A Few Highlights from Symposium 2024

Symposium 2024: Stake Your Claim is officially in the books, and what a time it was! In the face of less-than-ideal travel circumstances, you all made it to San Antonio for a handful of Spring days jam-packed with ideas, connections, and pure unadulterated fun. Here are some of the highlights. 

1. Keynote Speaker Ron “Gus” Gustafson. Right after breakfast on Wednesday, May 15, all 200+ of us gathered to hear Gus’s heartbreaking yet inspiring and fascinating story. Raised on a farm in Lyons, Nebraska and despite losing his right arm in a farming accident at age 9, Gus excelled in both athletics and academics to build his family, business, and successful speaking career. Those in attendance were inspired by Gus’s Three Keys: (1) Process the garbage in your life; (2) Never give up; and (3) Have the courage to face the next challenge.

2. The Haberfeld Report. This year’s Report felt extra poignant, with so much happening both at Haberfeld and in our larger community banking world. Along with announcing the launch of Fisionary™ and the surprise release of our 9th episode of HabChat, we shared client data and industry trends that will be invaluable as we compete for core relationships in the years to come. 

3. Marketing & Manager Academies. On Thursday after Symposium, an exclusive cadre of branch leaders gathered in one conference room while a similarly talented group of marketers met in another. This year’s Manager Academy was all about understanding our DiSC® profiles to help us work through conflict in a productive way. Meanwhile, those at Marketing Academy dug into the numbers: First in terms of the data on getting your best results, then in terms of maximizing your marketing budget in a restrictive environment. 

4. The Original Butt-Sketch Artists. You know what we’re talking about here! Symposium people lined up around the block (metaphorically speaking) at TWO stations to get their bee-hinds drawn by some of the best caricature artists in the San Antonio region. It’s revealing that something so specific and so weird can be SO popular, and we hope you proudly displayed your artwork in your office, home, and/or online (be sure to tag us)! 

5. The Closing Session. For the first time in however many years, Dr. Sean Payant did NOT deliver the closing remarks at Symposium. Instead, he passed the mantle to Executive Consultant Nick Arrigo, whose energetic and insightful session (“Putting Motivation Into Action”) served to inspire our clients and employee-owners alike. Well done, Nick! 

6. You! We’re not blowing (BBQ) smoke here either. Nothing at Symposium means a hill of beans without the people, AKA the actual best leaders in community banking today. You took the time to join us in San Antonio and you brought your enthusiasm, insight, experience, and stories with you. Whether it was during the Branch Excellence session or over drinks, we are so grateful for the opportunity to connect with you. As colleagues, yes, but as people most of all. It’s cliché because it’s true: The most memorable and meaningful thing we take home from an event like this is a relationship. With a butt-sketch being a close second, of course.  

Thank you again for our extraordinary time together, and we look forward to seeing you in Phoenix next May for Symposium 2025!

2024 Symposium Attendees
2024 Symposium Attendees
2024 Symposium Presentation
2024 Symposium Attendees

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