Senior Lenders Forums

CBAI is pleased to introduce the Senior Lenders Forums. The Forums provide an opportunity for community bank lenders to discuss important issues with non-competing community bankers. The Senior Lender Forums are designed to be a rewarding experience where you can grow professionally, as well as personally.

How Do the Forums Work?

  • CBAI organizes the Forums to ensure that senior lenders have as much in common as possible without being competitors.
  • The groups remain small (no more than 12 participants). Because each participant must trust other Forum members, no substitutes are permitted unless by unanimous consent of the remaining members.
  • Other consultants from a variety of firms may be invited to address the group. This expertise would cost thousands of dollars if you had to pay for it on a “real-time” basis.
  • Forums meet quarterly on a date and location determined by the Forum members.
  • Four to six issues are usually discussed at each session. Participants are contacted for agenda items approximately two weeks prior to each meeting.
  • A manual based on Forum topics is compiled.


Benefits of the Forums

  • Improve the profitability of your loan portfolio
  • Reduce the risk in your loan portfolio
  • Increase your understanding of regulatory issues
  • Form lasting relationships with non-competing senior lenders
  • Solve your most pressing problems
  • Obtain access to highly respected banking experts
  • Grow professionally as well as personally


Meet Your Facilitator

Paul Sims, president of Guided Solutions, Franklin, Tennessee, is facilitating the Senior Lender Forums for the seventh consecutive year. Guided Solutions is a consulting and training firm that assists community banks with strategies to improve profitability, risk control, and business-development effectiveness. Sims is a frequent speaker on small business, credit, and risk-control topics and has made presentations for the National Conference for Community Bankers, the ABA Annual Convention, the RMA Annual Conference of Lending and Credit Risk Management, and bank regulatory agencies.

Prior to founding Guided Solutions, Sims spent 28 years in commercial banking and financial services, and has served as senior lender and chief operating officer for a community bank, managed asset-based lending and the other specialized lending functions for a regional bank, served as metropolitan-area president for a regional bank, and was director of bank services for a vendor to community banks nationwide. Sims received his MBA degree from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.

Possible Forum Topics


Profitability Issues

  • The economy/marketplace
    Pricing discipline
  • Loan fees/waivers
  • Margin maintenance
  • Customer segmentation


Regulatory Issues

  • Current events
  • Reg Z
  • Examiners’ hot buttons


Lending/Risk Issues

  • Making underwriting more effective
  • Mistakes lenders make
  • Loan grading
  • Handling problem credits


Personal Growth

  • Time management
  • Leadership and vision
  • Communication strategies


Alternative Products/Emerging Issues

  • Mortgage market products
  • Lender environmental insurance


Sales Issues

  • Negotiation skills
  • Motivation and incentives


People Issues

  • Coaching for performance
  • Personal improvement plans


Technology Trends

  • New products


What Others Have Said

I believe the Senior Lender Forum is the most effective money we spend on training and education. The forum format allows open discussion of compliance which allows the members to stay up to speed on the ever-changing banking environment."
Dax Garrison
Community Trust Bank, Irvington

"The interaction with the other senior lenders is invaluable. I feel I get information that is on the forefront of the banking industry."
Ted Strack
Resource Bank, N.A., DeKalb

"Paul Sims is an excellent facilitator and always has up-to-date and relevant issues for discussion. Open discussion among bank members is very beneficial, plus networking between meetings."
Kerry Hoops
German-American State Bank, German Valley

"The Senior Lender Forums offer excellent topics for discussion. After every meeting, I go back with great ideas on how to improve the bank."
Joe Leonard
Midland Community Bank, Kincaid

Senior Lender Pricing – $1,100 per year


You may attend the first meeting at the pro-rated fee of $275. Then, if you decide to join the Forum on a permanent basis, you must pay for the remaining three quarters, or $825.

For more information, call Tracy McQuinn, Senior Vice President Education & Special Events at 800/736-2224 or 217/529-2265.