cyber Policy, American Bankers Association
  • Dr. Robert P. Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


The Next Five Years in Banking

Our industry continues to evolve and transform at warp speed. From customer experience and technology advancements to challenges that affect profitability, bankers need to stand ready to deliver. Hear three leaders give their perspectives on the top trends they’re seeing, and how these new developments may affect your bank.

  • Rita Lowman, President, Pilot Bank
  • Christopher D. Maher, Chairman and CEO, OceanFirst Financial Corp.
  • James. A. Reuter, President and CEO, FirstBank Holding Company


2020 Election Outlook – Political Realities

CBS News political contributor and former RNC Deputy Press Secretary and Bush Administration Official Leslie Sanchez and CNN Host, Political Analyst, Emmy-Award Winning Producer and CEO of REFORM Alliance Van Jones will provide their insight on the upcoming election just weeks away. The two respected cable news veterans join ABA’s Peter Cook to assess the race for the White House and control of Congress.

  • Peter Cook, Chief Communications Officer, American Bankers Association
  • Van Jones, CNN Host and Political Analyst, Emmy Award-winning Producer and CEO of REFORM Alliance
  • Leslie Sanchez, CBS News Political Analyst, Former RNC Deputy Press Secretary and Bush Administration Official


Business Meeting/Election of Officers/2020-2021 ABA Chair Address/ABA Foundation Community Commitment Awards Presentation


A Conversation with FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams

ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols speaks with FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams about the state of America’s banks. They will discuss the industry’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, current regulatory issues and joint efforts to promote financial inclusion, as well as other timely topics.

  • Jelena McWilliams, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association


Addressing Economic Inclusion Through Safe and Affordable Bank Accounts

Sustainable economic opportunity requires a long-term banking relationship, yet millions of American remain outside the mainstream banking system. Hear from experts from the FDIC, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Cities of Financial Empowerment Fund, and banks about how Bank On national account standards can help your bank attract new customers and strengthen confidence in the banking system.

  • Daniel Davis, Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Emerson Hall, Associate Director, Community Affairs, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Beth Terhorst, Vice President and Senior Product Manager, First Commonwealth Bank
  • Moderator: Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund


Psychology and the Good Life

Drawing from her popular course at Yale University, psychology professor Dr. Laurie Santos presents a set of scientifically-validated strategies for living a more satisfying life. Santos will explain the phenomenon she refers to as miswanting—suggesting that some of the things we think matter for our happiness simply don’t. Explore these psychological biases that lead us astray and cause us to seek out the wrong sorts of things, and hear how psychology research shows us what we really should strive for to live happy.

  • Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology, Yale University

Business/Growth Strategies


Executive Panel: The Ability to Pivot

Finely tuned banks are skilled at leveraging their expert teams to ensure smooth operations across their infrastructure. But in 2020, these teams were challenged to find solutions in an unexpected and rapidly-changing environment. Hear a panel of bank executives share some of the year’s most notable challenges, and the solutions they employed as a result of an interconnected team culture at their bank.

  • Drew Brown, Chief Information Officer, Union Bank and Trust 
  • Nate Franzén, President, Agri-Business Division, First Dakota National Bank 
  • Tonya Sturm, Senior Vice President and CFO, First United Bank and Trust
  • Moderator: Jim Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, United Bank Corp  


The Economic and Political Crises Ahead: An Insider’s Guide With Gary Cohn

Gary Cohn, President Trump’s former top economic advisor and president and COO of Goldman Sachs, offers bankers an exclusive look behind the curtain to see how policymakers will tackle economic stimulus, trade and financial policy in the year ahead. Given his work with members of the current administration and Democrats, few others can offer this kind of critical insight into what Washington will do next regardless of who wins the election.

  • Rob Blackwell, Chief Content Officer of Promontory Interfinancial Network and former Editor-in-Chief of American Banker 
  • Gary Cohn, Former Top Economic Advisor and President and COO of Goldman Sachs


Addressing the Impact of Loan and Credit Losses on the Balance Sheet

The economic fallout from COVID-19 has banks facing a significant escalation in potential credit losses as affected borrowers are increasingly unable to continue loan repayments. While the CARES Act and the banking agencies have provided some relief related to forbearance, many banks are setting aside allowances to levels unseen since the Great Recession. Learn how three banks—one using CECL and the other two on incurred loss—are assessing credit loss reserves and managing their impact on their balance sheets.

  • Raj Mehra, Executive Vice President and CFO, Freedom Bank of Virginia 
  • Mark Ruggiero, CFO and Chief Accounting Officer, Rockland Trust Company 
  • Moderator: Mike Gullette, Senior Vice President, Tax and Accounting, American Bankers Association 


The Art of Strategy for Women to Win in the Workplace

Women have distinct challenges in the workplace—and solving them requires getting “stratechic.” Learn how to build your personal strategy and leverage opportunities, create time, tell your story and ask for what you’ve earned—to the right person at the right time with the right data. You’ll also hear tips on finding a champion to help you grow and walk with purpose.

