First cohort of bankers attend School of Banking

Forty-seven bankers from across Louisiana and Mississippi attended the first Louisiana Tech University School of Banking recently in Ruston.

Presented by the College of Business in collaboration with the Louisiana Bankers Association, the week-long professional development program aims to expand the skills and knowledge base of rising bank leaders.

For Alisha Meeker, branch executive with Citizens National Bank, attending the School was an opportunity for both personal and professional growth.

“I have always been a ‘how’ and ‘why’ person. Understanding these two words in the context of banking systems allows me to better serve not only my employer but also my community,” said Meeker. “I am seldom rendered speechless, but the Louisiana Tech School of Banking has done just that. From networking with my peers to hearing real life experiences from banking professionals and sound instructors, it has been a fantastic experience.”

Courses taught by over 20 Louisiana Tech faculty members, top banking executives, bank consultants and regulators covered a variety of topics, including operations, risk management, liquidity, marketing, sales, and regulations. A strategic focus on fintech, regional economic development, and cybersecurity helped attendees hone skills that have become increasingly critical to the banking industry.

“I now have a better understanding of bank operations and the importance of the decision-making process within bank management,” said Lance Bruce, who serves as a vice president with b1BANK. “The School had an excellent assembly of instructors and panel participants who shared their banking knowledge. I know this experience has helped me become a better banker and a better employee.”

These participants will return for a second year featuring BankExec simulations and case studies that will complement classroom discussions. Another cohort of Year 1 attendees will also enter the School next June.

“This experience has made us better advocates for our customers by giving us the knowledge needed to offer the best possible products and experience,” said Cullen Bishop, market president at Gibsland Bank & Trust. “I enjoyed getting to listen to industry professionals—all with careers we admire—give us information and advice that helped them achieve some pretty remarkable things throughout their time in community banking.”

Sponsors for the Louisiana Tech School of Banking include b1BANK (presenting), Citizens National Bank (gold), Origin Bank (gold), Century Next Bank (silver), Caldwell Holding Company (bronze), and the Louisiana Bankers Education Council (bronze).

For more information on the School of Banking, visit business.latech.edu/banking. Registration will open in January 2023 for the next cohort of participants.


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