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.
With direction this past year from a special committee of ICBND member bankers, it was determined that we needed to freshen the brand and image. Lacey and Jess are so much more than “order takers”, but I don’t think the former name portrayed that. I think ICB Marketing Solutions, as a brand, implies a forward thinking service aspect that better represents what this function of your association does. The same great people…the same great tagline “Together We Prosper”…but a bit of a fresh start as we evolve to better serve the changing needs of our customers.
Switching gears, we’re just about four weeks through the 65th Assembly of the North Dakota Legislative Session. And, I would say things are going generally as expected. Taxable sales in our state have seen double digit year-over-year declines for each of the past six quarters. As a result, there’s a bit of a cloud that hovers throughout the halls of the Capitol. Services of all kinds, economic tax incentives, and employment needs are all being heavily scrutinized, and many will be cut. It’s not all doom and gloom however. North Dakota is still in an enviable financial position compared to many other states with commodity-dependent economies. Many would argue that the current situation provides an opportunity to rightsize government and to implement efficiencies that might otherwise be overlooked in more flush economic times. In my limited space here, I won’t wander into the weeds of the bills and issues that ICBND is following. However, the ICBND Legislative Update is distributed and posted weekly for your reference.
Finally, let me shamelessly plug another great ICBND program. The Emerging Leaders Development Program provides opportunities for current and future banking leaders to accelerate their development and network with their peers throughout the state. Importantly, we make sure they have some fun as well. As further incentive, membership in the program also provides participants a complimentary registration to the 50th Annual ICBND Convention this summer.
Until next time, stay safe and warm!