Episode #21: Ron Feldman

Episode 21

For Ron Feldman, it’s a simple equation: The more diverse your workforce, the better off your organization will be.

Feldman, the first vice president and chief operating officer at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, talks with David about the Fed’s efforts to hire and retain a more diverse workforce. He also speaks to the positive impact a diversity of voices can have on bank regulatory functions.

Featured Guest: Ron Feldman

Ron Feldman is first vice president and chief operating officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, where he leads Bank operations, including finance and budgeting, strategic planning, workforce and talent development, and performance against strategic objectives.

Feldman is also a primary adviser on monetary policy, playing a leadership role in preparing for Federal Open Market Committee meetings and in the development and communication of positions on monetary policy.

An expert on financial institutions and related government policies, Feldman has authored more than 50 articles on topics related to banking, finance, and monetary policy. He is one of the foremost authorities on the too-big-to-fail problem, co-authoring Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts, published by the Brookings Institution (2004).

Since joining the Bank in 1995, Feldman has served as a senior officer for Supervision, Regulation, and Credit and has run the Financial Services Support Office, which assists in the oversight of the Federal Reserve’s financial services.

He has a B.A. with distinction from the University of Wisconsin and an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, where he was a university fellow. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Feldman is married and the father of three children. He is an active community member, serving on the boards of Second Harvest Heartland and Beth El Synagogue. He is on the Board of Visitors for the University of Wisconsin-Madison History Department.

David Reiling Headshot

David Reiling

David Reiling is an innovative social entrepreneur focused on empowering individuals through community banking and financial technology. David is the Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Banks and has been in the community development banking industry for more than 25 years.

Featured Music

Ben Kyle

"Don't Settle"

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Ron Feldman: It’s funny. People will sometimes say, well, DEI, your kind of limiting your pool. It’s just the opposite. We’re completely expanding the pool because the prior pool was people who look like people who are already here. And I think that’s, by sort of breaking that cycle and saying, we’re not just going to settle for people that look like the people that are hiring that’s what’s allowed us to bring in a lot more talented people.

[00:00:28] David Reiling: Welcome to the NextGen Banker podcast, where we explore what’s next in banking and talk with innovators responsible for creating positive change in the financial sector. I am your host, David Reiling and I am very excited and intrigued to welcome and have a conversation with Ron Feldman from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis today.

[00:00:45] David Reiling: Ron, thank you for being on the NextGen Banker podcast.

[00:00:48] Ron Feldman: Yeah, I’m excited, David. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:50] David Reiling: Yeah. Hey, quick note for our audience. Stick around to hear our musical feature at the end of the episode. Each NextGen Banker episode showcases one new artist from around the world representing a wide range of genres. So, check that out.

[00:01:05] David Reiling: And audience today give you a little background on Ron. He is the first Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He is responsible for bank operations, including budgeting, strategic planning, and workforce and talent development. Ron has been at the bank since 1995 and has published more than 50 articles on banking.

[00:01:26] David Reiling: He is also the co-author of Too Big To Fail: Hazards of Bank Bailouts. Quite a book. If you want to check that out highly recommend it. So, Ron, I just have to start out today. Hiring is our, is our topic specifically recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. But my audience is probably doing a little bit of, of what’s up in their head of saying, hey, you got two white guys talking about recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce.

[00:01:51] David Reiling: And I would say to them, hey, we might’ve been part of the problem, but we’re part of the solution today. And this topic is very important to the both of us. And I know the Minneapolis fed has made some commitments to make sure that you’re attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. I believe you’ve put out a series of webinars on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

[00:02:10] David Reiling: And so, tell me this, why is it a diverse workforce, so important for the fed and, and to be a leader in this area.

[00:02:17] Ron Feldman: Yeah. And I’m glad you started with sort of not even acknowledging saying who we are. I mean, particularly on a podcast where you can’t see it. I think that’s critical because the fact of the matter is lots of organizations, even if they’re not necessarily run by white guys are hiring decisions are being made by white guys, and we’re just not going to make any progress if we don’t acknowledge that, that white males have to be part of what I view as a solution to the problem.

