This conference, held annually for Midwest Bank Leaders, addresses economic developments, government relations, and advancements in technology among other key drivers forcing change in the banking industry. Join CEOs, presidents, senior managers, and directors to network, exchange views amongst colleagues, and prepare for 2024.

Previous Agenda


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 
Networking Breakfast 

9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. 
Welcome from Our Host 
Dan Watts, President, Forest Park National Bank & Trust Company  

9:05 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. 
The Behringer-Geiringer Report 
John P. Behringer, CPA, Partner, National Financial Institutions Sector Leader, RSM US LLP 
John M. Geiringer, Partner, Regulatory Section Leader, Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group 
Join accomplished accounting and legal practitioners as they discuss critical issues impacting financial institutions from the perspectives of both safety and soundness and compliance. Using their experience advising banks of all sizes across the country, they drive a rapid fire, crosstalk style discussion of key issues, including supervisory and examination trends, governance issues, M&A, and compliance management expectations. 

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Observations on National and Regional Economic Data & Trends 
Brian Battle. Director, Performance Trust Capital Partners 
Join Brian Battle, Director at Performance Trust, as he unpacks what has changed so far this year, and looking ahead, the likely direction of economic & policy changes that will profoundly impact bank balance sheet NIM -- further separating two camps of those positioned to thrive and others left to survive.  

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Five Days before the Election - Federal, State and Local Update
Randy Hultgren, President & CEO, Illinois Bankers 
Ben Jackson, Executive Vice President, Government Relations 

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch 

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
A More Profitable Institution: 
C&I Loan Growth & Diversification through Partnerships 
Wayne Gore, Director, BancAlliance Partners 
With an average Loan/Deposit ratio around 70%, our industry continues to look for more lending opportunities. Unfortunately, the limits on some CRE lending activities provide obstacles to our quest for higher loan volume. For many banks, finding partnerships with experienced C&I originators can be that answer, but figuring out where those partnerships make sense can be daunting. This session will discuss best practices around evaluating partnerships with an eye toward partner selection and asset performance expectations. 

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Close Encounters of the FinTech Kind 
Dave Defazio, StrategyCorps 
See live demonstrations of trending apps like Robinhood, CashApp, SoFi, and Affirm to better understand the new features that are increasing competitive pressures on today’s banking products. We’ll share ongoing research which explains the trends - including which mobile features matter most to each generation, from zoomers to boomers. We’ll also examine how fintech companies like Acorns are leveraging the subscription society (think Amazon Prime, Costco, Netflix, Spotify) and pioneering new recurring revenue-generating models for financial products and services. 

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
PANEL: State of the Economy: The Banker’s Perspective  

  • Dan Watts, Director and President, Forest Park National Bank & Trust  


  • Tim Crane
    President & Treasurer, Wintrust
  • Van Dukeman
    Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of First Busey Corporation
    Chairman of Busey Bank
  • Carolyn Jaw
    Executive Vice President, Group Head, Sales, Strategy, and Solutions, FHLBank Chicago
  • Betsy Johnson 
    President & CEO, Solutions Bank
    Chair of Illinois Bankers Association

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
Networking Reception 

Previous Speakers

Dan Watts

President, Forest Park National Bank & Trust Company


Daniel G. Watts is a Director and the President of Forest Park National Bank and Trust Company, which he joined in January 2010.

Mr. Watts has been an executive banking professional for over 25 years. He began his career at The American National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago, after which he became an Executive Officer and Director at Cosmopolitan Bank and Trust, Pullman Bank and Trust and Park National Bank (all subsidiaries of the former FBOP Corporation). Mr. Watts currently serves on the Board of Directors for FHLB Chicago and is a board member of Community Investment Corporation (CIC) and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI). Previously, he served as Board Chairman of the Illinois Bankers Association, a director of Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS), and past President of The Bankers Club of Chicago.

John P. Behringer, CPA

Partner, National Financial Institutions Sector Leader, RSM US LLP


John Behringer is risk consulting partner at RSM US LLP and National Financial Institutions Sector Leader for the firm.

He has more than 20 years of financial services experience and is a recognized thought leader in the credit risk and regulatory space. 