  • Michele Thornton Ghee, Author and Executive Vice President of Business Development, Endeavor Global Marketing


Bridging Multigenerational Workplace Dynamics

Dr. Candace Steele Flippin dives deeper into her latest research to share new leadership insights into today’s multigenerational workplace. Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic, economic and racial injustice issues are affecting Millennials and Gen Z employees, improve your ability to manage and connect with them, and expand your leadership toolkit to include practical generational-specific communication tips. 

  • Candace Steele Flippin, DM, MBA, APR, Multigenerational Workplace Scholar and Best-selling Author 


Building Inclusive Communities During a Pandemic

Financial institutions and neighborhood-based organizations are working together to help repair and revitalize communities across the nation—finding innovative ways to invest and partner during this year of extraordinary disruption. Hear how inclusive community development strategies are helping to address the systemic challenges arising from COVID-19 during this virtual tour from ABA Foundation. This event features a panel of experts who will highlight stories on, and strategies for, meaningful community development—before, during and after the pandemic.

  • Diane Clark, Associate Director of Real Estate Development, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation 
  • William Grogan, President, Planning Office for Urban Affairs 
  • Christopher Scoville, Senior Vice President of Community Development Lending, Eastern Bank 
  • Kenneth Willis, Senior Vice President, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston 
  • Moderator: Robert Jones, III, President & CEO, United Bank  


Building Strong Core Provider Relationships – Industry Insights, Key Learnings and Where We Go From Here

Chair of ABA’s banker-led Core Platforms Committee Julieann Thurlow joins ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols for an informative discussion on the group’s work to date, sharing key takeaways from the recent banker survey. Hear an overview of the committee’s activities, including meetings with existing and emerging core providers, talks with regulators, banker resources both published and planned, as well as what’s next for ABA’s newest standing committee.

  • Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association
  • Julieann Thurlow, President and CEO, Reading Co-Operative Bank and Chair, ABA Core Platform Committee 


The Crux of Leadership

Banking is a peculiar business. The leverage used by banks combined with the unforgiving fluctuations of the credit cycle leave little margin for error—and magnify the role of management. Two bankers share their perspectives on what it takes to lead financial institutions through this time of instability and unpredictability. *Developed in partnership with Bank Director.

  • A. Scott Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Zions Bancorporation, N.A.  
  • Laurie Stewart, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sound Financial Bancorp, Inc.  
  • Moderator: John Maxfield, Editor-In-Chief, Bank Director 


Cyber Resiliency in a Pandemic Environment

Today’s digital-first environment demands robust risk management and enhanced cybersecurity. With more employees working remotely and more customers taking advantage of digital banking services, the current environment is ripe for fraudulent activity and attempts to compromise your bank’s security. Bank risk and cybersecurity experts will bring their latest insights on phishing, employee training and customer education, data access and control, and business continuity, along with trends in global supervisory standards.

  • Joyce A Flinn, Vice President, Information Security & Disaster Recovery Officer, First United Bank & Trust 
  • Eugene Shpilsky, Director, Information Security Officer, Americas Risk Management, Mizuho Americas
  • Moderator: Denyette DePierro, Vice President, Cybersecurity Policy, American Bankers Association


Five Flavors of Risk

Under the best of conditions, directors of financial institutions confront numerous risks. Hear the five critical risks bank boards need to focus on during the current economic and financial crisis, and steps for addressing them. *Developed in partnership with Bank Director.

  • Bradford Paige, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kennebunk Savings Bank  
  • D. Bryan Jordan, Chairman, President and CEO, First Horizon National Corporation  
  • Moderator: Al Dominick, Chief Executive Officer, Bank Director, DirectorCorps  


2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Reshape the Future of Everything

The pandemic has accelerated several pre-existing trends, including technology adoption, remote work, population ageing and wealth concentration. Learn the new opportunities in banking that are emerging from these trends—and leave with a few 2030 predictions on how the needs of different demographic groups and the transformational role of technology can play out at your institution.

  • Mauro F. Guillen, Zandman Professor of International Management, The Wharton School


Planning the Future When Nothing Is Certain

COVID-19 shortened the focus of most banks, but banks must consider their long-term future for when the pandemic is over. Two bank CEOs discuss how they’re working with their boards to map out a long-range strategy in this uncertain environment. *Developed in partnership with Bank Director.

