December 2019
HCI Monthly News & Updates
Message from our Board Chair

Happy Holidays, my friends! This time of year is going to move super-fast, and will be over before we know it. We need to slow down and take more time – more time for hugs and conversation, more time for extending a helping hand or even a simple smile. The holiday rush can cloud our thoughts and push aside the important things, like signing up for Peer Group Conference! If you have attended the last couple years and haven’t signed up yet, don’t wait, we want to see you again! If you haven’t attended in a while, we would love to see you again, too!! Once you close this newsletter your mind will be off to other things and before you know it, you will be reading the Peer Conference wrap up about all the fun and education that you missed. So, stop – go register now!

Before I close, I want to tell all of you how blessed and thankful I am to have you in my life. I appreciate all of our friendships and connections. The HCI family is truly a blessing! From my family to yours, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope to see many of you very soon!!

Blessings to you and your families.

Melanie Davis, CBCD
Farmers Savings Bank & Trust
Vinton, IA
Eight new bankers registered for Peer Group!!


We are very excited that the Membership committee and our PTOs have volunteered to sponsor prospect banks to become members and to attend Peer Group for the first time. After just 6 weeks, we already have eight new bankers registered to attend. And, there are several more still seeking approval to attend.

We anticipate having a tremendous attendance from our regular attendees and the first time attendees at the conference in Independence.

If you have not yet signed up, please do so right away to help provide accurate headcounts for our preparations.


We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2020 Peer Group Conference Independence, Missouri
February 24 - 28, 2020

  • BANKS ONLY - This is a conference for Community Banks only - No credit unions, chambers of commerce, alumni associations and so on - just community banks and our tour and travel partners!
  • NO COMPETITORS - HCI Banks are all non-competitive banks from different geographic regions - no banks within 10 miles of each other
  • NETWORKING - You’ll love sharing experiences and ideas with other bank club directors - You are not alone!
  • EDUCATION - You’ll enjoy banker-specific educational programming including the Certified Bank Club Director (CBCD) program
  • GUARANTEED BUSINESS APPOINTMENTS - You’re guaranteed to have a scheduled business appointment with every partner in attendance
  • PREFERRED TOUR OPERATORS - You’ll meet a select group of Preferred Tour Operators (PTOs) who have met stringent membership qualifications and are among the finest in the country


Check out the Pre FAM Tour schedule and make plans to be a part of the fun!


We want to make sure that you are all set with your travel and lodging arrangements. Please review the following information and ensure that you have your room booked for Thursday night if needed.

The  FAM Tour  includes 3 nights of lodging (Friday 2/21 - Sunday 2/23) and all of your meals through Monday's lunch. 

Single occupancy - $225
Double occupancy - $175

If you are going on the FAM Tour, make note of the following three motorcoach departure options on Friday, February 21, 2019:

  1. Hilton Garden Inn in Independence, MO at 1:30 pm - use this stop if you are driving.
  2. Kansas City airport at 2:30 pm.
  3. Hampton Inn in Kansas City, MO at 2:45 pm.

Bankers who arrive in Independence via vehicle:
  • FAM motorcoach departure time from the Hilton Garden Inn is 1:30 pm.
  • There will be a hospitality room set up at the hotel for those who arrive early
  • If you are arriving on Thursday, add this night to your registration and HCI will make the arrangements for you.

Bankers who arrive in Kansas City by plane on Friday, February 21, 2020:
  • FAM motorcoach departure time from the Kansas City airport (MCI) is 2:30 pm.
  • Depending on when you arrive, you may want to wait in the hospitality room at the Hampton Inn. Call for a complimentary transport 816-464-5454

Bankers who arrive in Kansas City by plane on Thursday, February 20, 2020:
  • FAM motorcoach departure time from the Hampton Inn is 2:45 pm.
  • Lodging available at the Hampton Inn in Kansas City - YOU WILL NEED TO BOOK THIS ROOM YOURSELF.
  • 11212 N Newark Circle, Kansas City, MO 64153
  • (816) 464-5454 - call to book room and to arrange for transportation from airport
  • $89+, room block has been set up under "Heritage Clubs"
  • The Hampton Inn provides a complimentary shuttle to transport you from the airport.
  • This is the final pick up location on Friday. You can wait in the hospitality room there until the FAM motorcoach departs at 2:45 pm from the entrance of the Hampton Inn.

