The Industry Insider is regularly featuring interviews with members of RMA’s 2020-2021 Board of Directors that address how they first got involved with RMA, what they hope to accomplish this year, and how they’ve been coping with the effects of the pandemic. Today we present a Q&A featuring Julie Nosser, director, Credit Risk Administration, Hancock Whitney Bank, and RMA Chapter Development Council Chair for 2020-2021.
INDUSTRY INSIDER: How did you first get involved with RMA?
NOSSER: I got involved with RMA at the start of my career 20 years ago, at the recommendation of my manager at the time. I realized the benefits of being an RMA member early on, which led to my continued involvement over the years. I have enjoyed the networking and peer sharing, as well as the leadership opportunities at the local, regional, and national level.
INDUSTRY INSIDER: As Chair of the Chapter Development Council, what are you hoping to accomplish this year?
NOSSER: As Chair, I am looking forward to building out the initiatives that the Council has identified as important to Chapters, and being the voice of the Chapter network. RMA’s focus on technology and chapter engagement is exciting, and I am looking forward to leveraging that momentum to bring tools back to the Chapters that will enable them to grow and flourish. The pandemic has presented unique challenges for the Chapters, but RMA has been able to pivot to virtual learning and has expanded tools to help support the Chapters in these challenging times.
INDUSTRY INSIDER: Why is it important to you to take on the additional responsibility as Chair of the Chapter Development Council?
NOSSER: It is important for me to take on the responsibility of Chair because I feel a continued need to give back to RMA – an organization that has given me so much over my career. I feel that I can leverage my Chapter experience and blend together the ideas of the Council and mission of RMA to strengthen the Chapter network. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the Chair and on the RMA Board of Directors, and I look forward to continuing to learn about RMA and pass knowledge down to my local and regional Chapters.
INDUSTRY INSIDER: What are some of the effects the pandemic has had on the industry and what have you come to appreciate from RMA during this time?
NOSSER: One obvious effect of the pandemic is the need for institutions to quickly embrace technology. It was encouraging to see how quickly some of the less technologically advanced institutions and organizations adapted to connecting virtually. The pandemic has also led to the acceptance of more flexible work schedules, accelerating some organizations’ transition to more flexibility. Flexibility is important when trying to recruit and retain top talent in the industry, and it is important for traditional banks to realize that productivity can happen outside of the 8am to 5pm banking schedule. I have appreciated that RMA has been nimble in this time, and has been able to transition early and quickly to virtual offerings. RMA has also focused on thought leadership, publishing several pieces on current challenges, and managing through the pandemic. I have also appreciated that the local Chapters have quickly adapted and pushed forward with programming during these difficult times. The resiliency of the organization and of the Chapters has been impressive.
INDUSTRY INSIDER: What are lessons learned that can be applied moving forward?
NOSSER: The pandemic has heightened the need to focus on concentrations within bank portfolios, and understand how related industries can pool together to create concentrations that might not have otherwise been there on a more granular level. The risk in having concentrations in certain geographies has also been highlighted, as performance within some industries has depended upon varying government restrictions. The pandemic has also underscored the importance of realizing when it is time to manage the loan versus manage the relationship.