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Nebraska Banking Association Says Industry Is Strong, Due to Agriculture Economy 5/24/18  05/24/18 4:18:52 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

            Dave Dannehl                                                Alan Emshoff
Nebraska Banking Association Says Industry
Is Strong, Due to Agriculture Economy

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

What were the most pressing issues as the Nebraska Bankers Association concluded its annual convention on Friday, May 4?
Dave Dannehl, president and CEO of First State Bank of Loomis in Loomis, Neb., who was selected as chairman of the NBA, and Alan Emshoff, president and CEO of Generations Bank in Exeter, Neb., who was selected as chairman-elect of the NBA, gave The Daily Record their perspectives.
Dannehl explained that one in four jobs in Nebraska is in the agricultural industry, which means that bankers must keep close watch on ag markets. The good news for Nebraskans is that soybeans and corn are now showing a small profit, and this means that money can be put back on the balance sheet.
“This quiet rally in corn and soybean markets has taken place in the last 60 days, so that’s encouraging to see,” he added. “There’s a considerable amount of optimism.”
There is however, some concern about the tariffs that the U.S. placed on exported goods to China. “There’s uncertainty,” he said. “We just don’t know what is pending. We could wake up one morning and those profits could be gone three days from now. People are nervous.”
[On Sunday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the trade war between the U.S. and China, is “on hold” after they agreed to drop their tariff threats while they worked on a wider trade agreement.]
Dannehl said that on the regulatory front, S. 2155 – the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act – has passed the Senate and is sitting in the House. “It gives many of us encouragement that some form of the bill passed. It’s wonderful to see. It’s a big first step. There is some optimism on the regulation front.”
The bill is intended to give those in the banking industry “some relief” from the regulations found in Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, he said. For instance, there is a shortage of appraisers in Nebraska, so sometimes, a bank has to go a considerable distance to find one. This can lead to delays. To address this, it is proposed that certain transactions valued at less than $400,000 will be given relief from certain appraisal regulations. Instead of spending their time filling out paperwork, Dannehl said that banks can put their attention back on their customers.
The Customer Experience
And this was one of the themes of this year’s convention, he said. “Making banking about the customer experience.” Bankers are being encouraged to expand their presence on social media, he said. “Millennials value the experience, but it’s out of my comfort zone. One thing you can say about this industry, though, is that change is inevitable.”
Emshoff said that the banking industry is trying to promote itself to younger people; demonstrating to them the importance of banks to the community and that there are more jobs in it than just being a teller. They also hire people with skills in accounting, technology and sales. “Young people don’t always understand the impact that they can have in this industry,” he added. “We want to educate young people about the opportunities in both large banks and in smaller, rural banks.”
The banking industry in Nebraska is strong, he added, because of the agriculture economy. “The workforce in industries across the state are too, but we need housing. Even in small communities. In my town (Exeter), we have a population of about 650, and three to five new homes are needed. York needs 130 new homes. Our small community is seeing a growth spurt, and our housing stock is getting old.”
The Nebraska Bankers Association’s annual convention was from May 2 to May 4 at the Embassy Suites in LaVista. About 600 people were in attendance; an increase from the previous year.
As chairman and chairman-elect, Dannehl and Emshoff will spend this year traveling across the state, talking to bankers and taking the pulse of the industry. Last year, Dannehl spent about 58 days traveling. “I think it’s important to know the challenges facing bankers across the state,” Emshoff said. “Our primary goal, at the NBA, is to advocate and promote banking. I think it’s important to tell our story.”
Dannehl, who succeeds Kristie Holoch, president and CEO of Cornerstone Bank in York, Neb., as NBA chairman, received a bachelor of science in agricultural business with an emphasis in speech communications from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
He began his professional career in college, working at Dana F. Cole & Co. accounting firm and then at First Federal Lincoln as a loan representative. After receiving his degree, he moved to Superior, Neb., serving as assistant vice president for Farmers State Bank & Trust Co. for six and a half years. He accepted his current position with First State Bank of Loomis in 1996.
He also serves as chairman of the bank holding company and the board of directors. Dannehl is a graduate of the NBA Leadership Class of 2000; the Nebraska LEAD Program, Class 22; and the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado. He also has completed several schools through the Kansas and Nebraska Bankers Associations’ Schools of Banking, including the Intermediate School of Banking, School of Agricultural Lending, and School of Banking Fundamentals. He has taken an active role within the association, serving on the NBA Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Government Relations Committee, Executive Management Committee, and Agriculture Committee.
Emshoff began his career in banking in 1986 as a teller at Farmers State Bank in Avoca, Neb. He attended college while continuing to work at the bank, where he advanced to assistant vice president, loan officer, and licensed insurance agent. In 1992, he received a bachelor of arts in Business Administration from Doane University in Crete, Neb.
After receiving his degree, he accepted a position as vice president of the First National Bank of Schuyler. He started working at the First National Bank in Exeter in 1997, where he was named president in 2000, and added CEO and chairman of the board to his title in 2010.
Emshoff also leads two bank holding companies; he is president of Emswater Financial LLC and GLAASS Financial LLC.  A lifelong learner, Emshoff is a graduate of the NBA Leadership Class of 1998; the Nebraska LEAD Program, Class V; and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Emshoff has taken an active role within the association over the years, serving on the NBA Board of Directors, Budget Committee, Government Relations Committee, Executive Management
The Nebraska Bankers Association (www.nebankers.org), founded in 1890, is the voice of Nebraska’s $72 billion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional, and large banks that together employ more than 14,000 people, safeguard nearly $59 billion in deposits, and extend more than $53 billion in loans, all within the state of Nebraska.

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