Life is a Dance at The Texas Bankers Association Annual Convention

by Heath Stanley

Life is a Dance at The Texas Bankers Association Annual Convention at the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock.  It was great seeing the bankers, clients, partners, the TBA, and John Michael Montgomery!  

Commissioner Cooper was insightful as always.  From a cyber security perspective, he could not have implored bankers to be more aware of cyber threats while also praising us for how well we have adapted to the Eastern European conflict.  We still believe attack on infrastructure is still a huge threat to our economy and national security, which is why at Vala Secure VISO services we have focused on updating these risk assessments appropriately in addition to conducting roundtable exercises on how to operate the bank without access to core or power services.  I've been proud of our banker's out of the box thinking in these scenarios and am confident that we can weather any of these storms better than most industries.  This was a theme throughout as General Jack Keane was quick to tell us that while the Eastern European conflict could last for years, it would be a drop in the bucket to how the US is affected if China were to take similar action against Taiwan.  And how the Chinese threat to our cyber landscape is a significantly larger threat, if only due to their amount of resources compared to the Russians.  
In more upbeat sessions, I was pleased to hear the CEO from SHRM, Johnny C. Taylor, talk about culture and recruiting/retaining talent.  Vala Secure offers 6 of the 7 key initiatives employees expect in '22 including open leave and remote work flexibility.  This is me researching if we need to get pet insurance for our staff's furry friends.  
It was also interesting to see just as many, if not more bankers in the crypto sessions as the M&A sessions.  I think our heads were spinning just as fast on crypto after the session than before, but the action item here is to be prepared for crypto to integrate into banking.  The Chief Innovation Officer at Nydig, Patrick Sells, says over 70% of consumers said they wish their banks had some sort of crypto offering.  We've seen our banks dip their toes into the crypto world with online banking integrations, offering reward programs in crypto and even consider making their own coins!
We look forward to seeing everyone again soon!