[00:02:43] Ron Feldman: So, I mean, why, why the focus? I mean, you know, it’s interesting, there’s lots of different ways of talking about this issue. I think there’s, there’s moral ways of talking about the issues. There’s political ways of talking about the issues.

[00:02:56] Ron Feldman: And some folks talk about the issue of sometimes in the context of, hey, if you get a diverse team together, you’re going to get better decisions. I think our focus really, in some sense, has been even slightly different. I think by, and I’ll just turn it over to get a reaction from you. I think when we have focused on diversity equity inclusion in hiring and retaining our talent, we are actually much better at hiring and retaining everyone.

[00:03:23] Ron Feldman: And that’s not a everyone matters. That’s not what I mean. I actually mean in the course of, of hiring a more diverse workforce, we are actually hiring better workers. We are hiring people who are giving greater lift to our organization because the way we’re going about hiring and the way we’re actually operating the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is actually better than it was before.

[00:03:46] Ron Feldman: Let alone the fact that it’s just more inclusive voices. It’s actually doing a better job at the stuff that we used to do.

[00:03:53] David Reiling: Yeah, I would agree with you. And we face the same I think opportunity in that is where we continue to look at of how we’re marketing and how we’re recruiting and then how we are interviewing.

[00:04:05] David Reiling: I think it’s really brought the attention to what, what is important to us? What values are we looking for? And in the prospects that we’re talking to, we can have a deeper conversation. So, I agree with you. We’re really, we’re improving the process for the good of all and not just from the lens of, of race or gender.

[00:04:24] David Reiling: And so maybe with that, let’s just take a let’s do a few statistics. And, and if you had to think of the workforce of the Minneapolis fed kind of gender and minorities or people of color, what does that kind of look like at the fed.

[00:04:38] Ron Feldman: Yeah. So overall for the bank as a whole, we are at 30% people of color.

[00:04:44] Ron Feldman: And you know, one way we like to think about it is that we want to look like the communities in which we operate. So just for the listeners we operate primarily in the Twin Cities. We’ve got roughly 1100 employees who are here in the Twin Cities. We have a much smaller group of folks in Helena, Montana.

[00:05:00] Ron Feldman: That’s, that’s a whole other podcast about why do we have an office in Helena, Montana, but that’s part of the federal reserve. And so, for the bank as overall, we think we should look like the community. The community, the combined sort of blended community of Helena and the Twin Cities, think about that as being 24-25% people of color.

[00:05:19] Ron Feldman: So, where we want the bank to look like, and then the thing, David, I think that’s been really important for us. We look at the sort of categories of employee. We don’t just say we want to overall look at that because, you know, we don’t want the folks who work in the cash processing unit to look different than the folks who are in the economic research unit and the God econ PhDs, we think across the board.

[00:05:40] Ron Feldman: So, one way we think about it is also what are our leaders look like? And there we’re getting close to sort of a similar, similar number. We’re getting close to that 25% of everyone who’s a people leader in this bank, 25% of that population are people of color. So, we’re and, and just to give you a flavor.

[00:06:00] Ron Feldman: Five years ago, people leaders were closer to something like 13%. So, in the last five years that number’s gone up and it’s almost doubled not, not, not exactly, but we’re getting there and that’s, for us, that’s been a huge, huge deal. And I say one quick thing that sort of connect back to the part we were just talking about.

[00:06:20] Ron Feldman: The biggest thing that we’ve done is I don’t know how else to say it. I think our prior hiring practices were, I’ll just put it in air quotes, settling without realizing it. It’s not like we were hiring people who weren’t in some sense quote-unquote qualified, but we, I think what we did was we hired relatively quickly.

[00:06:40] Ron Feldman: And the easiest thing to do was hire someone whose background and skills were very similar to the supervisor who was hiring. That’s kind of what we did. And that just it’s funny. People will sometimes say, well, DEI, your kind of limiting your pool. It’s just the opposite. We’re completely expanding the pool because the prior pool was people who look like people who are already here.

