38th Annual Connecting Leaders Conference
June 21-24, 2023 | Margaritaville Lake Conroe

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


Julie Ness Bell, Ph.D

The Mindset of a Champion

As an entrepreneur with twenty years of experience, Dr. Julie coaches top athletes and executives on how to advance to the next level through principles designed to help you achieve success.

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Billy Riggs, MRE, MDIV

How to Achieve the Impossible

Using Las Vegas-quality magic and illusions to drive home his points, Billy’s presentations have transformed hundreds of otherwise ordinary conferences into events that are truly special.

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Legislative Update Panel


Christopher Williston
President and CEO
Steve Scurlock
Director of Government Relations
Christy Bussey
Director of Solutions and Strategies
Wendy Foster
Associate Director of Government Relations

CEO Panel


Leann Sanchez

President and Chief Operations Officer
First National Bank in Moody

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Reed Williams

President and CEO
Brady National Bank

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2023 Tentative Agenda

Wednesday, June 21
2:00-5:00 p.m. Registration
Thursday, June 22
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration
8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Breakfast
10:00-11:30 a.m. Opening General Session 
Keynote: Julie Ness Bell, Ph.D
11:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Kids' Camp
(includes lunch)
12:00-1:00 p.m. General Session: State and Federal Legislative Update (includes lunch)
IBAT Government Relations Team
1:00-1:15 p.m. Refreshment Break
1:15-2:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions :
  • Leadership Track: Leading Through Transformational Change
  • Risk Management Track: Balance Sheet Management in Today's Environment
  • Emerging Technology Track: Embracing FinTech Risk Strategically
  • Operations Track: Banking on Healthcare Alternatives
2:15-2:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
2:30-3:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions:
  • Leadership Track: 4 Activities of Top-Performing Banks
  • Risk Management Track: 1071 - Get It Right From The Very Start!
  • Emerging Technology Track: Digital Currency, Beyond Traditional Banking
  • Operations Track: The Total Bank Makeover - A Proven Plan for Growth and Profitability
3:30-6:30 p.m. Free for Family Afternoon
6:30 p.m. IBAT Beach Bash and Luau
Friday, June 23
8:00-12:00 p.m. Registration
8:00-9:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-10:15 a.m. General Session: CEO Panel
10:15-10:45 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45-11:45 a.m. Breakout Sessions:
  • Leadership Track: Coaching for Success
  • Risk Management Track: Hot Topics in Mortgage Lending
  • Emerging Technology Track: The Way We Pay: 2023 and Beyond
  • Operations Track: Compensatory Drivers: Retaining Employees and Creating Value Through Transformative Events
12:00-1:30 p.m. Closing General Session and Lunch
Keynote: Billy Riggs, MRE, MDIV
1:30-2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions:
  • Leadership Track: Leaders Need a True North: Why (and how) Successful Leadership Aligns Management with Their Mission
  • Risk Management Track: Phasing in Data Improvements for Loan Portfolio Analysis - A Step-By-Step Guide
  • Emerging Technology Track: Strengthening Customer Trust: Unlocking the Power of Bank Ratios with Data
  • Operations Track: Bridging Wealth Management Services
2:30-5:30 p.m. Free for Family Afternoon
5:30-6:30 p.m. Hospitality Suite
6:30-10:00 p.m. Family Fun Night with Music and Dinner
Entertainment: Jack Ingram

Saturday, June 24
7:30-9:30 a.m. Grab-and-Go Breakfast
8:00 a.m.-Noon Fishing Outing

Friday Family Fun Night

Featuring Musical Guest Jack Ingram

  Jack Ingram is a Texas-born country singer whose records have earned both critical and peer adoration and spawned massive hit singles. Throughout a recording career that has spanned more than 20 years, Ingram has maintained a reputation for uncompromising, personally charged song craft and energetic, charismatic performances, earning him prominent stature in a prestigious tradition of iconoclastic singer-songwriters. 

The modern-day honky tonker’s records have won him a fiercely devoted fan base with hit singles including, "Lips of an Angel," "Measure of a Man," “Barefoot and Crazy” and most recently, his latest collaborative album with Miranda Lambert and Jon Randall called “The Marfa Tapes.” 

There's no better way to savor summer than spending an evening with family and friends listening to Texas Country music!

2023 Event Sponsors

Strategic Partner

Diamond Partners


Gold Sponsors



Silver Sponsors

BHG Financial
CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP)
CP Insurance Associates
Eide Bailly LLP
Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP

Financial Women In Texas
Frost Bank

Glory Global Solutions
Holland & Knight, LLP
Bronze Sponsors

Agent IQ
Barnett Signs, Inc.
Crowe LLP
Data Business Equipment, Inc. (DBE)

SEI Sphere
Strategic Resource Management, Inc.
 Blue Ribbon Sponsors
Flatbay Capital

 Kreps - Colgan & Associates Executive Search, LLC