2019 Peer Forum

The Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA) was honored to host over 99 representatives of 52 CDFI banks at our largest Peer Forum yet. The CDBA Peer Forum is one of the CDFI banking industry's most important opportunities for networking, sharing best practices and supporting peer learning. This year's event, held June 3-June 5 at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., encapsulated everything community development bankers love about the Peer Forum.

Distinguished Speakers

The Peer Forum gives community development bankers a unique opportunity to hear directly from top regulators and agency officials. This year we welcomed featured speakers The Honorable Terri Sewell, US House of Representatives; Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Joseph Otting, Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Eugene Ludwig, CEO, Promontory Financial Group; Patrick Hanlon of Thinktopia; and Jodie Harris, Director of the CDFI Fund.

Sharing Best Practices

Our panels demonstrate the diversity, impact and innovation of the community development banking sector. Peer Forum panels are comprised of community development bankers and industry experts who share the keys to their success with the goal of improving the sector as a whole.

Peer Networking and Discussions

Networking among members is the most valuable and enjoyable aspect of the Peer Forum. This year's Peer Forum featured lively networking events, including new breakout sessions designed to spark ideas and cultivate teamwork. We also maintained our established tradition of a Peer Forum dinner. 

Peer Forum Agenda (pdf)

Speaker Bios (pdf)

Day One: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

7:30 am Registration & Breakfast

Breakfast Sponsored by American Bankers Association (Silver Sponsor)

8:30 am Introductions & Review of Agenda

Speakers: Bob Jones (United Bank) and Jeannine Jacokes (CDBA)

9:00 am Opening Keynote: Eugene Ludwig, CEO, Promontory Financial Group 

Gene Ludwig is a business leader and expert on banking regulation, risk management, and fiscal policy. Promontory, founded in 2001, is synonymous with excellence in compliance and risk management, and helps financial companies resolve their most pressing challenges. Before founding Promontory, Gene was vice chairman and senior control officer of Bankers Trust New York Corp. As U.S. comptroller of the currency from 1993 to 1998, Gene served as the Clinton administration's point person on the policy response to the credit crunch of the 1990s. He enhanced the ability of financial institutions to compete even as he refocused the industry on meeting its obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act. Under his purview, lending to low and moderate income Americans increased tenfold, as did national bank investments in community development corporations. Before becoming comptroller, Gene was a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling. Gene graduated magna cum laude from Haverford College, holds a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University, and a Juris Doctor from Yale University.

9:30 am Insights on Community Reinvestment Act Reform

Spurred by radically changing technology, financial service delivery, and industry players, federal bank regulators have embarked on an effort to update CRA 20+ years since the last major regulatory overhaul. Our expert panel will share their thoughts on what a revised CRA may look like in this new era.

Speakers: Art Fleming (FHLB Atlanta)(Moderator), Laurie Goodman (Urban Institute), Maurice Jones (LISC), David Dworkin (National Housing Conference), Krista Shonk (American Bankers Association) Panel Sponsored by FHLB Atlanta (Silver Sponsor)

10:30 am Aligning Mission, Culture & Internal Branding

Great companies -- particularly mission-driven banks -- aspire to a bigger vision or purpose beyond just making money. Employees are a company's greatest ambassadors in defining customer experience and external brand. Speakers will talk about how bank leadership can inspire and build an internal culture and brand that connects to its mission and motivates its employees to be effective brand ambassadors and partners in implementing a bank's vision.

Facilitators: Martin Thoma (ThomaThoma), Darrin Williams (Southern Bancorp) and David Reiling (Sunrise Banks) (Interactive Small Group Discussion)

12:00 noon Lunch Keynote: Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Jelena McWilliams was sworn in as the 21st Chairman of the FDIC on June 5, 2018.  She serves a six-year term on the FDIC Board of Directors, and is designated as Chairman for a term of five years. Ms. McWilliams was Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio.  There, she served as a member of the executive management team and numerous bank committees including: Management Compliance, Enterprise Risk, Risk and Compliance, Operational Risk, Enterprise Marketing, and Regulatory Change. Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank, Ms. McWilliams worked in the U.S. Senate for six years, most recently as Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and previously as Assistant Chief Counsel with the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

From 2007 to 2010, Ms. McWilliams served as an attorney at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she drafted consumer protection regulations, reviewed and analyzed comment letters on regulatory proposals, and responded to consumer complaints.  Before entering public service, she practiced corporate and securities law at Morrison & Foerster LLP in Palo Alto, California, and Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP) in Washington, D.C.  Ms. McWilliams graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in political science, and earned her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.