  • Carissa Rodeheaver (CPA), President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, First United Bank & Trust  
  • Louise A. Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer, First Northern Community Bancorp 
  • Moderator: Jack Milligan, Editor-At-Large, Bank Director 


Are You Getting the Most Out of Your ABA Membership?

Looking for help understanding the fintech landscape and bank/tech partnerships? If your bank is an ABA member, you have access to leading experts and vetted technology solutions—from digital banking, to compliance, mortgage, insurance, and more—that help you sift through the hundreds of technologies in the market today. Hear why banks rely on ABA’s vigorous product research and how this benefits your bank. In addition to exploring a solution’s journey to earn the ABA seal of endorsement, you’ll also learn about bankers’ engagement in the process, the member benefits we offer, and get a peek at some of our most innovative solutions and the companies delivering them.

  • Leslie Andersen, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Bennington 
  • Lisa Gold Schier, SVP, ABA Endorsed Solutions, American Bankers Association 
  • Bryan Luke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii National Bank 
  • Mike McCrary, First Vice President, Lincoln Savings Bank  


Bank Fraud: Lessons from the Trenches

Fraud can wreak havoc on a financial institution’s financial performance, damage its reputation and undermine business objectives—and education is the key to recognition and prevention. BKD’s national forensic accounting practice will share stories from the trenches and often overlooked prevention tips during this fast-paced program designed for those with or without an accounting background.

  • Angela Morelock, CPA, CFE, CFF, ABV, Managing Partner, BKD CPAs & Advisors 


Bank-Owned Life Insurance the Effects of COVID-19

Hear an overview on the current interest rate environment and how COVID-19 has played a role from Mass Mutual. An update on how products have changed, as well as a carrier’s perspective on investment opportunities for the life insurance industry, and an analysis on BOLI will be covered.

  • Mike Dunn, Head of Institutional Insurance, Mass Mutual US, Institutional Solutions 
  • David Shoemaker, CPA/PFS, CFP®, Managing Consultant, NFP Executive Benefits 


Changing the Game in Digital Transformation

Cloud is a topic for every banking leader, not just for the CIO or IT department. Why? The acceleration to digitally transform, reshape customer experiences, lower IT costs, and focus on compliance and security has now engaged decision makers across the bank. Hear why banks like Bank of America and BNP Paribas are embracing the move of critical workloads to a public cloud, while maintaining security and compliance.

  • Paul Benda, Senior Vice President, Risk & Cyber Policy, American Bankers Association
  • Bharat Bhushan, Chief Technology Officer, Financial Services IBM 
  • Paul Taylor, CEO, Thought Machine 


FHLBank Value Propositions in Unprecedented Times

The Federal Home Loan Bank system’s “scalable business model expands and contracts funding based on need—and the economic impact arising from COVID-19 resulted in elevated demand for credit and product flexibility during the first half of 2020, and the FHLBank system responded accordingly. Hear how the system continues to meet critical and changing needs, and how it supports members’ businesses in various market environment.

  • Bradley Spears, Senior Vice President/Director Member Relationships, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
  • Damon Allen, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer, Housing and Community Investment Services, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati 


What If Trump Negotiated Your Next Core IT Deal?

This apolitical, non-partisan and entertaining presentation will play out a scenario with POTUS being the lead negotiator against Core & IT suppliers. The scenario will help bankers obtain a fair, balanced and reciprocal trade agreement with their critical vendors.

  • Aaron Silva, President and CEO, Paladin fs and Gold Contract Coalition


From Agile to Intelligent: The Future of Financial Institutions

The ability to interact across departments in your financial institutions and with your customers digitally and efficiently is what the agile enterprise is all about. Becoming agile, however, is only the first step toward something even more powerful—the intelligent enterprise. Hear the experts discuss how AI and powerful analytics can transform your bank’s operation.

  • Justin Norwood, Director of Product, nCino
  • Andrew Poulsen, Regional Vice President, nCino


Funding, Liquidity and Capital Implications of the Current Market Environment

Current economic conditions have affected funding, liquidity, and capital access, needs and requirements for banks. Industry experts will give an overview of the market landscape, discuss regulatory effects, and recommend strategies banks can employ to successfully navigate this challenging financial environment. 

  • Hu Benton, Vice President, Banking Policy, American Bankers Association 
  • Ryan Henley, Managing Director, Head of Financial Institution Strategies, Stifel - Fixed Income Capital Markets 
  • Joshua S. Siegel, Managing Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, StoneCastle Partners, LLC  
  • Moderator: Helen Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Endorsed Solutions, American Bankers Association 


How Balance Sheet Management Sets the Stage for Future Earnings

Decision-making in uncertain times drives future earnings, valuation and overall relevance. In this session, we will explore common traits and actions of several high-performing community banks during past crises and assess their decisions versus the rest of the field to enlighten our process in today’s market.