Not signed up yet? There's still time. Check out the Pre FAM Tour schedule and make plans to be a part of the fun! Click here to register for the conference.

Many club directors have a hard time asking for a better deal from travel suppliers, but being able to negotiate a great price for your club members is critical to being able to offer affordable tours to your members. Knowing how and when to negotiate can reduce stress and lead to better outcomes.

HCI has a helpful resource document that can guide you in negotiations. Check it out!

This is just one example of the resources that are available to our members. For more information on becoming a member, contact Tina Goeske.

When we asked our Board members to share a memory from a recent tour, Amber Thomas, CBCD - the director of the Classic Club at Central Bank Illinois in Geneseo - responded with the following:
"I have many destinations and tours that come to mind for which I have fond memories, but as the club director, I see the tours differently than the guest travelers. The one thing I see in common with all of the special memories of destinations or tours were the Classic Club members who were with us on the tour! What I like to take to heart is the friendships and relationships built while you escort your club members to wonderful places! I see the beautiful people in our line of work as a true blessing. I am thankful for the blessings of a job filled with joy from the planning every detail from the ground up, and the preparations and excitement of everyone prior to departing, to sharing the experiences while on tour. The enjoyment, laughter and magical expressions on our special club members’ faces is worth all of the hard work that was put into the tour planning and bumps that we might have endured along the way. 

"I always say, 'It is the people that are the best part of my job!' Certainly, the travel and journeys are the icing on the cake, but without the cake - that is, the club members who are the foundation - travel to those fantastic parts of the world would not be possible for me as a Club Director. As I plan and escort future club travel, I hope to look to find those stories that might be shared with you in entirety, attempting to embrace more than just wearing the hat of escorting and looking out for what is next on the tour. I hope to find the joy and ability to save   these stories in my mind while we share these memorable moments with our Club friends.  I encourage you to do the same. I know that as I do this, the story will always be about our Club travelers who share in the journey while we travel on the short or extended tours all over the world! We as club directors are truly blessed this Holiday season for those people who form our “cake” as we enter every ingredient oh so carefully. Always remember your effort is for them – our customers, our blessings, and the best part of our job!"
PTO Profile
Ozarks' Kirkwood Tour & Travel
Angie Greeno and Joy Penrod are co-owner of Ozarks' Kirkwood Tour & Travel. Their family-run business has been specializing in tours to the Ozarks since 1973. "It's where we live; it's what we love!"

Did you know that the Ozarks region includes parts of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas? Just because you've been to one region of the Ozarks doesn't mean you've seen it all. "We have such a rich history in our area - history is all around us." Angie and Joy can build a custom itinerary for you all along the way from your home to the Ozarks and back, that will keep your group engaged, educated and entertained the entire time. It changes every year, and it changes every season so it's worth coming back to check out what's new and what you missed the last time you were there.

There are many great festivals taking place next year, and there's still time to get in on the fun this Winter and Spri ng. Valentine’s day is on a Friday in 2020 – why not do a Valentines' trip and pair it with the North Forest Lights experience at Crystal Bridges?

Let Ozarks' Kirkwood plan a memorable trip for you and your members. Give them a call at 800-848-5432 or visit
Ozarks' 2020 Festivals
North Forest Lights
Branson Praise Fest
Branson Music Fest
Spring Jubilee
Festival of Wonder
Bluegrass & BBQ
Southern Gospel Picnic
Country Music Days
Harvest Festival
Antique Festival
An Old Time Christmas
Now - February 16
March 12-14
April 17-18
April 20-22 and April 22-24
Bentonville, AR
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Eureka Springs, AR
Branson, MO