We’ve all heard the adage, “You get out what you put in.” With that in mind, a number of INB employees have accepted positions on Illinois Bankers Association committees. These committee positions give them access to people and insights they might not get as a more passive member.

This committee commitment begins at the top with INB’s Executive Vice President and COO Tom Gihl. Tom served as a director for both the Illinois Bankers Business Services (four years) and IBA Board (two years). He is now a member of the Fintech committee.

Tom says, “I got involved with the IBA because I believe we have a responsibility to be an advocate for our Industry. We cannot wait and let others shape our future. We must engage and take leadership roles in those areas where we can have an impact and create a better future for INB.”

Presenting Leads to Learning

Caeri Chiaro, AVP and lending compliance officer, has been a member of the IBA Compliance Division Advisory Committee since 2013. She says, “I was asked to be a presenter during their March Compliance Connection telephone briefing that year about the requirements of the Service Members Civil Relief Act and the plans we’d put together for making sure that INB customers, who were military service members, were treated fairly under the rule. I have been on the committee since and have definitely learned a great deal from the diverse network of compliance professionals across the state. Our monthly meetings provide a wealth of information on the changing regulations both statewide and nationally. It also gives us all a sounding board for compliance challenges and a way to share solutions that can benefit others.”

Candee Arvin, deposit operations specialist, became involved with the Women in Banking (WIB) Committee when she went to the WIB conference last year and met some of the committee members. ”I expressed an interest in the committee and volunteering and was contacted by Debbie Jemison about my interest and possible participation. The next thing I know I am fully involved and am loving it; I can’t wait for the conference in October.”

Someone Asks, Bank Employees Answer

Marilyn Titone Schaefer, VP and Communications Director, also credits Debbie Jemison with her involvement. “When I joined the bank in 2014, the IBA’s vice president of communications and marketing (Debbie) asked if I’d be willing to help the association plan speakers for The One Conference. That meant serving on the committee. I said yes. While I try to help, I definitely think I’ve learned more than I’ve shared. It’s great to have a network of contacts . . . people who are both in the communications field AND banking. For many years I was a member of a communications group that included people from all industry segments. While I learned a lot there, too, it’s really nice to have a focused look in the banking industry.” She adds, “This will be my 4th year on the committee.”

Rick Schramm, SVP, commercial lending has served on the Illinois Bankers’ Agricultural Advisory Committee for about six years. He says, “As part of this, I also serve on the subcommittee that plans the annual Ag Banking Conference. Serving in this capacity allows me to network with other lenders throughout the state. More important, it increases my awareness of the issues our customers are facing.”

Local Efforts Help Banking Statewide

Mark Donovan rounds out the list of employees serving on IBA committees. Mark, SVP, commercial lending, serves on the Illinois Bankers PAC Board. His first major exposure to the IBA was through the Future Leaders Alliance program which Mark calls “second to none” for bankers wanting to expand their leadership skills and knowledge about banking.

Mark continues: “Since graduating that program, I’ve volunteered on the IBA BankPAC committee which has afforded me the insight into how important the legislative process is to preserving, protecting, and progressing the type of economic and legal structures that are conducive to vitality in banks and the communities they capitalize. So in the most basic sense, serving the IBA, alongside other bankers, has helped me recognize that a rising tide lifts all boats. A healthy banking industry is a predicator to a healthy local, state, and national economy.”

The IBA is the voice of Illinois’ banking industry. The full-service trade association is dedicated to creating a positive business climate that benefits the entire banking industry and the communities they serve. Founded in 1891, the IBA brings together state and national banks and savings banks that, when combined, employ over 120,000 people in nearly 5,000 offices across the state.