Among the things I miss since abandoning my career as a community bank president to write this book, are the wonderful women and men of the Independent Bankers Association. They share a deep devotion to their customers and the communities they serve. They sit on the boards of hundreds of not for profit organizations, volunteer their time, and are as generous as any group of individuals I’ve ever known.
It was an honor for me to give a glimpse of this story and share a lesson about hopes and dreams with my former colleagues, as the keynote speaker at their annual convention. I’m grateful to John Witkowski (IBANYS President and CEO) and Linda Gregware (IBANYS Director of Administration and Member Services), for their hospitality and leadership. Thank you, as well, to John Buhrmaster (IBANYS Chairman, and President of 1st National Bank of Scotia) for inviting me.
Pablo Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Discovering this story was a profound gift in my life. Sharing it has become my purpose. I owe a debt of gratitude to all of those at the convention who were so attentive and gracious, as I shared Helen and Raymond’s tale with them.