During his speech at the installation ceremony, Wilson recognized his family and co-workers for their continued support. "This opportunity would not be possible without a tremendous professional banking staff to work with who are willing to pick up the load and continue," said Wilson in praise of his staff at Montgomery Bank. "It is a tribute to them and I'm very happy to represent them and all banks in this endeavor."
He also recognized present and past MBA board members and officers for their dedication and leadership.
The Missouri Bankers Association is comprised of over 370 members representing over 35,000 employees of the Missouri banking community. With an annual budget of over $4.5 million and one of the highest levels of membership representation, over 93 percent, the MBA is recognized as one of the premier trade associations in the state.
Aside from being a voice for Missouri bankers on state and federal issues, MBA offers its members services such as insurance and continuing education opportunities. Last year 91 percent of its membership attended MBA sponsored educational events. In fact, the Association provided over 100 days of educational programming with over 10,000 participants. Wilson cites these offerings as well as the Assocation's dedication through its membership to the communities it serves as what sets it apart from other trade associations.
Addressing the members, Wilson said: "As bankers, we are certainly called upon to be of service to our communities and to our fellow man. People are happier when they are devoted to a purpose higher than just themselves. In working for the good of others, we make our communities and indeed ourselves, better. So, in this aura of service and in an effort to be a worthy leader of MBA, I will devote myself to recognizing, rewarding and encouraging service to our industry through our Association."
Wilson identified three challenges the Association faces. Challenges, he added, which "greatly impact our entire state."
* "We must continue to take an active role in our communities in creating jobs through economic development."
* "It is time for the Treasurer's office to bring home the $3 billion in out-of-state investments and to put that money to work through Missouri banks to provide more small business loans and to build back the jobs we've lost in this state. That $3 billion would fuel the creation of 30,000 to 40,000 new jobs right here at home in Missouri. Our state government should invest in Missouri, not elsewhere."
* "We as the Missouri Bankers Association must strive to continue to offer our members the assistance, support and services that will enable them to better serve their customers. Likewise, we as members should strive to support our communities by continuing to be the primary provider of capital to businesses. Through your efforts and the community's hard work jobs are created, economies grow and dreams are fulfilled."
In addition to serving as chairman, Wilson has served on several MBA task forces and was previously treasurer of the MBA. He spent 15 years in the Xerox Corporation and owned and operated a business brokerage company for six years prior to entering the banking industry 20 years. The MBA cites these examples of leadership for initiating Wilson's appointment. They further recognized the value of Wilson's influence in representing the organization to local communities and state bodies as well as national interests.
"Small business development has always held a special place in my heart," Wilson said. In 1995, Wilson served on the White House Conference of Small Business at the request of the late Rep. Bill Emerson.
"Small business in this country is the backbone of our economy," Wilson continued. "It provides 95 percent of our new jobs and pays over 80 percent of business taxes. while large business in this country has been cutting back on job growth, small business has continued to produce even through difficult economic times. Now that we are seeing an increase in job production, we must remember the small businesses in our communities that continue to provide opportunities for their fellow citizens."
Wilson said small business development particularly in communities served by the Association is very important to the future success of the nation.
"Montgomery Bank is proud to be a part of these communities. They are great communities with talented people. It is the wish of our family, our Board of Directors and the employees of our bank to see our communities prosper. I hope that my position with the Missouri Bankers Association, along with the pride and leadership of our communities can help make that wish come true."