John M. Geiringer

Regulatory Section Leader, Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group


As the Regulatory Section Leader of Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group, John concentrates his practice on regulatory, governance, and investigative matters involving financial institutions. 

He is a frequent speaker and author in the financial institutions area on issues surrounding banking regulations, examinations, and enforcement actions, as well as on national security issues. 

Brian Battle

Director, Performance Trust Capital Partners


Brian is recognized nationwide as a market expert who provides valuable insight on issues related to liability management, mortgage securities, general market and taxable municipal bonds.

His 30 years of market experience in analyzing, underwriting and trading has proven to be a tremendous asset for the company as well as the industry. As a frequent on-air commentator for CNBC, Fox Business News, National Public Radio, and Bloomberg TV, Brian represents Performance Trust as one of its leading market experts. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business and economics from Winona State University and an MBA from DePaul University. 

Randy Hultgren

President & CEO, Illinois Bankers Association


Former U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren has been the President and CEO of the Illinois Bankers Association since July 2020.  

Hultgren, an Illinois native, served in a number of elected offices for more than 24 years. Most recently, he served in the United States House of Representatives from 2011-2019, representing the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. In Congress, he was on both the House Financial Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Prior to his time in Congress, he served as a member of the Illinois Senate from 2007-2011, and as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1999-2007, while also sitting on the financial institutions committees in both chambers.  


In addition to his public service, Hultgren has worked in finance, banking, and law. He was the senior vice president of commercial lending with Wintrust Financial, and, before being elected to Congress, he was a vice president of Performance Trust Investment Advisors. Hultgren is a graduate of Wheaton Academy and Bethel University, where he obtained a double major in Political Science and Speech Communications. Hultgren received his Juris Doctorate degree from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1993.  

Ben Jackson

Executive Vice President, Government Relations, Illinois Bankers Association


Ben Jackson serves as Vice President of Government Relations for the Illinois Bankers Association. He began his IBA career in 2009 as Director of Government Relations and was named Vice President and chief lobbyist in 2013.

In his current role, Jackson works with the IBA’s lobbying team, executive staff, and Government Relations Committee to develop banking industry priorities and positions on policy issues at all levels of government. He leads the IBA’s team of internal and external lobbyists in developing and effectively executing lobbying strategies beneficial to the Illinois banking industry.  


In addition to managing the IBA’s direct lobbying efforts, Jackson works with Government Relations staff to coordinate grassroots banker initiatives and events such as the annual Lobby Day and Washington Visit, boost ILLINOIS BANKPAC fundraising, and keep bankers informed through IBA publications. He serves as staff liaison to two IBA standing committees, the Government Relations Committee and the Agricultural Advisory Committee.  


Jackson has more than 12 years of government relations, public policy and campaign experience, which includes working on the Illinois House Republican Research Staff and serving as District Director for a State Representative. He holds a B.A. in Political Studies and a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Illinois, Springfield. Jackson also served as an infantry soldier in the Illinois Army National Guard for more than seven years, receiving an honorable discharge from the military in 2007. He grew up on a central Illinois grain farm and now lives near Springfield with his wife, Rachel, and their two sons, Alexander and Augustine.  

Wayne Gore

Director, BancAlliance Partners


Wayne is a Senior Managing Director of Client Services at Alliance Partners. Prior to joining Alliance Partners, Wayne held leadership roles in the Financial Institutions Group with McKinsey & Co. and served as Managing Director at the CEB (Corporate Executive Board) focused on corporate strategy, banking and insurance, and risk management.

Previously, Wayne was an investment banker with Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs as a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions teams.

Wayne received his A.B. from Princeton University and his J.D. and M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Dave DeFazio



Armed with a passion for banking strategy, Dave DeFazio has found great success and satisfaction in exploring the intersection of data, marketing, and technology.

Dave leads and manages the direct sales efforts of the community financial institution team and works directly with financial institutions to design, build, and implement a variety of checking solutions. 

Previous Details

Additional Details

Hotel Accommodation

Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk
301 East North Water Street, Chicago
Rate: $239++/night 
Good thru Oct. 12, 2022

Fee Per Person

IBA Member $345 | Nonmember $495

Questions? | 217-789-9340

Sign Me Up


Back to Listing