[00:07:02] Ron Feldman: And, and I think that’s by sort of breaking that cycle and saying, we’re not just going to settle for people that look like the people that are hiring that’s what’s allowed us to bring in a lot more talented people.

[00:07:16] David Reiling: Wow, that’s cool. All right. So, you got my head spinning now because I have personally seen the change from being a a fed member bank.

[00:07:24] David Reiling: But I want to go in a couple of different areas to start with. So, we were just talking about, you know, the, the demographics of Minnesota, that’s about, you know, 24-25% people of color and your numbers are better than that in they’re improving. So, two things come to mind, well actually many things come to mind, but let me just start with this.

[00:07:43] David Reiling: Are you recruiting Nash? Are you recruiting just locally?

[00:07:47] Ron Feldman: Yeah. We tend to recruit. We tend to recruit locally. And, and frankly, the way we’ve tried to, particularly the people leader spot. So, think of that as being roughly 180 people out of 1100, something like that. Those are people who’ve got somebody reporting to them.

[00:08:03] Ron Feldman: You know, a lot of people are a few people. We are trying to position ourselves to be where every talent leader it was a person of color. We want the best from, I hate to say it, Sunrise, and we want the best from General Mills. And, and it’s not that we don’t think the total pool should be made bigger in the long run, through, you know, introducing high school students to banking.

[00:08:25] Ron Feldman: And there’s lots of other ways that the pool in the long run needs to get bigger. But I’ll be honest in the short run I’m, I’m, I’m focused on, I’m focused on me, and I’m focused on this place. And if that means we’re going to attract people from the really super, we got a great environment in the Twin Cities, there’s lots of fantastic companies.

[00:08:45] Ron Feldman: We want to be the place where everyone across the board wants to come work for us. And again, since we’re trying to broaden our pool that’s going to attract more people of color than we had had in the past.

[00:08:55] David Reiling: Yeah. And so, gosh, a couple of things you had mentioned that, you know, your initiative has been going on in, in your numbers have been I’ll say improving since the, in the past five years, do you think the events here in Minneapolis, in regard to George Floyd and some of the civil unrest was there an accelerant there in terms of the focus.

[00:09:17] Ron Feldman: No, I actually, I don’t, I don’t think so. I think it’s been a focus. It’s been a focus before that. I mean, for the reasons I just kind of articulated again, lots of reasons you could be interested in the reason why we’re most so interested is we think we’re getting more talented folks then not necessarily who we had before, but just as we replace people, we’re widening our pool.

[00:09:38] Ron Feldman: I would say the George Floyd murderer. Absolutely. Required us to think a little bit more about the retention part of it and the inclusion part of it. But, but, but it’s also been a challenge, frankly, as opposed to an accelerant, because to the degree, to which we were attracting people from outside the Metro area.

[00:09:55] Ron Feldman: And that wasn’t a lot, I mean, we’ve got some outside of the Metro hires. It’s made it a lot harder because when we talked to folks who were in Chicago or other places that might have some interest, they’re used to the weather, you know, there Minneapolis isn’t completely foreign to them. I mean, some of the feedback we get is, I don’t know if I want to move from Chicago to Minneapolis given the climate that I’m going to face as a black woman, for example.

[00:10:21] Ron Feldman: So, I think it’s actually, it hasn’t accelerated our interest, but I think it’s provided headwinds to that process.

[00:10:28] David Reiling: Sure. It certainly has put a question in people’s mind, given the circumstances in, in media and others that that’s surrounding the issue. So, I’m going to take you in a slightly different direction because I think it is significantly important that the fed in Minneapolis is taking this mindset in this leadership role.

[00:10:46] David Reiling: Because it’s not only, I think that banking should be diverse. I think it needs to be diverse. And you have a line on, on the website that says, “pursuing an economy that works for all.” And maybe I’ll stop there for a second and you can tell us what does that, what does that mean? And then I’m going to circle back to the diversity piece.

