Chapter Excellence Award Winners 2016

Below are the winners and finalists, by category, for the 2016 Chapter Excellence Awards.  





Wisconsin New Member Recruitment

The Wisconsin Chapter Board has been heavily engaged in recruiting new members throughout 2015-2016. With the help of the Credit Analyst Series and Advanced Credit Analyst Series, we began to see our recruitment efforts pay off. With the Board’s specific intention to group the series of classes together, offering a discount to those that are RMA members, we began to see institutions notice RMA and inquire about joining. It is with the efforts of a board member teaching the non-cosponsored classes, that the chapter is able to offer the discount to our membership pool.

Why Nomination?
The membership recruitment efforts of the Wisconsin Chapter deserve nomination as this is the greatest growth in membership that the chapter has experienced in a number of years.


As a result of the direct recruitment of the Wisconsin Chapter board members, the chapter experienced membership growth as noted below:

# of Members as of: # of Members as of: % Increase
6/30/12 - 196 6/30/13 - 208 6.12%
6/30/13 -208 6/30/14 - 214 3.00%
6/30/14 - 214 6/30/15 - 238 11.00%
6/30/15 - 238 3/17/16 - 281 18.07%

In addition, the chapter gained nine (9) new institutional members throughout the fall of 2016. We are extremely proud of the accomplishments we have seen in the last couple of years and look forward to the challenge of retaining our new members for years to come.  

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Programming/Educational Events

Wisconsin Credit Analyst Series

The Credit Analyst Series is a selection of six day-long courses held between the months of September and March each year. The courses include:

  • Basic Financial Statements (taught by a local instructor, one of the chapter’s board members)
  • Cash Flow (taught by a local instructor, one of the chapter’s board members)
  • Analyzing Business Tax Returns (national co-sponsored course)
  • Analyzing Personal Financial Statements and Personal Tax Returns (taught by a local instructor, one of the chapter’s board members)
  • Global Cash Flow II: A Real Estate Perspective (national co-sponsored course)
  • Essentials of Loan Collateral / Documentation (taught by a local instructor, one of the chapter’s board members)

In the inaugural year of 2014-2015, the chapter had 11 participants elect to take all of the courses above throughout the year. At the end of the year, surveys were conducted of participants with positive feedback to support the chapter offering this series for a second year. We were finding that participants were traveling from throughout the state to attend these classes. As a result, the Credit Analyst Series was held in the Milwaukee area for 2015-2016. This year the chapter had 12 participants elect to take the series of courses throughout the year.

The plan for the chapter is to continue offering the series of courses each year, rotating the series throughout the state. In 2016-2017, the Credit Analyst Series will be offered in Appleton. Going forward, the series will rotate around the state each year so that every three years, it will be held in, Madison, Milwaukee and Appleton. These locations allow for the majority of the state’s members and, non-members to attend the series of classes within a reasonable travel distance.

Why Nomination?

The Credit Analyst Series deserves nomination for an outstanding educational event as it has elevated the RMA Wisconsin Chapter as well as the RMA brand to our state and membership pool. For years, our chapter debated on how we could bring a series of educational events to the area, allowing for a sequence of training for younger analyst and junior lenders. We were opposed to offering a week-long session as we had found that most employers did not want their personnel out of the office for that long of a period at one time. The way the series is spread throughout the year allows participants to come for a class, take their new-found knowledge back to their job and practice it for a period of time before coming back and learning the next aspect of the series.

The grouping of these classes goes above and beyond just offering a class within our chapter. The Wisconsin Chapter hopes that our membership comes to rely on these classes for quality education that will continue to be offered year after year.