  • Dave Koch, Managing Director, Advisory Services, Abrigo 


How to Reduce the Cost of Compliance

As banks seek out ways to reduce costs, rising compliance costs are front and center. This session will break down the costs of compliance and offer up sustainable cost-cutting measures that will maximize ROI on compliance expenditures. Learn to reimagine the compliance process to increase efficiency and integrate it with other risk management functions.

  • Stephanie Lyon, Vice President of Compliance, Ncontracts


The 2020 HSA Café

Health Savings Accounts are the fastest growing health insurance product in America. Hear from ABA’s HSA Council and leading banks in the space about customer acquisition and servicing, strategic partnerships and more, including: compliance with ACA and HIPAA, how to navigate the DOL’s new fiduciary rule, the best approach to partnering with health insurers and how to make your commercial borrowers into employee benefit partners. Only at the HSA Café.

  • Jason Cook, Vice President, Healthcare Emerging Markets, WEX Health, Inc. 
  • Gavin Payne, CPA, President, Optum Bank 
  • Eric Remjeske, President and Co-Founder, Devenir 
  • Moderator: Kevin McKechnie, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, American Bankers Association Health Savings Account Council Office of Insurance Advocacy 


Hurricane COVID-19: What Is Next?

The banking industry is in the eye of hurricane COVID-19. What happens next? Hear critical updates on the state of the banking industry from investment firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods—from what to do now to what’s on the horizon for banking fundamentals, consolidation and the equity markets.

  • Thomas B. Michaud, President & CEO, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company


Micro and Small Business Banking: A Closer Look at Big Opportunities

The micro- and small- to mid-size business opportunity for financial institutions is huge. Learn how you can gather deposits, generate fee revenue, and serve and engage this valuable market segment with an offering that is not one-size-fits-all for commercial business banking.

  • Dean Jenkins, VP, Product Marketing, Q2


The New Landscape of Employee Experience

The workplace has changed dramatically this year. From remote work and transactions, to a shifting emphasis on employee wellness and the rising popularity of EAPs, how banks motivate and retain their people can significantly impact long-term success. Gain the tools, metrics and communication tactics to form a strategic framework for navigating today’s dynamic and different employee experience.


The Post-Disruption Importance of Agility

Banks are slowly emerging from this period of heightened business disruption to a new normal focused on serving clients and communities on their respective roads to recovery. As lessons learned from responding to the crisis become a part of financial institutions’ operating principles and procedures, leading banks are turning to an “agility-first” mindset. Hear how some banks are digitizing and standardizing workloads, collaborating on new platforms and using scenario-based planning.

  • Andy Davidson, Global Leader, Financial Services Go To Market, Workday
  • Jim Gahagan, Global Leader, Financial Services Industry Marketing, Workday


Quality C&I Loan Growth in Stable Economies and During COVID-19

Learn how community and regional banks can create a commercial and industrial loan growth in any economy. Attractive metrics through variable rate, medium-term liquid loans with high relative values, and continuous and comprehensive risk management support from a top-tier credit risk management team will be discussed.

  • Jeffrey A. Bakalar, Group Head and Chief Investment Officer, Senior Loans, Voya Investment Management 
  • Randy S. Cameron, Senior Vice President and Co-Head Commercial Bank Advisory Group, Voya Investment Management 
  • Christine Hurtsellers, CFA, Chief Executive Officer, Voya Investment Management 
  • Robert Wilson, Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Senior Loans, Voya Investment Management 
  • David Wood, Senior Vice President and Co-Head Commercial Bank Advisory Group, Voya Investment Management 


Sustaining Earnings in a Low Interest, Low Yield Environment

With the pandemic’s negative effects on loan portfolios, interest rates and margins, banks face the prospect of reduced earnings for the foreseeable future. Despite an increase in non-interest and net operating revenue earlier this year, a flattening yield curve and the sharp proliferation of loan loss and other provision expenses has significantly constrained profitability. Hear how two banks are addressing expense reductions and earnings challenges in this “new normal” economy.

  • Sandro DiNello, President and Chief Executive Officer, Flagstar Bancorp, Inc 
  • Mark Riebe, Chairman, President and CEO, Texas Bank Financial
  • Moderator: Laura Butler, Executive Vice President, CFO, and Corporate Secretary, First Citizens National Bank 


Twisting the Prism: A Different Look at Deposit Funding

Sourcing deposits is getting harder and harder, masked by the amount of cash the Fed has poured into the system. With branch use declining due to COVID-19, tapping new sources of stable diversified funding is more critical than ever. Whether you are seeking stickier deposit funding, want to attract a new category of depositor or simply want to learn about a different way to source funds, you will take away actionable ideas to best prepare your bank for its 2021 funding and liquidity needs.