[00:11:05] Ron Feldman: Yeah, no, no. That’s our mission statement. And I appreciate you, I appreciate you bringing that up and, and it means, I mean, it means sort of what it says, right? Which is. The has got some core responsibilities around monetary policy provide oversight to the financial system. We provide payment systems.

[00:11:21] Ron Feldman: We work with communities to make sure people have equal access to credit. And when we do those things, our core work, that’s got to benefit everyone. And that’s, you know, certainly there’s sort of the racial, ethnic lines we’ve been discussing, but let’s just add Minnesota. That means people who are in rural areas.

[00:11:39] Ron Feldman: That means people who’ve got high school educations and people who’ve got PhDs. I mean, we can’t carry out our public mission. If it’s not something that’s going to benefit the full range of people that are here. And I guess maybe to link it back to the D, E, and I part of it, that means we need to retain and attract those same, those same group of people.

[00:11:59] Ron Feldman: We’re not going to achieve that broad mission with, you know recruiting in a small narrow part of it.

[00:12:06] David Reiling: Yeah. And if I could just touch on this because the Minneapolis fed has a specific emphasis in regard to tribal nations. And so, when we think of the diversity equity inclusion in economy working for all have you seen anything different or change in the tribal nations in terms of the research.

[00:12:22] Ron Feldman: So, let me just maybe pick up particularly on an American example. But the community reinvestment act is something that the regulatory agencies and for those that don’t know, that’s the, really, the sort of framework for making sure that credit is sort of available to all communities. One thing we did was as that, as that act is being updated by the federal reserve and other agencies, we tried to work with tribal nations.

[00:12:46] Ron Feldman: What is it that they think they need? And particular given the way that they’re structured, given the legal framework, given how corporations operate there, et cetera, what is it they need? And that act as it gets revised to make sure that it’s relevant for them. So that’s just maybe one example about how that’s, that’s a role that we think we can play engaging with tribal nations, respecting their sovereignty but simultaneously figuring out how do we get information to folks making policies that’s going to affect those groups.

[00:13:17] David Reiling: Yeah. So, as I, I, I’m really curious about that because we, a lot of times we think of diversity in terms of gender and race. And we, we have a tendency to leave the tribal nations out and, and to me that’s a little short-sighted. I really love the emphasis of the Minneapolis fed in that particular case.

[00:13:34] David Reiling: And want to include that in the conversation because it does, it is quite a bit a part and an integral part of the ninth federal reserve district. And for people who don’t know Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana, parts of Northern Michigan and Eastern Wisconsin, if I got my geography, right.

[00:13:52] Ron Feldman: And that was you, you are on your way to being a fed, a fed fan boy, with that kind of. Nice job.

[00:14:00] David Reiling: So, let me tell you this. So, Ron, you’re making progress in regard to, can I

[00:14:03] Ron Feldman: see, can I just connect back real quick on the point you made? I think so. What other emphasis point of emphasis? I think that try to elaborate on the point you just made. I think one reason why.

[00:14:13] Ron Feldman: Group of folks are not part of the discussion in some sense is a little bit about what people call this data desert, which is, you know, it’s not easy to get data on what’s happening in those areas. So that’s another area of focus, which is some of it is sort of centric, you know, how does the federal government go about collecting data, state governments, et cetera.

[00:14:32] Ron Feldman: How do the tribal nations collect data, how to folks put that together so that it can be used in policymaking? I think that’s, it’s not a sexy thing. It’s a little bit of an infrastructure topic, but, but that’s an important, that’s an, I think that’s one cause of what you just identified and that’s one thing we’re trying to work on.

[00:14:49] David Reiling: Yeah. I mean, data is everything these days. And so, if you can understand the data and use it, it is one more tool, I think, in, in terms of being inclusive and understanding all communities that you’re looking for. So, I’m impressed with the progress that you’ve made. You know, businesses are, are struggling.

