Chip Jenkins

Chip Jenkins
TBA Chairman

The virtual chairman

As this year's Convention is being pushed back a bit, we will be conducting a virtual annual Meeting of our membership on May 18 ...

TBA Annual ConventionMy term as your TBA chairman has been anything but traditional. Since Convention was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19, I took over as chairman via a virtual meeting, receiving the TBA gavel from Past Chairman Bobby Hoxworth on a computer screen and delivering my Chairman’s Address to a group of my fellow bankers on a “Hollywood Squares” type Zoom platform. And, although our nation is making great strides in defeating the coronavirus — through vaccines, social distancing and masks — I’m afraid I will be ending my term as Chairman in the same way in which I began it. Yes, virtually.

As this year’s Convention is being pushed back a bit, we will be conducting a virtual Annual Meeting of our membership on May 18 for the purposes of electing our new slate of officers and ensuring the smooth transition of leadership takes place in advance of the start of TBA’s new fiscal year on June 1. More information on this brief membership meeting will be provided in the coming weeks.

As I write this column, we have just hit the unfortunate milestone of living one full year with the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. While life as we know it has drastically changed, there is some good that has come out of our new way of doing things.

For example, at TBA, the pandemic has forced us to become creative in the way we deliver information to our members and engage and educate them. We’ve had virtual educational events, board and council/committee meetings, BankPac and Foundation auctions and even Zooms & Brews — a take on our very popular Views & Brews. We even held a virtual concert with country star Tracy Byrd during our Economic Resilience Summit — and anyone who participated will tell you it was a great time!

But nothing beats being with one another in person. There is hope on the horizon that we will soon be back together, starting with our 136th Annual Convention, Aug. 25-27. The TBA team has been working hard to make this a memorable and impactful event. For starters, Convention will, for the first time ever, be a hybrid experience featuring both in-person and virtual options. While the live event takes place Aug. 25-27, a virtual event will follow on Sept. 1-2. Our exhibit hall will be undergoing a major transformation, with the objective being “full engagement” with our members and attendees. There will be much more to come on Convention in the weeks to come.

While many bankers have commented on the unusual circumstances of my year in office, you will read in the last column of my term (in the May issue) that TBA did not miss a beat in delivering services, products, information and experiences to the membership. If anything, your TBA leadership and staff have made it their commitment to be creative, innovative and resourceful during this difficult year. I will have many milestones to report.