Steven M. Klein
Provides a Sail to our Industry
I am deeply honored to serve as Chair of the
New Jersey Bankers Association for 2023-2024 and thankful to all the incredible
leaders who are great stewards of our industry and incredible mentors and
teachers to me and so many others.
A sincere thank you to Chris Maher for his
leadership and steady hand during an incredible time of change at the
association and challenge in our industry.
I would also like to express my appreciation
to our 200+ associate members whose services and support make much of what we
do as an industry possible.
But most of all, I would like to shine on
light on NJBankers staff under Mike Affuso’s leadership. The challenges our industry faces now and in
the future are many, but I know NJBankers will be our sail and help to move us
forward and thrive!
LOUD and CLEAR
Bankers in general tend to be a conservative
group, and for good reason. NJ banks are trusted advisors, providing capital
and services that are vital to thriving economies and vibrant communities. This
enormous responsibility requires the confidence of those we serve, and there is
no better way to do that than maintaining prudent and appropriate risk
profiles, focused on solid financial results, strong capital, asset quality,
Unfortunately, circumstances and events that
are outside of our control can threaten to undermine the confidence we have all
worked so hard to build. That’s why it
is so important to have the government relations and public affairs resources
of NJBankers led by Brittany Wheeler.
Add to that, the communication resources of John Mangini, and you have a
power team that ensures all stakeholders hear, LOUD and CLEAR, that New Jersey
banks aren’t anything like the banks that caused so much turmoil in March of
this year, and they can have confidence in their New Jersey bank!
Developing and Taking Care of Talent as the Clock Ticks
Banks deliver value to their customers and
communities in many different ways, with many unique operating models. One
common element though is people. Without well trained, passionate, purpose
focused and talented individuals, banking, especially community banking, will
The talent clock is ticking, and it keeps getting
louder. We as an industry have a limited
amount of time to leverage the incredible talent, knowledge, and expertise of
today’s leadership throughout our organizations. Two of my top priorities will
be working with Mike, Jenn Zorn and Jessica Jakobson to 1) augment and bring
forward innovative and engaging internship and entry level programs to attract
our future leaders and 2) provide best in class training and development
programs to ensure our current talent resources continue to grow and our new
talent we attract into the industry develops the banking skills they need for
success at New Jersey banks.
Equally important to attracting and developing
talent, is taking good care of our talent. NJBankers again has the answer to
this challenge. Bankers Cooperative
Group, led by Matt Cooney, not only provides progressive customized solutions,
they also have a unique perspective on our bank and associate bank members to
provide solutions that most others can’t, simply because that are not woven
into the New Jersey banking community and NJBankers.
I am grateful for the
support I have received from the New Jersey banking industry for over 30 years,
and humbled that I have been given the opportunity to serve this incredible and
noble group. I have had the opportunity
over the last year to work closely with Mike Affuso. His passion for the
association, its staff, and its membership is infectious and I’m confident
under his leadership NJBankers will be our sail and New Jersey banks will thrive!