[00:15:07] David Reiling: We’re all competing to hire the best and the brightest and the most diverse if, if, as we think about it, what in, in some of this is I believe is on, on your website, but what works in hiring new people? What have you found? Is there a secret sauce in terms of hiring and retaining people to work at the fed?

[00:15:26] Ron Feldman: Yeah, no, I wish there were a secret sauce. So, I think the single most important thing we did was the most was the most generic management one-on-one kind of things, which is. Let’s be really clear on who’s accountable for hiring decisions. And I think, you know, obviously we want to give autonomy to frontline supervisors when they hire, but we’ve basically gone up the chain and said to the most senior people, you are accountable for what your area looks like.

[00:15:56] Ron Feldman: And of course, there’s no quotas, there’s no numerical numbers. I mean, that’s not what, what I’m talking about, what, what we’re saying. You’re responsible in a way that maybe you didn’t feel like you were before for exactly who’s getting hired and making sure it’s the absolute, most talented people.

[00:16:12] Ron Feldman: And what that’s done is led to cases where the, you know, the inclination of the frontline supervisors, who are fantastic here and we wouldn’t survive if it wasn’t their work, but their motivations are really sometimes how do I, as quickly as possible get somebody to ensure that the things I’m being asked to do, the metrics I’m being asked to meet, how do I get that done as quickly as possible? And that makes a lot of sense, but that doesn’t necessarily give us the upside we need as an organization for the long run.

[00:16:43] Ron Feldman: So, the most, I would say the single most important thing we’ve done is we have put a big emphasis on the senior leaders for all the hiring happening in their area. And then Neel Kashkari and I, who are the president. So, we’ve got, you know, we’re not a huge organization, but you know, we call them officers.

[00:16:59] Ron Feldman: So that would be AVPs VPs and senior VPs, Neil and I interview the finalists for every one of those jobs. And it’s, we think it’s a great use of our time and it, it reinforces to everyone that this is not something that’s going to be delegated to someone else that we are individually accountable for the hires we make, and that we’re individually accountable for ensuring that if we have to wait a couple more weeks to fill it, a position, because we’re going to get the best people, that’s what we’re going to do.

[00:17:28] Ron Feldman: So, I think that has been the single most important thing to reorient everyone to what’s our expectations around hiring. And final comment. It kind of builds on itself. So, when people start seeing, oh, Hey I waited a little bit longer. I had; I interviewed more people. I had a broader range of folks. I got someone who I would’ve never thought I would’ve gotten.

[00:17:51] Ron Feldman: Their just they bring, they have more experience. They bring different, they’re able to do more than what I just hired them for. You don’t need to as much have the top-down look because they’re excited about it themselves. So, I feel like that it’s not, it’s not a secret sauce. And I think we’ve been fortunate a little bit that we’ve been able to do it.

[00:18:10] Ron Feldman: I mean, frankly, David, if we had had this started this initiative this year, boy, that would be a lot harder. I mean, the labor market is so much tighter than it was when we started this. I wonder, I wonder how successful we would be. But I think we, five years ago it was a kind of different world. And I think that allowed us to get off on the right foot so that things are kind of embedded in how we operate now.

[00:18:31] David Reiling: Well, I think there’s a tremendous lesson in that, Ron. And I give you, you, and Neil a credit I mean, at the end of the day, the accountability and responsibility, when it lies in its square and it’s transparent as to where the decision lies and ultimately the result that is powerful and impactful to the organization.

[00:18:51] David Reiling: Not only from the standpoint of the number, what you look like when you hire, but the culture within the organization itself, that this is the most important thing that our leaders have to do is hire the right people for the right jobs and the you know, skills and talent. Yeah.

[00:19:08] Ron Feldman: And it’s funny, you know, David, when you say it like that, which I totally agree with everything you just said, it sounds so obvious, right?

[00:19:14] Ron Feldman: I mean, everyone says that everyone says, boy, if I had to spend another one minute on one task, what would it be? Well, it would be the people that you bring in. But then we as managers and leaders, we confuse the issue. Cause we also tell people what we want you to do also do this and also do that.