As a result of offering the Credit Analyst Series, we have found that participants outside of those registered for the entire series, are gaining knowledge about the topics and opportunities available with these courses. The courses are not restricted to those signed up for the Credit Analyst Series; for those that prefer to take one, two or three courses instead, are more than welcome to attend one-off courses vs. the entire series. As a result, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of participants attending each course. The results of attendees for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 are below:

Course Offering 2014-2015
# of Participants
# of Participants
Basic Financial Statements 18 21
Analyzing Business Tax Returns 16 29
Cash Flow 21 28
Analyzing PFS and Personal Tax Returns 23 21
Global Cash Flow II: A Real Estate Perspective 27 17
Essentials of Loan Collateral/Documentation 42 24

In addition, based on feedback and demand from the participants in the inaugural year of the Credit Analyst Series, the chapter created an Advanced Credit Analyst Series that began with the 2015-2016 year. While the number of participants that signed up for the entire series is not as great as the Credit Analyst Series, the number of attendees continues to be strong.

The Advanced Credit Analyst Series will now be offered for a second year in the Milwaukee region with the full intention of offering it in Appleton for the 2017-2018 year; continuing with the same rotation as mentioned with the Credit Analyst Series. The courses that make up the Advanced Credit Analyst Series include:

  • Essentials of Credit Presentations (taught by a local instructor, one of the chapter’s board members)
  • Cash Flow Analysis II: Applied Concepts (national co-sponsored course)
  • Detecting Problem Loans (national co-sponsored course)
  • Advanced Real Estate Cash Flow and Valuation (national co-sponsored course)
  • Advanced Documentation and Structuring (taught by a local instructor, one of the chapter’s board members)

Credit Analyst Series Flyers (PDF)

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Carolinas-Virginias Chapter Newsletter

The Carolinas-Virginias Chapter is committed to keeping our membership informed of upcoming events and industry best practices. We have published two newsletters during the 2015-2016 year. Content is created by leveraging data on the national website, regional events and sponsor articles. Our newsletters are communicated to membership via constant contact emails and posted to our regional website.

Sample Newsletters: Back to Top

Academic Involvement

West Michigan Commercial Lending Challenge

In 2015, we held the first annual RMA West Michigan Commercial Lending Challenge. We invited 4 local colleges to participate (Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University, Hope College, and Davenport University). Students independently formed teams of 2-3 members and evaluated a realistic commercial lending scenario developed by the Challenge Committee. To assist in their education regarding commercial lending, the students utilized tools provided via RMA University and YouTube videos prepared by the Challenge Committee. They were also paired with a seasoned, commercial lending professional who acted as a banking mentor from an RMA-Member bank. In total, we had 9 teams comprised of 21 students.

On the day of the competition, the teams participated in two judging sessions staffed by lending professionals from RMA-Member banks. In the first session, they presented the results of their analysis to a “lending committee” and were scored based on the thoroughness of their analysis, their presentation skills, the uniqueness of their solution, and their response to the questions posted by the “lending committee.” In the second judging session, they presented the results of their analysis to a “borrower committee” to inform them of the lending decision made by their bank and respond to the borrower’s questions about the loan.

During the lunch between the judging sessions, the students were given a presentation by Heidi Turley, the CFO of the RMA. She informed the students of different types of careers available to them in commercial lending. Her comments were well received.

The competition helped the RMA gain 41 new student members. The top 3 winning teams in the Challenge shared in $3,500 in prize money donated by RMA-Member Banks and the West Michigan RMA Chapter. RMA-Member banks benefited from the exposure to the best and brightest finance students. 4 of the students were also recipients of RMA Scholarships

We are already expanding the competition to include more schools in 2016

We believe our Commercial Lending Challenge is worthy of consideration for the Academic Involvement for several reasons:
  • It brought a large number of students into involvement with the RMA.
  • It educated them on aspects of commercial lending and banking in general.
  • It brought RMA-Member banks into contact with potential new employees in a non-interview situation with a realistic work scenario.
  • It brought four colleges into closer contact with the RMA, both nationally and locally.
  • It raised awareness of the RMA to all undergraduate students at these four institutions.