  • Rep. French Hill (R-AR), House Committee on Financial Services 
  • Joshua Siegel, Co-Founder and Chairman, StoneCastle Cash Management, LLC 


Changing ESG Reporting Expectations

Whether driven by the marketplace or legislators and regulators, reporting expectations for banks’ Environment, Social and Governance efforts—and those of our customers—are rapidly changing. Explore forces driving the changes, hear about ESG expectations from the investor viewpoint, and learn how banks of all sizes are responding.

  • Alexander J. Hume, Corporate Controller, Zions Bancorporation, N.A. 
  • Joe Scott, Managing Director, Financial Institutions, Kroll Bond Rating Agency 
  • Brandon Sutcliffe, Financial Services, Ernst & Young LLP 
  • Moderator: Joe Pigg, Senior Vice President, FRB and Mortgage Insurance, American Bankers Association  


Employee Assistance Programs and 2020 – Will More be Needed?

How does mental health affect the workplace? Where do you start to ensure the programs you have are working, or are enough? We’ll explore trends around mental health—both pre-COVID-19 and those emerging as the pandemic continues. Learn more about EAPs and other solutions that employers are adopting to find the best path forward for your institution. 

  • Sandra Kuhn, LCSW, Partner, Behavioral Health Consulting Group Leader, Mercer


How Bias Works and How to Interrupt It

Join us at the table for a real conversation to engage in real (even uncomfortable) dialogue around race and the ongoing call for change. As a leader, it is imperative that you cultivate comfort levels for your teams and create settings for them to talk candidly about what they are experiencing. Learn tools to use in both your personal and your work environments to help shape an open, effective dialogue on these important topics.


Cyber Security Mock Scenario: Ransomware and Cyber Extortion

When a cyber breach hits your bank, will you be prepared? Every second that your networks are down, you are at risk. We’ll walk through the chain of events after your institution discovers a data breach or ransomware event. Learn immediate steps to protect your bank and restore your network, the importance of cyber insurance and best practices for coordinating with your vendors and legal counsel.

  • Akhil Chopra, Managing Director, Head of Cyber, NFP  
  • Elissa Doroff , Managing Director, Cyber Technical Leader, NFP  
  • Mark Flippen, Managing Director, NFP 
  • Natasha Kiemnec, Senior Vice President, NFP  
  • Lauren Kim, Senior Vice President, Legal, NFP 



The Most Human Bank Wins

To win at banking, you need to change the game. Change the way your bank looks at marketing, sales, advertising and overall customer experience. Based on his brilliant book, Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins, business consultant Mark Schaefer will take us on a discovery of surprising consumer realities. Learn how an entirely new mindset is needed to meaningfully connect with customers in a rebellion against status quo marketing, advertising and PR. Leave with new inspiration and information on how you can incorporate creative strategies into your marketing.

  • Mark Schaefer, Best-selling author and Marketing Expert, Schaefer Marketing Solutions


The Customer Experience (CX) Crossroads: Balancing Relationships & Technology

Striking the perfect balance between technology and touch is a difficult task for banks, but these two chief experience officers are taking the challenge head on. Hear what they’re doing now to deliver a prime customer experience, and how they plan to improve on those experiences moving forward. Shift your strategic focus from traditional to agile, and from transactional to reactional, with these tested techniques.    

  • Charles LeFevre, COO + CXO, Fidelity Bank
  • Rodney Shepard, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Arvest Bank 
  • Moderator: Shelly Loftin, CFMP, Senior Vice President, Retail Lending and Payments, American Bankers Association 


From a Forced Hand, to a Winning Hand

How does a bank seize opportunity from a global pandemic to stimulate its community, customers and culture? Equity Bank executives reveal how the effects of the crisis compelled them to shift priorities and embrace roles, projects and strategies they may not have under normal circumstances. Hear their successes and lessons learned, the cultural drivers that allowed them to stay flexible and plans for continuing the forward momentum.

  • Brad Elliott, Chairman/CEO, Equity Bank 
  • John Hanley, CFMP, SVP, Senior Director of Marketing, Equity Bank 
  • Julie Huber, EVP, Strategic Initiatives, Equity Bank


From Promo Items to President: The Rising Role of Marketers

The pace of technological change in banking has not only transformed the customer experience and back-end operations, it has also shifted the marketing function. These shifts carry a serious change in expectations—both from the C-suite and from marketers themselves. Marketing leaders are no longer simply brand ambassadors responsible for advertising, events and promotional items. Many now assume the responsibility for driving growth and owning the entire customer experience, regardless of channel.   