Lunch Sponsored by Jones Walker LLP (Gold Sponsor)

1:00 pm What is Next for Opportunity Zones?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created the exciting new Opportunity Zones (OZs) initiative that promises to drive long-term private capital into distressed urban and rural communities. A panel of CDFI bankers will talk about how they are working within their local communities to implement OZ strategies. Panelists: Lisa Green Hall (Beeck Center of Georgetown University)(Moderator),

Bill Dana (Central Bank of Kansas City), Tom Nida (City First Bank of DC), Adam Northup (Virginia Community Capital, LOCUS Impact Investing)

Panel Sponsored by FHLB Des Moines (Silver Sponsor)

2:00 pm Innovation Lab (Interactive Small Group Discussion)

A select group of CDFI banks working on products, services or systems innovations will each do a 2-minute pitch on their new offerings. Attendees will break into small discussion groups to give feedback and recommendations on their products and delivery strategies.

Innovation Lab Descriptions (pdf)

3:00 pm Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Terri Sewell, US House of Representatives

Congresswoman Terri Sewell is in her fifth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.  She is one of the first women elected to Congress from Alabama in her own right and is the first black woman to ever serve in the Alabama Congressional delegation. Congresswoman Sewell sits on the exclusive House Ways and Means Committee and brings to the committee her more than 15 years of experience as a securities and public finance attorney.  Currently, in the 116th Congress, she serves as Vice-Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee. In her short time in Congress, Sewell has held several leadership positions, including Freshman Class President in the 112th Congress.  This current term, she was selected by Democratic leadership to serve as a Chief Deputy Whip, and sits on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee which sets the policy direction of the Democratic Caucus.

A proud product of Alabama’s rural Black Belt, Congresswoman Sewell was the first black valedictorian of Selma High School. She is an honors graduate of Princeton University and Oxford University in England and received her law degree from Harvard Law School.

3:45 pm Aligning Technology & Data to Advance Your Mission

Creating positive community impacts is core to every CDFI and mission-focused bank. Talking about impact is difficult without data. Most banks collect significant data about their customers that can be repurposed to talk about impact, marketing, and more. Our panel will discuss how to mine data you already collect to tell your story.

Panelists: Darien Bates (Datileo)(Moderator), Chris Raper (Smiley Technologies, Inc.), Mike Dionne (Finastra), JG Staal (AdapticAI) Panel sponsored by Smiley Technologies, Inc. (Gold Sponsor) & Finastra (Gold Sponsor)

4:45 pm Underserved Housing Markets & Opportunities Created by GSE Duty to Serve

In late 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the final version of the Duty to Serve Rule required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The rule requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (government-sponsored enterprises or GSEs) to provide leadership to facilitate a secondary market for mortgages on housing for low- and moderate-income families. Speakers will talk about how the GSEs will meet these requirements with an emphasis on opportunities to partner with CDFI banks.