Event Flyer (PDF)
Participating Schools (PDF)
Judges (PDF)
Banking Mentors by University (PDF)
Mentor-Team Interaction Protocol (PDF)
Judges Scoring Sheet (PDF)
Score Consolidation Sheet (PDF
Student Members (PDF)

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Community Involvement

South Florida Chapter Events to Support Local Communities

RMA South Florida Chapter is committed to supporting and enhancing the local communities in which we live and work. As a community citizen, we embrace this commitment as a responsibility and privilege. Through our partnership in various events held throughout the year and our awarding of scholarships to deserving college and high school students, we nominate our community involvement activities. The following highlights some of our philanthropic activities along with some background.

May 2015 - 2nd Annual South Florida RMA Charity Golf Classic - Charity Golf Tournament held at Old Marsh Golf Club benefiting Families First of the Palm Beaches. 112 golfers, raised over $15,000 for charity.

May 2015 - $4,000 in total scholarships granted - Four (4) $1,000 scholarships offered to deserving high school and college students. Scholarships winners for the coming year will be announced on May 15, 2016.

June 2015 - Young Professionals Fundraiser - Networking and fundraiser held at Frigates, North Palm Beach. Event benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

November 2015 - Professional Development Group (PDF) Charity Bowling Event - Co-marketed with Families First of the Palm Beaches, held at Revolutions in West Palm Beach; 45 people participated in the event that netted $3,243 of which $811 went to charity.

Golf Tournament (PDF)
Scholarships (PDF)
Charity Bowling Tournament (PDF)

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Buffalo Membership Initiative

The members are the sustenance of the Buffalo RMA Chapter.  Growing membership is necessary to the viability of the organization.  RMA Members value training as one of the greatest benefits followed by RMAs usefulness as an informational resource center and Networking.

The Buffalo Chapter has embraced two necessary strategies to grow membership within their Chapter.  The first one is tied to recognition of an opportunity to significantly grow the membership within a small community bank.  The second one has to do with steady consistent membership growth year after year:

Small Community Bank: One of our Member-Get-A-Member Liaisons, a Senior Credit Officer recognized an opportunity in which a small community bank in Buffalo’s footprint could benefit from RMA’s membership.  The outcome of this implementation provided strong results and thus he became a Three Star Liaison recruiting over 26 members.  The values he saw were ongoing training for Analysts within this organization; to provide commercial training for their employees in their retail division; and the benefit for the sales staff to attend regular events in order to obtain market intelligence to name a few.  Individual departments now include in their annual budgets funds to be allocated towards training and membership dues, highlighting how this community bank value this membership.  An additional opportunity of this initiative was RMA hosting a private class on lending to 15 members within their organization during 2015 – 2016 year.

M&T Bank: Buffalo’s RMA ongoing membership lifeline is from M&T Bank.  Both M&T and RMA Buffalo Chapter, see the benefit of this mutual long lasting relationship.   M&T has ingrained within their Culture the value for their new employees to become members and the continuation of membership renewal each year.  Our Member-Get-A-Member Liaison with M&T was recently recognized as a one star Liaison which can grow with more recruits possible through June 2016. 

This initiative is being nominated due to the strong success of recruiting members. 

  • Over the past three years the Buffalo Chapter has grown from 259 members to 306 or 18% during the past three years.
  • The Buffalo Chapter has increased its membership by 24% between June 30, 2015 and March 17, 2016, a tremendous gain of 72 members of which is primarily due to the increase membership with the community bank discussed above.

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Upper South Carolina Chapter Revitalization

The Upper South Carolina began a revitalization effort in Fall 2015.  In March 2016 the chapter held a social gathering to announce the revitalization and had 32 people in attendance.  The chapter also hosted a CEO Panel with 150 attendees.  The new chapter board has been working hard to promote RMA and encourage RMA Membership.  Since the revitalization efforts were announced, the chapter has added 26 new individual members.  This represents a 22% increase in individual membership since June 2015.  The chapter has also been working with local nonmember institutions and have been successful in getting two new Institutional Memberships.  

