On Thursday, May 12, 2016, a group of bankers gathered together to kick-off the new Louisville CRA Network. This Network was formed through the efforts of Monica Burke at MetroBank, Robin Graf of First Capital Bank and Brian Waters of findCRA. Unlike previous networking groups, the mission of this group is to convene regularly to discuss not only regulatory and industry updates, but to also keep a close eye on the Greater Louisville market in regards to CRA. This kick-off meeting was established to set forth the ongoing plans and initiatives and brainstorm ideas for making the Louisville CRA Network reach its greatest potential.
At our first meeting a variety of topics were discussed, including current CRA needs, the recent CRA Speed Networking event hosted by Louisville’s branch of the Federal Reserve Bank – a great success for all those that attended – and other training and networking opportunities in the city. We also discussed recent examination criteria, CFPB expectations on minority lending and Healthy Community programs.
As a group, we decided that we didn’t want the Louisville CRA Network to be so formal that it constrained collaboration or so informal that it was hard to achieve real community impact. We also all agreed that we wanted our group to be inclusive of all of the banks serving the Greater Louisville market including all of the Louisville MSA Counties both in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Some other resolutions made at our kick-off meeting included:
- At the start of each meeting, we will provide a market update of hot topics and developments affecting the Louisville area. Many of our participating bankers are responsible for the Louisville market, but may reside in other parts of the state. Helping to build an understanding of what’s going on the in the communities of Louisville is critical to driving impact in those areas.
- We also agreed to form a Louisville CRA Network LinkedIn Group – which has begun. This online group will serve as a forum for our members to discuss CRA topics and community needs. It will also provide agenda items and discussion points for upcoming meetings.
- One of the biggest developments was the Network’s decision to invite nonprofits to upcoming meetings. In order to facilitate this process, the group will develop a questionnaire to be completed by a small group nonprofits before each outlining upcoming projects and community needs. Of these nonprofits, their questionnaires will be reviewed anonymously (without knowledge of who the nonprofit is) and the highest scoring nonprofits will be invited to discuss their needs at the upcoming Louisville CRA Network meeting.
Going forward, the Louisville CRA Network will meet at least quarterly with rotating host banks. The next meeting is planned for mid-July and invitations will be sent in early June. We’re also designing a process for bankers to participate via webinar or teleconference.
In the interim, any banker can join the LinkedIn Group to become part of the conversation. Check back regularly for updates.