John H. Buhrmaster, president of 1st National Bank of Scotia elected ICBA Chairman
“Don’t Hit the Snooze Button. Stand Up for What You Believe In” is New ICBA Chairman’s Message
HONOLULU, HI (March 5, 2014) - John H. Buhrmaster, president of 1st National Bank of Scotia, N.Y., who becomes chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today, told community bankers gathered at the association’s 2014 National Convention in Honolulu that getting more community bankers engaged and advocating for the industry is his top priority as ICBA chairman.
“You are a difference maker in your community,” Buhrmaster said to the audience of community bankers. “Every one of us needs to speak up and advocate for what is right and what is important to keep community banks strong. Advocating is about people. It’s about passion. Advocacy is about telling your story.”
Buhrmaster provided examples of what community bankers will advocate for in 2014, including addressing too-big-to-fail, ensuring fair tax treatment of credit unions and fostering regulatory relief and tiered regulations for community banks. He encouraged each community banker in attendance to contact their members of Congress, reach out to regulators to mitigate new regulatory burdens and to sign petitions on key issues. “Stand up for what you believe in,” Buhrmaster said. “Stand up and make your voice heard. Be the advocate for change. Never hit the snooze button with your advocacy. Your voice is what makes the difference.”
Another top priority for Buhrmaster will be financial literacy. He noted that one of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis was predators who took advantage of borrowers that didn’t have the tools to make good decisions. Community bankers have a front row seat to the lack of basic financial knowledge and can use their relationship model to positively impact the financial lives of future generations.
“Community bankers do make a difference every day,” he concluded. “Community banks make people’s lives better. Thank you for all you do to make this a better world!”
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.