  • Natalie Bartholomew, Chief Administrative Officer/VP, Grand Savings Bank 
  • Kimberley Kaschke, CFMP, Director, Enterprise Marketing, Strategy & Planning, First National Bank of Omaha 
  • Karen Partee, CFMP, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Texas Bank and Trust Company 
  • Moderator: Shelly Loftin, CFMP, Senior Vice President, Retail Lending and Payments,  American Bankers Association 


The Great Branch Strategy Debate

To open, close or go drive-thru only? What about limited hours or ATM-only operations?  Are cafes the answer? Maybe a business combo pack with a bank, gas station, cannabis dispensary and cupcake shop? The answer is never one size fits all—and it’s based on a multitude of factors. By starting with the questions banks across the industry are currently asking themselves, the solutions can begin to come into focus.

  • Leanne Kassab, CFMP, Executive Vice President of Customer Experience, CNB Bank
  • Chris Nichols, Director of Capital Markets, CenterState Bank, N.A. 
  • Craig Rodenberger, Senior Vice President, Marketing Director, Ephrata National Bank  
  • Moderator: Steven Reider, President, Bancography


How Marketing Can Drive Innovation in 8.5 Steps

Marketing is a critical driver of product innovation and development. This eight-and-a-half step framework will show you how to successfully introduce a new product or service. Leave the session with a practical roadmap for every step—from gathering data to pricing—as well as data and information that will save you time and set you up to lead.

  • Chris Nichols, Director of Capital Markets, CenterState Bank, N.A. 


Celent Award Winner: Growing Deposits with a Digital-Only Bank

St. Louis-based Midwest BankCentre launched a separately branded digital bank in six months, gathering more than $130 million in new deposits in the first year alone. Learn how a bank that historically grew through traditional means launched state-of-the-art digital branch Rising Bank—winner of the Celent Model Bank 2020 Award for Community Banking Transformation. Hear the story of Rising Bank’s rapid deposit base growth, and how the bank plans to support its continued success.

  • Dale Oberkfell, President & CFO, Midwest BankCentre; President, Rising Bank 
  • Lee Wetherington, Director, Strategic Insight, Jack Henry & Associates 


PR-Worthy Ideas for Stronger Community Connections

It's not easy finding creative ways to get involved in your community. Make lasting, effective connections with the people and places you serve with these unique, public-relations worthy ideas—straight from other bankers. Hear what worked for your peers, and be inspired to try something different at your bank.

  • Casey Elliott, CMO, Kadince 
  • Sierra Jones, Marketing, Forward Bank 
  • Julie Peterson Klein, EVP | Chief Culture Officer, Bell Bank 
  • Alana Parker, Community Reinvestment Officer, First Metro Bank 
  • Danielle Remus, Marketing Director, Nebraska Land National Bank 


Your Next Level Social Media Strategy for 2021

It has been an unpredictable year of fast-paced change and digital acceleration for many financial institutions—and bank marketers shouldn’t expect to go back to business as usual in 2021. In fact, it’s time to level-up. Join Denim Social CEO Doug Wilber and a special guest to learn more about how banks are digitizing their teams, transforming employees into (compliant) brand advocates, and amplifying their reach for maximum return on social media.

  • Lesley-Anne Leon Guerrero, Chief Experience Officer, Bank of Guam  
  • Doug Wilber, CEO, Denim Social  


Digital Expectations in a Post-Covid World

Out of necessity, engagement and transactions have changed in almost all aspects of life. Banks of all sizes need to provide fully digital and seamless ways for individuals and enterprises to manage their finances. This session will show you how.

  • Byron Vielehr, Senior Group President, Payments and Digital Solutions, Fiserv


Are You Virtually Present or Virtually Powerful?

Today—more than ever—bankers must use online platforms to reach and connect with clients, colleagues and prospects. An effective LinkedIn profile can help establish your unique voice, create a powerful first impression and build a network that can drive your career forward. Hear tips to make your profile shine, optimize search, extend your reach and elevate your personal brand.

  • Betsy Hubbard, Founder, President, Mindset Digital


The Blurred Lines of Business Banking

Nearly 70 percent of small- and mid-sized businesses say their bank doesn’t offer services they’d be willing to pay money to receive. And that’s money left on the table. At one time, not very long ago, retail banking and treasury management were two distinct services, but digital banking technology has blurred the lines. Learn how this business banking evolution is driving a high demand for more robust digital banking services.

  • Michael Abare, Principle Product Manager, Digital Banking, Finastra


How Strong Brands Stand the Test of Time

Branding has always been important—but in today’s new normal, it’s even more critical to the success of your bank. Consumers are flooded with information, options and opinions, and they crave shortcuts, convenience and brands they can trust. This quick and powerful session will show you how to discover and communicate your bank’s brand, ignite and unite your team and have a clear brand vision.

