Pub. 8 2020 | Issue 3


112th Annual Utah Bankers Association Convention

The 112th Annual Utah Bankers Association Convention looked a little different this year. With the COVID-19 Pandemic, the UBA made the difficult decision to move the annual convention from Sun Valley, Idaho, to a virtual format so bankers and those attending could stay safe and healthy. Teaming up with four other states, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, and over 1,200 attendees, this year’s convention was one for the books.

The event kicked off August 5th with a virtual exhibit hall featuring 27 virtual booths, where bankers were able to visit various exhibitor webpages, chat and interact with each business partner.

Jelena McWilliams, Chair of the FDIC, started the day by sharing her thoughts on the current state of the economy and how the industry has responded to the pandemic. McWilliams spoke on each of the attending state’s economic standings, naming Utah as one of the least hard-hit states with the lowest unemployment rate during the pandemic crisis. Having gone into the crisis with a strong economy, Utah’s economy was able to do relatively well during the difficult time.

Following her keynote address, Chair McWilliams was joined by Laurie Stewart, current chair of the American Bankers Association, to discuss how the pandemic has impacted the banking industry and what she sees as the future for the industry.

The event featured a series of Rapid Fire Q&A Sessions designed to provide a high-level overview of current issues in the industry, including Bank Capital Management, Mitigating Against the Hidden Risks of PPP Loans, Leading Digital Transformation, Regulatory Update from a Banker’s Perspective, and The Future of Community Banking.

Robert Spendlove, SVP/Economic and Public Policy Officer, Zions Bank, provided a regional economic perspective and what to expect as we move forward during these uncertain times.
Quincy Krosby, Chief Market Strategist, Prudential Financial, focused on the global macroeconomic landscape and the role of central banks in stabilizing financial and economic conditions. Following Krosby’s remarks, we heard from Cindy Solomon, CEO, the Courageous Leadership Institute, who shared her thoughts on creating exceptional customer and employee experiences for a post-COVID world.

Following lunch, attendees choose from five more Rapid Fire Q&A Sessions with many knowledgeable professionals, including Liquidity Analytics and Development Strategies, Insights from the Biggest Earnings Season in Decade, PPPs Portfolios — New Customers and Careers, Strategy- Strategic Risk and a COVID-19 World, and ED&I initiatives.

Derek White, Chief Digital Officer at U.S. Bank, followed the Rapid Fire Sessions with successful business models of the future and how humans interact with technology.

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) provided an update from Washington discussing current actions that could affect the banking industry. The first day wrapped up with a Fireside Chat with Eugene Ludwig, CEO, Promontory Financial Group and former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency and Howard Headlee, President of the Utah Bankers Association, for discussion on the current state of the economy and what lies ahead for the banking industry.

Day 6, August 2nd, kicked off with each state’s state meetings. For Utah, we heard from UBA Chair Kay Hall, Zions Bank, as he passed the torch to new Chair Kirstin Dittmer of EnerBank. We said goodbye to retiring board members, Frank Stepan, UBS Bank and Doug DeFries, Bank of Utah. We are sad to see them leave but thank them for their service on the board. We welcome new board members, Brad Baldwin, First Utah Bank, Andrea Moss, Nelnet Bank and Mori Paulsen, Bank of America.

The event opened with a Fireside Chat with Randal Quarles, Vice Chair of Supervision, Federal Reserve and Scott Anderson, President & CEO, Zions Bank. They discussed what the Fed might do in the future to help the economy and actions they have taken relative to COVID-19. Following the Fireside Chat, attendees chose from a series of 12 breakout sessions on various topics ranging from Cannabis Banking to Credit Concerns in a COVID World. There was truly something for everyone!

Rob Nichols, President & CEO, ABA, followed the breakout sessions with an update from the American Bankers Association, including his perspective of what the outcome of the upcoming election could have on the banking industry. Following Rob Nichols, we closed with a Fireside Chat with Robert Gates, former United States Secretary of Defense and Glen Simecek, President of the Washington Bankers Association, where Gates shared many interesting facets of his long and storied career, from global politics and U.S. foreign policy to leadership challenges and conflict resolution. It was indeed a great way to end the two-day convention.

This convention was the biggest one yet, with more bankers from Utah than any other participating states. We appreciate all those who attended and support our association. While we did enjoy the virtual convention, we are hoping to see all of you in person next year in Sun Valley!

The Utah Bankers Association

This story appears in Issue 3 2020 of the Utah Banker Magazine.