[00:19:29] Ron Feldman: So, we’ve had a really disciplined ourselves and say, the single most important thing we want you to do as a manager is make sure that you are hiring and retaining the best people, because that is going to take care of so many of the other things that we need to get done. And it’s, you know, it’s, it sounds obvious, but it’s taken a lot of effort. And can I say one thing real quick?

[00:19:49] Ron Feldman: I think we’ve made a lot of progress. I think we’re doing a great job. I don’t have any illusions about how the focus we need to keep going forward. And in particular, you know, I think we recognize that boy, you know if Sunrise comes back and they offer a bunch of people that work with us, if you had a big hiring spree, you hired, you know, 20 people from the fed, some of these numbers would change cause we’re not a huge organization.

[00:20:14] Ron Feldman: And so, I, you know, I don’t want to say it’s tenuous, but I don’t overestimate our progress and that there could be, you know, redress, if we don’t stay on top of this.

[00:20:23] David Reiling: Yeah, I would agree. And that holds true. I was having this conversation the other day. I described it as listen, this isn’t the, the DEI diet we’re going on.

[00:20:32] David Reiling: This is not a fad. It never has been for us. This is a lifestyle that we’re going to do now and forever. And so, our hiring practices, the way we view this is, is going to be this way and improving continuously on and on and on. And so, all right. As much as I got to get a little selfish, but I have to say that, you know, that the Minneapolis Federal Reserve in your leadership here is, is so important to banking.

[00:20:57] David Reiling: I think banking should be diverse, but it needs to be diverse to have an economy that works for all. And so, I’m going to be a little selfish here and particularly for the bankers on the, on the line. And that is how do we think a diverse. One of the roles that the fed plays is as a, as an examiner and a supervisor of banks, how does a diverse supervisory staff make for a better bank exam?

[00:21:22] Ron Feldman: Yeah. I mean, I think so part of it is upgrading our talent across the board means that you’re going to be dealing with people who, when you know, who can prioritize better. Who can, I think one of the main things, when I used to have the supervisor, I used to be the head of our supervision function?

[00:21:40] Ron Feldman: The main thing I would hear from bankers that, let’s say annoyed them, but they’re raised questions in their mind was, hey, can you guys prioritize? Can you distinguish between something that, a technical violation of a really complex law that maybe you don’t even fully understand yourself versus a credit culture that’s really gone awry? And boy, if we have a downturn, that’s going to sink that bank.

[00:22:01] Ron Feldman: You know, if we get in more sophisticated people who can make those kinds of judgments and know when to accelerate things to their manager or not, I just think it’s going to change the experience you’re going to have. I mean, nobody likes to have a bank, no one likes to have an audit. You know, all of those kinds of cliches, but if you’re dealing with folks who are going to approach it from a slightly more sophisticated, less checklist kind of approach, I actually think the benefits are going to accrue to bankers.

[00:22:30] Ron Feldman: And I think that’s by getting a high-quality team in to meet with you in to do the exam.

[00:22:36] David Reiling: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And I, you know, focusing on the things that matter. And I, as I look at demographics, now, the demographics in Minnesota are changing, but they’re changing across the United States and minority populations in some cases have become the majority.

[00:22:51] David Reiling: And minority populations are, are growing or increasing at a rate that’s greater than Caucasian ones. And so that the mindset of the strategic lens of a bank and an examiner is what are you doing to serve your communities? What are you doing strategically in which to engage all your population? For the betterment of the bank, let alone the community and the United States in terms of economic activity.

[00:23:17] David Reiling: And so, I think that diversity that comes from an institution that is the Federal Reserve is, is so important. I think in leading the example of banking, that this diversity is good all the way through.

[00:23:30] Ron Feldman: Yeah, and maybe one other quick example. I mean, I tried to emphasize maybe from a banker’s view, from a supervisory view, we have gotten a lot of benefit from having examiners who’ve grown up in agricultural production.