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Programming/Educational Events

Hawaii Environmental Risk Seminar

The Hawaii Chapter organized the Environmental Risk Seminar on 1/7/16 with 80 attendees from all member banks, one of the biggest turnouts for recent years. It was a panel presentation lead by the chief appraiser of a bank, along with speakers presenting their professional views on the legal, environmental, and compliance perspectives. The speakers discussed a team approach to due diligence, legal considerations for banks regarding transactions with complex environmental issues, State of Hawaii's environmental requirements, and Hawaii Economic Development Cor/SBA standard operating procedures for environmental due diligence. It was a tremendous success with very positive feedback from attendees, who took away a comprehensive understanding of the environmental risk management process to work effectively with borrowers, government and regulators. Due to its success and to further members' understanding of the related topics, the chapter is planning another workshop with a panel of appraisers from our local banks in May.

Event Flyer (PDF)

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Oklahoma Defensive Banking 101

The Chapter "kicked" off its fall programming with an event titled Defensive Banking 101. The event coincided with the start of the football season so various sports items were used to promote the event. Two local attorneys were recruited to "coach" members on how to be diligent and proactive in originating and monitoring loans through the entire life cycle. Information from an article published in The RMA Journal titled "Who is Your Defensive Coordinator" was incorporated into the presentation. This article contained historical Football Defensive Statistics that were quoted during the program to introduce the topic and add to the overall football/defense theme. By tying the program to a theme that most could relate to, the event was not only informative but fun.

Event Flyer (PDF)

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Central Arkansas Chapter Communications

The Chapter communicates regularly to our members through our newsletters, event flyers, emails and chapter website. 

Sample Communications: Back to Top

Oklahoma Chapter Communications

The Oklahoma Chapter strives to continue to improve on our membership communication to ensure our members receive timely news and announcements. Recaps of past events as well as marketing for future events are highlighted in the newsletter. The chapter utilizes graphic art to bolster the appearance of our communications giving a highly professional and polished look that is attractive to its audience. Event flyers are sent along with regular chapter membership email communication to market upcoming events. Flyers include speaker biographies, event summary and highlights of upcoming events to keep the members abreast of the Chapter’s activities. Our distribution list exceeds 600 members and non-members and the Board continuously monitors return emails to ensure the list is kept up-to-date. The success of the communications creates large turnout at events with the OK Chapter averaging 23 attendees for the co-sponsored classes offered to date and attendance exceeding 100 members and non-members multiple times at our general membership meetings.

Sample Chapter Communications: Back to Top

Academic Involvement

Empire Local College Engagement

The Chapter has visited three local colleges to present the RMA Scholarship and the Student Membership programs. To date the chapter has discussed and provided information on its programs to over 250 students collectively at Oswego State University, Syracuse University and Cayuga College. The chapter has made contact with LeMoyne College in Syracuse NY and provided the student information and scheduling a visit within the next 30 days. Other colleges in NYS will be contacted as part of the overall chapter goal. To date, the Empire NY Chapter has gained over 20 new student members.

Additional students are expected to join based on feedback from them and personal invitations made by chapter members to attend chapter events. The chapter members through its college student contact has been meeting one on one with students interested in summer internship at member banks or to discuss careers in banking. To date over 10 students have been referred to local banks. RMA has also involved its RMA Young Professionals in the college visit program and arraigned several meetings between the students and YP to discuss career planning and opportunity for the YP to discuss post college experience with the student. RMA representatives have also been invited in to the classroom at Oswego State University to participate in the Student Final Exam during the fall 2015 semester. RMA Chapter President John Carpenter attended the exam site and participated in critiquing student loan presentations/proposals on various types of commercial loans.

