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Well, I literally just ordered my costume for the theme party for the 50th Annual ICBND Convention in a couple weeks.  Assuming I fit into the “one size fits most” category, I will be proudly donning it Monday evening of the convention.  While I’m not much of a costume person, I thought I better try a bit harder this year given the 50 year milestone.  I’m almost nervous to see what Chairman Beall and Jordan Nelson will be wearing.  The jockey outfits last year were just short of disturbing!

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Spring is here again! Like last year at this time, I still haven’t played any golf. And also like last year at this time, I’m trying to figure out how two little dogs - a Schnauzer and a Schnorkie (yes….Schnorkie!) - can raise such havoc with my yard. I guess time and a little TLC can fix the latter. I’m not sure how to fix the former, but Stacey advises me that my “avoidance strategy” probably isn’t a good long term solution. She’s smart like that! By the way, Schnorkies are now referred to as “designer breeds” by the kennel club folks. They were called mutts when I was growing up. You can tell we live in times of extreme political correctness.

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The snow has almost all melted, spring is in the air, and the North Dakota legislative session is almost over. These are all good things!  There’s also cautious optimism that community banks might see some much needed regulatory relief with a new Congress and administration.  While regulatory relief for community banking isn’t as high on President Trump’s priority list as we’d like, it’s at least in the top five behind healthcare, tax reform, immigration and transportation.  The road so far, however, has been pretty bumpy with the at least temporary stalling of ACA repeal.  Hopefully, regulatory reform for community banks has a smoother path.  We’ll find out more later this month when we travel to DC for   ICBA's Capital Summit.

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2017 Brings Changes

I hope this message finds you all enjoying a happy and prosperous 2017. This is our first newsletter for 2017 and you likely already noticed from the cover page and cover story that we’ve implemented some changes at ICBND this year.  Effective January 1, 2017, the division of ICBND formerly known as ICB Purchasing Exchange has adopted a new tradename – ICB Marketing Solutions.

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As I write this, we’re in the midst of our first snow event of the season so I guess winter is officially upon us. While it seems like it’s been awhile since we had snow, the novelty of shoveling and plowing has already worn off.  Not a great sign.  My wife has also informed me that our older dog has again exercised her apparent right to move her bathroom indoors!  Also, not a great sign.

Speaking of seasons, how about that election season! I know we’re all glad it’s over, but it really was something to watch unfold.  At the national level, public pollsters and election models just absolutely missed it.  Republicans not only won the presidency, but also held a majority in the US Senate (which was somewhat unexpected) and lost many fewer seats in the US House than anticipated.

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