[00:23:42] Ron Feldman: Cause they kind of both, you know, they can understand what the issues are, but then they can also say, Hey, something here. This does not seem right. Just thinking about that more broadly, you know, if my set of experiences that I grew up with financial institutions is, you know, I got really high, I got high level service.

[00:23:58] Ron Feldman: I was never really taken advantage of, again, I’m not talking about Sunrise, but you know, there’ve been other banks out there in the other places where they’ve not been so scrupulous and somebody who’s grown up with maybe being treated differently than everyone else is going to have insight into, oh, I kind of know what’s going on here in a way that a white male who’s grown up than not experiencing that would just kind of say, well, that doesn’t, I wouldn’t even notice it.

[00:24:25] Ron Feldman: So, I do think you know, having a wide range of people with wide range of experiences in the exam front is going to lead to a better exam because we’re just going to have to bring more knowledge to it.

[00:24:35] David Reiling: Yeah, no doubt about it. So, Ron, our time is flying here. I could talk to you all day because I know we’re two kinds of bank nerds when it comes right down to it. But given our, given the light of our discussion today, and this is the NextGen Banker question, what does the next gen banker look like?

[00:24:53] Ron Feldman: I think the next gen banker is somebody who is super excited about helping people in their community reach their potential.

[00:25:03] Ron Feldman: And that sounds so hallmark, but I think, boy, I mean, you know, there’s, there’s so much that finance can do for people. There’s so much that getting a loan at the right point in your life, you know, to get an education, to buy a house. And I think the next gen banker is someone who’s excited about that.

[00:25:22] Ron Feldman: And that’s going to be people from a full range of communities that we have in this, in this city, in this state, in our district. So, I honestly think, I know plenty of people will say, hey you know, I don’t really quite understand the attraction to banking. You said we’re both bank nerds.

[00:25:38] Ron Feldman: I think it’s an understanding that, the things that people want for their communities are really made possible by banks and financial institutions who are providing credit at that exact moment in your life when you needed it. And I know Sunrise has done super innovative things around it, let’s say, even providing, letting people get credit you know, in their workplace that allows them to avoid a problem in paying rent or whatever.

[00:26:01] Ron Feldman: I mean, those getting credited when you need it, it’s not like a fifth priority thing. It’s like a first priority thing. And so, I’m, that’s what I think the future looks like people who are excited about that. And I think when they realize that that’s what it’s about. I think we’re going to get a lot of people wanting to be engaged at the fed and hopefully at commercial bank.

[00:26:20] David Reiling: Yeah, thanks for that, Ron. I think it’s the, the essence of why I love being a banker is I never really think about it as I’m providing money, I’m providing someone the opportunity to buy the car that they’re looking for, to grow the business that they have. It is my ability to help them again, to achieve what they’re looking to do.

[00:26:38] David Reiling: It’s not necessarily all about the bank and so. Well, Ron, thank you for joining us today. Your insights into attracting and retaining a diverse workforce are great. Congratulations on, on where the fed is today. But again, I would like to come back in and congratulate you over and over again, as you continue to make progress.

[00:26:56] David Reiling: And so, it, we’re, we’re all on a journey here in which to have a more inclusive workforce and a better workforce at the end of the day. So, thanks again for your time and joining the NextGen Bankers podcast.

[00:27:07] Ron Feldman: Absolutely. Thank you, David. All right, bye bye.

[00:27:10] Becca Hoeft: For this episode’s musical feature, we are showcasing Ben Kyle. Ben is a Minneapolis based singer songwriter who has been described by the Huffington post as a sleeping giant.

[00:27:23] Becca Hoeft: He is an award-winning songwriter who has worked with Ringo Starr, Ryan Adams, and Lucinda Williams, amongst others. Here is Ben’s song, Don’t Settle.

(song plays)

[00:27:57] Becca Hoeft: That was Don’t Settle by Ben Kyle. Hear more of Ben’s music at benkyle.com. If you would like your music featured on the NextGen Banker podcast, email David@nextgen-banker.com with a link to your music and website. Thanks for listening to the NextGen Banker podcast. We’ll see you next time.