On April 28 2016 several Empire Chapter members/bank loan officers together with RMA Empire Chapter President attended a formalized student event at Syracuse University's School of Management. The class is titled Real Estate Capital Markets. The class is taught by Professor Graig Arcuri PhD. Dr. Arcuri is also an RMA Empire NY Board member. The students have been engaged in a class project to seek out actual real estate projects in the local community or hometown of the student and prepare a loan proposal together with projections and feasibility data. Each project required financing and RMA members/lenders were invited in to the class to serve on a mock Officers Loan Committee (OLC). The OLC was presented with nine loan proposal on projects ranging from apartments, mixed use office/apartment, multifamily and solar wind energy. Four of the loan proposals were actual live loan requests where the student and other outside interests are seeking financing and guidance from the OLC/RMA members. This program was part of the student's final exam.

Dr. Arcuri, has approached Oswego State University to develop a banking degree program. Professor Arcuri and RMA Empire are seeking a plan to have RMA training incorporated into a student's degree to ready them for a career in banking. It is recognized that there is a shortage of trained credit analysts in the banking community as banks have cut back on internal training programs and pushing analysts into a sales roll before developing full proficiency in credit. The Colleges will now be presented with the specific information on the Academic Initiative RMA initiative (Internship and the new Credit Analysis Certificate). This initiative is proposed for nomination to receive an RMA Chapter Excellence Award as the student interaction with experienced bankers and other business leaders is critical to the growth and development of future leaders. The RMA members and business leaders are an excellent resource for students and gaining out of classroom experience is invaluable.

Sample Student Loan Proposal (PDF)
Mock Loan Committee Photo (PDF)

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Vermont Careers in Banking

Careers in Banking was held on October 7, 2015 at St. Michael's College to showcase banking opportunities in Vermont and give college students an opportunity to meet bankers. The program was development in collaboration with Vermont RMA, Vermont Bankers Association and St. Michael's College to try and tap resources to fill the needs of Vermont financial institutions and their employment vacancies.

We attracted about 30 students to the forum and 11 banks represented with display tables. The program included bankers giving insight to the banking world through various departments of a financial institution.

The results were positive with 2-3 student memberships to RMA as well as two other colleges contacting us for similar events. Also we had a St. Michael's student apply and win an RMA foundation scholarship, which was showcased at the event.

Program Flyer (PDF)

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Community Involvement

North Texas Young Professionals Annual Holiday (and Ugly Sweater) Party

Since its inception, the Young Professionals Group of the North Texas Chapter has placed an emphasis on giving back to the North Texas community. On 12/3/15, the YP hosted its Annual Holiday (and Ugly Sweater) Party at British Beer Company benefiting Bryan's House, a local non-profit that serves children with medical or developmental needs and their families. The 50+ young professionals who attended enjoyed the fellowship networking, and spirits but the best outcome was that the event raised more than $1,500 that was used by the charity to buy Christmas gifts for children whose families could otherwise not afford gifts. In addition, attendees brought more than 20 unwrapped gifts to the event that were donated to Bryan's House. But the giving back did not stop there!  Soon thereafter, several YP board members volunteered to help in Bryan's House's "Cookies with Santa" event, helping to pass out gifts, take pictures, pass out raffle tickets, and set-up and clean-up the event.

Event Flyer and Photo (PDF)

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Richmond RMA Has Heart Event

The purpose of the Richmond Chapter's RMA Has Heart event - which falls during American Heart Month - is two fold: first, to honor the Businesswoman of the Year selected by the chapter board (with special attention paid to the various nominees' dedication to community service); and second, to raise awareness of women's heart health issues through a partnership with the local chapter of Go Red for Women/The American Heart Association. All proceeds from the event are donated to Go Red. The RMA Has Heart event really stands out from the rest of the chapter's calendar of events because of the unique nexus it offers between philanthropy and the RMA's more traditional business objectives. This year, both the honoree (Dorinda Smith; CEO of SunTrust Morgtage) and the survivor speaker (also a SunTrust Mortgage employee) spoke about viewing risk management through the lends of heart and health issues. Despite only being in its second year, the event was an overwhelming success, attracting over 80 attendees and resulting in a $1,700 donation to Go Red.

Event Flyer (PDF)

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