  • Sean Hockenbery, President, FMS 


How to Be There for Every Consumer Financial Milestone

Using original research from analytics firm Forrester, we’ll dive deep into the findings to unveil an effective life-event marketing maturity model. The analysis will help you benchmark for the future.

  • Scott Hirsch, Product Marketing Leader, Blend 


The Shift in Core Processing

Financial institutions are moving from a core-centric approach—focused on traditional core processing and ancillary products—to a more customer-centric approach that emphasizes the digital experience. Is your institution embracing digital to create seamless experiences that meet customer needs? Learn more about current trends and how your institution can create a unified, personalized customer-centric experience across all channels.

  • Shane Ferrell, Vice President, CSI


What the NHL Can Teach Banks About Analytics

As more and more data becomes readily available in all facets of marketing, how can we decipher what is helpful, and what is analytic noise? Drawing upon a former National Hockey League scout’s experience, we’ll delve into how analytics can help—or hinder—your progress. Learn about the NHL’s push for analytics, then look at the same movement that is happening throughout bank marketing.

  • Melanie Coleman, Digital Marketing Strategist, Pannos Marketing 
  • Jason Rowe, Bank Marketing Strategist, Pannos Marketing 



Agriculture’s “Test” Era: What’s On the Test and Who Will Pass

Join Dr. David Kohl and Doug Johnson from Moody’s Analytics for a discussion on the “Era of the Test.” As new disruptors continue to test agriculture’s resilience, the growing concern is who will come through this cycle, and what did they do to emerge? Hear new concepts that can help producers become better managers. Leave with some action items to take home and incorporate during renewals.

  • Doug Johnson, Director – Ag Strategist, Moody's Analytics 
  • David Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, AgriVisions, LLC  


Ag Commodities and the Uncertainty of COVID-19

Efforts to stimulate economic activity by both the federal government and the central bank will—eventually—influence ag commodity pricing. But while some commodities see a positive effect, others will be anchored by burdensome supplies. We’ll identify and discuss the commodity winners and losers arising from COVID-19.

  • Chip Flory, Host, AgriTalk and Farm Journal Economist, Farm Journal


Farming and Ranching throughout the Pandemic – What's Ahead?

Even when the economy comes to a halt, farmers and ranchers are committed to providing safe and nutritious food to grocery stores in all corners of the country. Hear firsthand some of the supply-chain challenges related to bringing their products to market during one of the worst crises the U.S. has seen. They’ll also share what they think the future holds for the ag industry.

  • Dennis Magnuson, Farmer  
  • Bryan Hanson, Rancher 
  • Moderator: Ed Elfmann, SVP, Agricultural and Rural Banking, American Bankers Association


Navigating the 100-Year Black Swan

Economists call once-in-a-lifetime, widespread market events a black swan—and 2020’s black swan is playing havoc on businesses and society, and accelerating change. What shifts will occur in agriculture and agricultural banking? What are the five actionable items to build resiliency and agility? Dr. Kohl is back, providing his perspective and wisdom to help chart a course long-term success in agriculture.

  • Introductory Remarks: Michael J. Yackley, Branch President, Bank West, Inc.
  • David Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, AgriVisions, LLC 


New Tools to Preserve and Grow Your Ag Portfolio

Ag-focused banks of all sizes are successfully competing against other agricultural lenders with the help of Farmer Mac. Listen in as bankers describe their first-hand experiences of using Farmer Mac to increase customer loyalty and expand market share. Don’t let the challenges of today’s changing ag economy hold you back from strengthening your ag portfolio and growing profits.

  • John Bartels, Senior Vice President, Columbia Bank 
  • Heather Malcolm, Vice President, Bank of the Rockies 
  • Jeff Wolfgram, Senior Vice President, First Dakota National Bank 
  • Moderator: Patrick Kerrigan, Vice President – Business Development, Farmer Mac


Unconventional Times in Agriculture: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

The agricultural economy has been in a downturn for several years. Even so, some producers have seen success. What factors have led to this success, and how can you use this insight to expand and optimize your customer portfolio?

  • Dale Nordquist, Economist, FINPACK  
  • Pauline Van Nurden, Economist, FINPACK  


Is Carbon the New Cash Crop?

By adopting beneficial practices, farmers can draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide and cultivate a new cash crop—carbon. In this session, you’ll learn about this emerging nature-based climate solution, including: what distinguishes agriculture-verified carbon markets, why they're poised to accelerate positive climate impact, and how investing in farmers who have started enriching their soils with carbon can both enhance Economic, Social and Governance strategies and benefit the communities that feed and fuel the world.

  • Ben Allen, Senior Vice President, Global Market Development, Indigo Ag, Inc.


