39th Annual Connecting Leaders Conference
June 26-29, 2024 | San Antonio

IBAT’s Connecting Leaders Conference gives up-and-coming community bank leaders the opportunity to network, learn from and develop personal relationships with their peers and tenured leaders in the industry—all while enjoying family time in an informal setting. Members and staff both enjoy the unique aspects of this conference that make it unlike any other event throughout the year.

Keynote Speakers

Paige Velasquez Budde

Chief Executive Officer & Partner
Zilker Media

Rusty Shelton

Founder & Chairman
Zilker Media

Paige Velasquez Budde is Partner and CEO at Zilker Media, an Austin-based agency building people-driven brands. During her tenure as CEO, Zilker Media has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in Austin and Best Places to Work two years in a row by Austin Business Journal and has been listed on Austin Inno’s Coolest Companies. She has been featured as a speaker on people-driven marketing and led workshops for organizations such as Ernst & Young, TEDx, Harvard Medical School, The University of Texas athletics, Camp Gladiator, IBPA and Women Presidents Organization.

Rusty Shelton is a dynamic speaker who uses humor and targeted examples to challenge assumptions about personal branding, showing audiences how to build authentic thought leadership focused on impact, not ego. His keynotes are highly reviewed for a mix of story-telling, candor and practical, put-it-into-action-next-week guidance – showing leaders how to make an impact and build trust in an increasingly skeptical world - and have a lot of fun along the way.


Christopher Williston

President and CEO
Independent Bankers Association of Texas

Christopher Williston is the President and CEO of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, the largest state association dedicated exclusively to community bank advocacy. In addition to his job responsibilities at IBAT, Williston has been recognized for his service to the association industry. He is a Past Chairman of the Texas Society of Association Executives, an organization that also honored him with its Young Professional Leadership Award and Chairman’s Award. He has been recognized with the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.

Williston is a graduate of Texas Christian University and Brite Divinity School at TCU. He and his wife, Michelle, live in Cedar Park and have six children.


Dave Davlin

Guinness World Record Holder and Author

Over 25 years ago, Dave Davlin began bringing smiles to faces with a form of entertainment he developed as a young boy. His amazing ability with basketballs even landed his name and picture in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records. Combining his entertainment ability with a powerful message regarding success through contribution and service, Dave has made a difference in the lives of thousands, and his impact continues to grow each year as he shares his philosophy and wisdom through speaking and writing.

Tentative Agenda 


 Wednesday, June 26

 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Golf Tournament Check-in
 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Conference Registration
 1:00 – 5:30 p.m.  Golf Tournament (Shotgun start at 1:00 p.m.)

Thursday, June 27

 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Conference Registration
 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.  General Session + Breakfast Buffet
 Paige Velasquez Budde and Rusty Shelton, Zilker Media
 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Teddy Bear Mobile
 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Complimentary Brand Audit Sessions with Zilker Media
 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. 

 Concurrent Sessions and Tracks:

  • Leadership/Strategy: Managing the Balance Sheet in Uncertain Times
  • Operations: Leveraging Banktech Partnerships to Drive Success
  • Risk Management: UDAAP, It is not a Dance move!
  • Credit/Lending: Benefits of SBA and USDA Guaranteed Lending 
 11:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.  Kids' Camp (includes lunch)
 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.  General Session: The Secret to Building High Trust/High Responsibility Teams
 Christopher Williston, VI, Independent Bankers Association of Texas
 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions and Tracks:
  • Leadership/Strategy: Leading the Charge: Military Leadership Principles for Banking Success
  • Operations: Data Driven Targeted Marketing
  • Risk Management: Change Management
  • Wildcard: Behind the Curtain on PAC, Politics and the Political Process
 2:30 – 6:00 p.m.  Free for Family Afternoon
 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  IBAT Grand Slam Wiffleball, Dinner and More...

Friday, June 28

 7:00 a.m. – Noon  Conference Registration
 7:15 – 9:00 a.m.  Buffet Breakfast
 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.  Concurrent Sessions and Tracks:
  • Leadership/Strategy: Leadership Change on the Horizon?
  • Risk Management: Navigating Your Next Regulatory Examination: Stories from a Former Bank Regulatory Attorney
 8:00 a.m.  2:00 p.m.  Complimentary Brand Audit Sessions with Zilker Media
 8:45 – 10:15 a.m.  General Session: Insights in Leadership Panel
 10:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Coffee | Refreshment Break
 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.  Concurrent Sessions and Tracks:
  • Leadership/Strategy: Communicating in a Crisis
  • Operations: Reg E: Disputes and What Everyone is Talking About
  • Risk Management: Building a Culture of Cybersecurity
  • Credit/Lending: Behind the Headlines: Navigating Student Loan Debt for Bank Customers
  • Wildcard: Project Management Deep Dive
 Noon – 1:30 p.m.  Closing General Session and Awards Luncheon
 Dave Davlin, Guinness World Record Holder & Author
 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions and Tracks:
  • Leadership/Strategy: Building Culture Among Your Team
  • Operations: AI in Community Banking
  • Risk Management: Enhancing Third-Party Risk Management: How to Safely Onboard and Partner with Fintechs According to Updated Regulatory Guidance
  • Credit/Lending: Community Bank Lending Hotspots - Current Issues and Solutions (Panel)
  • Wildcard: Project Management Panel
 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.  Free for Family Afternoon
 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Hospitality Suite
 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.  Friday Night Fever Family Fun Night

 Saturday, June 29

 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.  Grab-and-Go Breakfast

Hotel Information

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa
9800 Hyatt Resort Drive
San Antonio, TX 78251
Discounted rate: $299 plus taxes and fees

Cutoff date: June 4, 2024
Hotel Cancelation Policy: 7 days before arrival or pay 1 night fee.

Please contact Mandy Robinson ([email protected]) if you have any questions or need assistance booking/canceling your hotel reservation.

2024 Event Sponsors

Strategic Sponsor

Diamond Sponsors


Gold Sponsors



Silver Sponsors

Array US, Inc.
CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP)
CP Insurance Associates
Diebold Nixdorf
Eide Bailly LLP
Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP

Glory Global Solutions
Holland & Knight LLP
NuSource Financial
Purple Wave Auction
R&T Deposit Solutions

Bronze Sponsors

BAFS - Business Alliance Financial Services, LLC
Data Business Equipment, Inc. (DBE)
Digital Onboarding, Inc.

Ironcore, Inc.
Strategic Resource Management, Inc.
 Blue Ribbon Sponsors
Kreps-Colgan & Associates Executive Search, LLC