Szyperski Urges Bank Leaders to Engage Employees in Advocacy

Outgoing ABA Chairman Jeff Szyperski issued a rallying call to bankers to “get [their]whole organization involved” in grassroots advocacy. In a lighthearted speech at the American Bankers Association’s Annual Convention in Seattle, Szyperski—who is chairman, president and CEO of Chesapeake Bank in Kilmarnock, Va.—emphasized that “grassroots engagement is a contact sport. The more people we get engaged in the process, the stronger we are—and the fewer blisters a select few will get!”

Szyperski unveiled a new grassroots platform—Secure American Opportunity (powered by ABA)—that seeks to engage not just the banking industry but also American consumers to learn about and engage on economic policy issues. “The basic premise Secure American Opportunity is this: that a strong financial industry leads to a strong economy, and that ties into all Americans’ best interests,” he said.

Szyperski also highlighted a new video series about careers in banking that was completed during his time as chairman. The videos were released last month and feature a set of diverse leaders at various stages in their careers at institutions of all sizes. Szyperski encouraged bankers to share the videos on their website and social media channels, adding that “I cannot think of a better recruitment tool for our industry.”