Speakers & Sessions


Convention Emcee

Joe Micallef

Joe Micallef is an award winning banker and sales expert with over 27 years of banking and sales leadership experience which ideally positions him to share insights on universal best practices for achieving sales success and growing your bank. Joe is a veteran emcee whowill help convention evetns flow smoothly as he delivers bits of banking wisdom along the way.






Eight Traits of a Quality Teammate

Kevin Kush

How well do the members of your organization or team work together? Is yours a smooth, well-oiled machine, or a fractured collection of in-it-for-themselves individuals? In a straight-forward, no-excuses style, Kevin Kush discusses eight traits that can turn any organization into a cohesive, high-performing team. The ability to exhibit selfless behavior, show respect, be accountable, and adapt to change are just a few of the areas that will be discussed. Coach Kush’s passion for performance is contagious and will help lead your team to greater productivity and success.





Crisis Leadership

 Lt. Col. Robert J. Darling, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

Join all convention attendees for an insightful, inspirational, patriotic keynote that will instill in each listener the important role each of us plays in supporting America’s defenders. On Sept. 11, 2001, Lieutenant Colonel Darling was working in the White House Military Office. He initially was tasked to coordinate airlift assets for the president’s evacuation to an undisclosed site, but he was quickly recruited to provide his military expertise, becoming a key liaison and working directly with the National Command Authority in response to the terrorist attacks. Lt. Col. Darling witnessed firsthand the enormity of the crisis leadership decisions that were made on behalf of all Americans on that fateful day.


Industry Leaders Sessions

Jeffrey M. Szyperski

American Bankers Association

Chairman, President & CEO, Chesapeake Bank, Kilmarnock, VA


Noah Wilcox

Independent Community Bankers of America

CEO and Chairman, Grand Rapids State Bank, Grand Rapids, MN

Growth Strategies That Motivate People and Produce Results

Joe Micallef, Grow UP Sales

The importance of skillful sales planning in this rapidly changing marketplace is increasingly evident, yet banks are not effectively leveraging their most valuable planning tool – their staff. Investing time, money and effort to develop a collaborative sales plan that captures the knowledge, experiences and ideas of your broader sales team will not only produce a more focused sales effort, but will inspire greater staff engagement across the bank.

Remaining Relevant in a Digital Banking World

Dave Martin, Bankmechanics

Evolution does not mean elimination, but failing to evolve guarantees it. Ubiquitous technology threatens to commoditize banking services and has already begun altering competitive landscapes. Contrary to the predictions of some futurists, however, the human component of our organizations is now more important, not less. Dave Martin will share his unique observations and suggestions about protecting and building on what makes our individual institutions special today, and how leaders can transform their businesses and prepare their teams to thrive in the industry of tomorrow.


Hunting Down High Potential Talent + Future Leaders

Heather Haas, Advisa

The most important work any organization can do is to identify, engage and empower future leaders. A leadership pipeline is the oxygen all organizations need to achieve long-term success. Despite this reality and the bleak state of bench strength in many organizations, the work of identifying and developing high-potential talent is still not a top priority. Most business owners and executives simply don’t know where to start to effectively uncover high-potential talent and develop future leaders. This session will provide practical ideas to challenge your thinking about tools and strategies that could transform the leadership conversation in your organization.

Strategies for Independence and the Importance of Shareholder Liquidity

Charles R. Crowley & Christopher M. Chapman, Boenning & Scattergood

For many banks, the average shareholder age is approaching or exceeds 70. Executives and boards increasingly need to think outside the box to create a path to liquidity for shareholders that does not require selling the bank. Shareholder succession requires board attention, just as management succession does. In addition to improving liquidity options for the benefit of long-time shareholders, a bank with enhanced liquidity will improve its chances of raising capital and in potentially being more competitive when M&A deals present themselves. This session will cover strategies for liquidity and shareholder succession, showing why a proactive approach can help a bank control its own long-term destiny.

Payment Trends & Fintech Disruptors

Tony DeSanctis, Cornerstone Advisors

In this session, we will review key areas of the payment ecosystem and discuss how conditions are changing – including debit, credit, fintech, processors and networks. We will also take a look at where the innovations, enhancements and disruptors are coming from, and examines the keys to ongoing payment success in this environment.

Banking the Hemp Industry

Gary Lax, Luse Gorman, PC

Hemp is currently used in over 25,000 products in the United States, ranging from industrial to personal care to oil products. Hemp and hemp-derived products are fast-growing markets, with U.S. crop sales estimated to grow to over $2.5 billion/year by 2022, and hemp-derived oil (CBD) product sales estimated to grow to $22 billion/year by 2022. Recently passed federal and Indiana legislation provide a clear path for all banks, regardless of their size and level of expertise, to provide banking products and services to the hemp industry. This presentation will dispel misinformation about the hemp industry, discuss the difference between hemp and marijuana, explore hemp’s legal status under federal and state law, review the risks and rewards of banking this industry, and discuss the basics of an effective compliance program to onboard and monitor hemp customers.