USDA – Investing in Rural America

The U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to support those affected by COVID-19 by using all flexibilities and contingencies to serve customers across the spectrum of available economic development programs. USDA Undersecretary Bill Northey and deputy undersecretary Bette Brand will discuss their work to provide critical assistance and financing to America’s farmers, ranchers and rural small towns.

  • Bette Brand, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture 
  • Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS), U.S. Department of Agriculture 



Top Technologies Shaping the Future of Banking

Hear from technology leaders about how banks are expanding into new business lines, improving the customer experience, and creating operational and financial efficiencies across their institutions. Topics include: creating an innovative mindset and team at the bank, digital lending during the pandemic, long-term ROI, opportunities arising from banks’ PPP effort and adapting to the mortgage market. Gain insights and practical tips for understanding to evaluate what may benefit your bank.

  • Will Furrer, Chief Strategy Officer, Q2
  • Tom Grottke, Managing Director, Crowe 
  • Jason Henrichs, CEO, Alloy Labs
  • Rob Morgan, SVP, Innovation and Strategy, American Bankers Association 
  • Moderator: Lisa Gold Schier, SVP, ABA Endorsed Solutions, American Bankers Association 


The Digitization of Banking – What Fintech and Bigtech Mean for the Competitive Landscape

Banking has always been a relationship business. As customer interactions increasingly become digital, banks will need to maintain and deepen these relationships. At the same time, fintech companies and more recently diversified large technology companies are offering financial services directly to customers. This session will look at how technology is changing the competitive landscape in banking and how banks can leverage it to deepen relationships with customers.


Changing Payments Landscape: Key Trends Arising from COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped many aspects of our lives—and payments are no exception. Learn about the rapidly evolving transformation of payments, how consumers are driving this change and key considerations to support your customers.

  • Doug Leighton, Head of Community Accounts, VISA


A View from the Valley – How Venture Capital Sees the Future of Banking

Hear from the venture capitalists who are betting on the future of banking. What trends are they seeing, where is there the most opportunity for banks and what companies should you keep your eye on?

  • Moderator: Rob Morgan, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Strategy, American Bankers Association
  • Amy Cheetham, Vice President, Costanoa Ventures
  • Ryan Falvey, Founder and Managing Partner, Financial Venture Studio
  • Walker Forehand, Partner, Canapi Ventures


Credit Card Trends: A New Outlook Emerges

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced consumers to adopt new technologies and rethink how they conduct business. New transaction habits are being formed, and customer expectations are changing, too. Hear which new trends are here to stay and learn how to position your bank to play a part of the ever-expanding e-commerce landscape.

  • Will Fountain, Vice President, Agent Bank Card Sales Director, ServisFirst Bank 
  • Karen Grahn, Senior Vice President, Credit Card Division Manager, ServisFirst Bank


Meeting the Moment: A Roadmap to Keep Pace with Debit Trends and Consumer Expectations

Join Discover for a discussion on contactless debit cards, usage shifts during the pandemic and other key industry trends. This timely presentation is for any-sized institution and bankers in every role.

  • Bryan Manka, Senior Product Manager, Emerging Payments, PULSE, a Discover Financial Services Company
  • Steve Sievert, Vice President of Debit Marketing, Discover  


Merchants Are the Hidden Gems Within A Financial Institution

Find out why merchant clients maintain higher DDA balances, utilize more of a financial institution’s products and are less likely to change primary institutions. By analyzing the value of merchant services, we will provide the tools you’ll need to convey how innovative technology and secure payments processing solutions can increase non-interest income for financial institutions.

  • Michael Rogers, Head of Partner Sales, Fiserv  


The Power of Virtual and Augmented Reality

This session will take an in-depth look at how to utilize augmented and virtual reality to address workforce challenges within the banking and financial sector.

  • Ken Glass, Industry Strategist, Dell Technologies 


Real-time, Real Stories

The RTP network is in full swing with capabilities and characteristics that are likely familiar to you. Hear how RTP’s capabilities are being used to improve retail and corporate customer experiences and address issues with payments today. Be inspired and find out next steps for your organization. Your customers are ready for real-time now. So are we.

  • Keith Gray, Vice-President, Business Development, The Clearing House


Payments at the Speed of Life

Join the Entrust product team to learn how consumer behavior is driving new trends in the way people pay. We’ll cover the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and how the payments landscape is dramatically shifting in response. Learn not only how cardholders are using their cards, but also the evolving ways in which they receive their new or re-issued payment card.

  • Andy Cease, Marketing Manager Financial Solutions, Entrust 
  • Chris Saxton, Product Marketing Manager, Entrust 

This program is subject to change. Please bookmark this page to check for continuing updates. Read ABA Conference and School Policies to help answer additional questions.


Contact Lauren Dwyer if you have any questions.