No time to wait

Nobody knows when the pandemic is going to clear up. Some are saying there will be a vaccine soon; others are saying we will be dealing with masks, social distancing, quarantines and travel bans for years. I have decided to stop waiting for things to get better; it’s time to make the most of the present, regardless of the conditions we can’t control. [Continue]

Blockchain offers too much security to be ignored

It’s been 12 years since the world was introduced to the technology that launched cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The revolution was here! Once a mere curiosity, this tech has gotten a breakout session or two at banker conventions ever since it hit the scene. Its insistence for attention has persisted, and has never been more warranted than right now. Blockchain is on the verge of doing much shaking. [Continue]

Cybersecurity in the year of the pandemic

2020 was a year like no other in recent memory. For years, regulators have required that annual risk assessments include rating the risk of pandemics … now we know why. Banks, like all businesses were largely caught by surprise with minimal plans in place when the shutdown happened. Banks are required to provide essential services to their communities, but also required to protect the health of their employees and customers. [Continue]

Recognize what women want, and need, to succeed

We can attest to how the banking industry has developed and supported the women in its ranks. The industry’s commitment to helping women succeed is being put to the test as we approach 2021. I encourage everyone to think and act boldly to consider what changes you can make to policies or expectations so that we all continue to celebrate and support the talented women at your bank. [Continue]

Is your board an ‘asset’ or an ‘audience’?

As a director serving two boards, I can tell you that 2020 reinforced its no-star rating by the challenges it afforded leadership in banks large and small. In both cases, for me, dealing with substantive and emotional issues under significant time constraints made me grateful that both of my boards are strategically focused and functionally practical. But that’s not always the case. [Continue]

Carranza gets a big start at the SBA

September 30 marked the close of the 2020 fiscal year for the country; what an enormous year it turned out to be for the U.S. Small Business Administration. When Jovita Carranza was confirmed SBA Administrator in January, there was no way for her to know the agency was on the cusp of its biggest mission since the SBA was created in 1953: Help the country and its small businesses navigate a pandemic-induced recession.  [Continue]