The 113th Annual Utah Bankers Association Convention was held at Sun Valley Resort in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho, June 27-30, 2021. This was the first live meeting held by the UBA since the pandemic. With close to 400 bankers, guests and business partners in attendance, all were excited to be back together once again. With an impressive lineup of speakers, perfect weather, world-renowned entertainment, great attendance, and the natural beauty of Sun Valley, this year’s convention was one for the books.
The convention kicked off with an exhibit hall during registration that featured a wide range of exhibitors in over 40 booths. Bankers and families alike enjoyed the fun and inviting atmosphere while exhibitors conversed with bankers representing Utah’s diverse banking industry.
At Monday’s Business Session speakers included an address from Mark Zinder posing the question “is it different this time?” considering current events, how we were, and where we go from here. Two key regulators spoke to attendees, including FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams, who joined via Zoom and provided an update from the agency.
Governor Randal Quarles, Federal Reserve Bank, spoke on the potential benefits and risks of a Central Bank digital currency before sitting down for a fireside chat with Harris Simmons, Chairman and CEO, Zions Bancorporation.
During lunch, newly appointed U.S Congressman Blake Moore addressed attendees talking about how he intends to advocate for the industry in Congress and reminisced about as a child coming to the UBA Convention in Sun Valley with his father who was a prominent banker in the community.
The Business Session also featured two different panels, “Washington Insiders” with Chris Polaszek, The Polaszek Law Firm; Geoff Gray, Grayco; and Mike Nielsen, CGCN Group; who had a lively discussion on what is happening in Washington D.C. Following that panel was the “Leading Approaches for Developing and Evolving Sustainable DEI Strategy” Panel, featuring Sui Lang Panoke, Zions Bank; Curt Queyrouz, TAB Bank; Angela Tompkins, CMS Energy and moderator Ross Romero, Inclusion Strategies. The panel addressed strategies in transforming their organizations’ culture, increasing employee engagement, and building internal capacity to assess and sustain DEI efforts.
And of course, on Monday afternoon, bankers along with their family members gathered for the ever-popular Bingo game. Over 500 individuals joined in on the fun!
On Tuesday, after a full day of activities, outgoing UBA Chair Kristin Dittmer, EnerBank USA and ABA Chair Jim Edwards were honored at the Chairman’s Reception and Dinner. That evening six bankers were recognized with 40 Year Service Awards (page 20), retiring board members were recognized, and Doug DeFries, Bank of Utah, was awarded the UBA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Banker Award (page 21). As the sun set on a beautiful day in Sun Valley, attendees were entertained by the world-renowned Sun Valley Ice Show and a fireworks display.
On Wednesday, the closing business session opened with an address from ABA Chair Jim Edwards, CEO, United Bank, who spoke about the incredible effort from banks on PPP and how 96% of account holders rate their banks’ customer service as excellent! Then Chairman of the Emerging Bank Leaders, Ben Browning, Bank of Utah, provided the annual EBL report where he spoke about the various events held during COVID and the outlook for EBL.
During the annual membership meeting, bankers elected new UBA leadership for 2021/2022, including Eric Schmutz, President & CEO, State Bank of Southern Utah, as UBA Chairman. The business session continued with our final panel, “Building Industry Influence – Insights from Bank Leaders,” featuring Scott Anderson, Zions Bank; George Daines, Cache Valley Bank; Doug DeFries, Bank of Utah and Mark Packard, Central Bank, moderated by Howard Headlee. The convention wrapped up with an amazing presentation by former astronaut and author Jim Wetherbee who provided insights and suggestions on how to develop and maintain risk awareness and the principles of operating excellence.
The UBA convention continues to be a family banking tradition that provides the perfect venue for networking, business, and relaxation. Mark your calendar for next year’s event, the 114th Annual UBA Convention, scheduled for June 26-29, 2022, in Sun Valley, Idaho.