January 2019

Ted Nelson Crop
Message from our Executive Director
2019 Has Arrived!
Here at HCI, we are very excited about 2019 as the demand for deposits grows, it becomes more important for the small community banks to build their customer relationships with those customers who have cash to deposit.  This is, of course, the purpose and fundamental strength of our bank clubs - building deposits by strengthening relationships with our customers.
Registration is going very well for our Annual Peer Group Conference in La Vista, NE (Sarpy County) March 11-15, 2019.  If you haven't already registered, please do so soon and get in touch with Tina to find out if you are eligible for our complimentary banker registrations.  We look forward to an outstanding conference with our excellent educational programming including:
  • Learn how to be a better storyteller
  • Games and activities to do while traveling on a motorcoach
  • Travel Apps to make your job easier
  • How to set up your annual calendar so your deadlines meet your marketing needs
  • Exercises for staying in shape while on tour
  • Succession Planning Panel be those that have done it well
  • And much more
With these promising signs for 2019, we want to wish everyone a very Happy New year!
Very best regards and I hope to see many of you at the fabulous Embassy Suites and Conference Center in La Vista in March!
Ted Nelson
Executive Director

Tip of the month

HCI produced a banker membership survey asking our club directors when the best time was for them to be able to take advantage of FAM Tour offers. They were asked to prioritize their preferences in each month as either "Early" or "Middle" or "End" of each month, which pretty much provided HCI with 10-day periods throughout the year when our club directors might be most available to take FAM tours.
While we have results posted below, it is important to note that the comments made it clear that these answers are likely to change at any given time and in any given year due to decisions on when they are traveling with their clubs, personal conflicts with family matters, permission from senior management and so on. In other words, these statistical results below reflect a snap shot of what they felt in November of 2018, and may not be very accurate for forecasting purposes. Having said that, there are certainly enough interesting results that can give our Heritage Partners and PTOs a reasonable idea of good and bad times to plan FAM Tours and when they are likely to get the highest participation and the lowest participation.
We will present the results in two categories
- The dates most available to our bankers
- The dates least available to our bankers
And within these categories we identify the best 10-day, 20-day and monthly periods.
End of March 57%
End of February 57%
Early June 55%
Early August 55%
Early November 52%
Mid November 52%
End of March and Early April 52%
Early and Mid November 50%
Mid and late February 48%
Late February and Early March 48%
Late July and Early August  48%
November 48%
August  44%
February 43%
March 43%
April 42%

End of December 86%
Mid December 73%
Mid May 73%
Early January 73%
Mid September 68%
Early July 68%
Late June 68%
Mid October 68%
Late December and Early January 80%
Mid and Late December 80%
Late June and Early July 68%
Mid and Late May 68%
December 70%
October 64%
May 64%
January 62%
July 62%

Peer Group is right around the corner.
Sign up today!!
March 11 -15, 2019
Sarpy County (Omaha), Nebraska

INCLUDING BAM (Business Appointment Marketplace) $1535

THE EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL (if needed) - $95/night (plus tax)
  Why should I attend?
  • Intimate, friendly atmosphere
  • 4 days of personal networking with club directors
  • Partner Education sessions - learn more about the bankers and the bank market
  • One-on-one appointments with every club director
  • Sightseeing tour
  • Loads of fun!!
  How do I register?
  • Simply click on this  link  and complete the registration form online.
  • You can pay online or mail a check to finalize your registration.
  Do I have to be an HCI member to attend? 
  • You must be a member in good standing in order to attend.
  • Renew online. Log in with your email and password then select the Renew until 01 Jan 2020 button.  Use the Forgot password button if you don't know your password.
  • Complete the electronic renewal forms in just a few minutes.  You can even pay your dues online if you like.
  • Not yet a member?  Send completed application to Tina to join today.
   Are there any sponsorship opportunities?
  • Yes. We have many options available.  Contact Tina for more information at 952-835-6543.
Welcome Reception  $1,000 plus f&b through hotel
Refreshment break $650
Pre-dinner reception $1,000
Dinner $3,000
Hospitality suite $500 plus f&b
Speaker introduction $200
Tab Ad $350
Partner Profile (if not attending PG) $100
Learn more on the HCI home page, or go directly to the
Peer Group  site to sign up today. 

Member Spotlight: Leslie Watts
Washington County Bank
Blair, NE
Leslie Watts
Leslie Watts
During her 44 years at Washington County Bank, Leslie Watts has worked in almost every department. She was born and raised in Blair, and started working at the bank after graduating from high school in 1974. Currently, she manages Audit & Accounting as well as Facilities Maintenance in addition to serving as the Heritage Club Director. Leslie was supporting Opal Jensen, the founding club director, until Opal retired in 2004. After her retirement, Leslie stepped into the role. She had big shoes to fill, and since she was far from retirement age herself, Leslie's biggest challenge was proving that she wasn't too young to do the job.

In her first year as club director, she had the privilege of taking a bus tour with military veterans to the World War II monument in Washington, DC. "It was one of the most memorable and emotional experiences, witnessing the veterans as they toured this hallowed ground," she recalls. She typically takes two extended tours per year, and her members love attending events at the many performing arts venues in Omaha. She also hosts free monthly movies at their local theatre. Movie day is a very popular social event for her members with attendance ranging from 85 to 120 each month.

Since Leslie wears so many hats at the bank and needs to coordinate her schedule around bank activities and co-workers' vacation schedules as well, it has been a challenge to get away to attend Peer Group. She is excited to be able to attend a few days of the conference this coming March since she is just 20 miles north of Omaha where it will be held.

Leslie became a grandma for the first time this past June when her son had a baby boy named Anderson. Congratulations, Leslie! Be sure to bring lots of pictures to conference.

Partner Profile: Heritage Corridor
Along the Historic Illinois and Michigan Canal

Old Joliet Prison
Old Joliet Prison
I & M Canal Boat Tour
The Heritage Corridor is a large area of over 4000 square miles with many places to visit and things to do. Our central service area is focused around the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which is a National Heritage Area and part of the National Park Service. Our newest attraction opened summer 2018: we are offering tours of the Old Joliet Prison, which is the prison from the movie The Blues Brothers and TV show Prison Break. We offer tours for Route 66, theatre tours, historic mansion tours, garden tours, trolley rides, canal boat rides and many more. We have a nice mix of unique restaurants that are group friendly, farm-to-table restaurants, comfort food establishments and many places for wine and beer tasting.

We are a receptive convention and visitors bureau (CVB) and are here to help make things easier for you. We operate as a one-stop-shop and will customize a tour for you to fit any budget. Not only can I assist with areas within my coverage area, I can assist with setting up things to do outside of my area such as tickets for Broadway in Chicago or Group Theatre Tix. I personally like to visit groups coming in where I may be with them for a portion or all of their tour to ensure everyone is happy and the tour goes on with success.

A lot of my job has to do with relationship building. I enjoy attending the Peer Group because it allows me to build relationships directly with the men and women who plan group tours. I typically attend 4 different trade-shows per year, and the HCI Peer Group is the best bang for the buck for me. I like the smaller scale of this show as it brings a better ratio of sellers and buyers. Because it is a smaller show, I am able to remember the names and faces of everyone and to develop a better bond with them. I also like that the buyers and sellers get to go to all the sessions together. The educational sessions and interactive events help Partners get to know the Bankers better and to understand what they are looking for.

Daniel Jacobsen will help you plan an amazing experience for your members in the Heritage Corridor.  

Direct: 815-216-9964
Cell: 773-330-3409 
Fax: 815-582-4642


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