The American Bankers Association’s chief operating officer, Jeff Owen, today announced that he would retire at the end of 2017. During his 45-year career with the association, he founded the Community Bankers Council, created the National Conference for Community Bankers and worked to grow and deepen the ABA-State Bankers Association Alliance. He also played a leadership role in integrating America’s Community Bankers when it merged with ABA in 2007.
“It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve the banking industry throughout my working career,” Owen said in an email to staff. He noted that his tenure has included working with five different CEOs, 69 chairmen and treasurers, 400 state association executives and thousands of bankers.
“It is not an exaggeration to say Jeff has helped make ABA what it is today,” remarked ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols. “It’s hard to think of anyone with a greater dedication or passion for the bankers and staff who make up this association — or who has contributed as much to its success.”
ABA’s volunteer banker officers — Chairman Dorothy Savarese, Chairman-Elect Ken Burgess, Vice Chairman Jeff Szyperski and Treasurer George Hermann — also saluted Owen in an email to ABA staff. “Associations can only succeed when the members who belong to them step up, engage and lead effectively, and Jeff encouraged that at every turn,” they said. “He has encouraged bankers’ professional development and mentored countless banker-leaders, urging them to take on more demanding roles and ensuring that ABA remained true to its roots as an association of bankers for bankers. Few have played such an integral role and done so much for a single association.”