Panelists: Greg Hettrick (FHLB Dallas)(Moderator), Jim Gray (FHFA), Brian Culhane (Freddie Mac), Sarah Edelman (Fannie Mae)

Panel sponsored by FHLB Dallas (Silver Sponsor), Fannie Mae (Silver Sponsor) & Freddie Mac (Silver Sponsor)

Reception and Dinner at Boqueria Penn Quarter

6:45 pm Cocktail Reception
7:45 pm Dinner

Day Two Wednesday, June 5, 2019

7:30 am Breakfast

Breakfast Sponsored by Banzai, Inc. (Silver Sponsor)

8:30 am Membership Meeting

Treasurer's Report
Board Elections
CEO's Report
--Impact @ Scale Initiative
--Public Policy Update

9:00 am Keynote Speaker: Patrick Hanlon of Thinktopia

Conventional branding and marketing has been disrupted. After decades of being told what to think about products and services, consumers no longer care. Social media has created a new ecosystem whereby bottom-up marketing (i.e. word-of-mouth customer endorsement) has replaced top-down marketing (i.e TV or print ad buys). Key to success is the quality of the "idea" around your brand and the quality of the community you build around that idea. Patrick Hanlon, author of The Social Code, has been called the "Charles Darwin of branding. " He will discuss how to build effective brand communities.

9:30 am Aligning Mission, Message & Impact

Creating a distinctive brand is critical for cultivating customers and external stakeholder loyalty. Mission-focused banks are uniquely positioned to create brands that inspire customers to help build communities and create impact. A panel of CDFI bank practitioners will discuss how they are creating distinctive brands and impactful brands.

Panelists: Becca Hoeft (Sunrise Banks)(Moderator), Carter Leak IV (Bank of St. Francisville), Doyle Mitchell (Industrial Bank), Andrea Walker (Beneficial State Bank)

10:45 am How is Impact Investing Affecting Bank Investors?

Impact investing is a major trend within the emerging purpose-driven economy. Within some sectors, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and SRI (socially responsible investing) have transformed the investment landscape. How are or will these trends affect the bank investor sector?

Panelists: Steve Kinner (Promontory Interfinancial Network) (Moderator), Meg Voorhes (US Social Investment Forum), Saurabh Narain (National Community Investment Fund), Tony Berkley (Prudential), Jan Piercy (Enclude), Chris Marinac (Financial Institutions Group)

Panel sponsored by Promontory Interfinancial Network (Gold Sponsor), National Community Investment Fund (Bronze Sponsor)

12:00 pm Lunch

Lunch sponsored by Promontory Fulfillment Services (Gold Sponsor)

1:00 pm The Secret Sauce: Lessons Learned in Applying to the CDFI Fund (Interactive Small Group Discussion)

Faciliators: FI Strategies (Holly Logue, Ben Sones), Fund Consulting (Lolita Sereleas), Community Funding Advisors (Dawn Reiff), Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (Tyler Inda), Jones Walker LLP (Aileen Thomas)

CDFI bankers and expert advisors will share best practices, tips and advice on how to prepare and to succeed in competing for awards, as well as how to manage
expectations at your bank. For this interactive session, we will break up into small
groups by program.

  • CDFI Financial & Technical Assistance Program
  • Bank Enterprise Award Program, Certification & Compliance
  • Capital Magnet Program
  • New Markets Tax Credit Program

Panel sponsored by Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (Gold Sponsor), FI Strategies (Silver Sponsor), Fund Consulting (Silver Sponsor), Community Funding Advisors (Bronze Sponsor)

2:30 pm Keynote: Joseph Otting, Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Joseph M. Otting was sworn in as the 31st Comptroller of the Currency on November 27, 2017. The OCC supervises nearly 1,400 national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks operating in the United States. The Comptroller also serves as a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Prior to becoming Comptroller of the Currency, Mr. Otting was an executive in the banking industry. He served as President of CIT Bank and Co-President of CIT Group, Chief Executive Officer of OneWest Bank, N.A., Vice Chairman of U.S. Bancorp, member of U.S. Bank's main subsidiary banks' Board of Directors, and many other roles.

Mr. Otting has also played significant roles in charitable and community development organizations. He has served as a board member for the California Chamber of Commerce, the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial foundation, the Associated Oregon Industries, and many other mission focused organizations. Mr. Otting holds a bachelor of arts in management from the University of Northern Iowa and is a graduate of the School of Credit and Financial Management, which was held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

3:00 pm Keynote Speaker: Jodie Harris, Director of the CDFI Fund

The CDFI Fund Director will discuss program updates and new priorities for the agency.