President and Chief Executive Officer

Req Number: RH1GKP
Location: Sacramento, California
Posted: 3/16/2023
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Not-For-Profit
Job Type: Permanent

California Bankers Association - President & Chief Executive Officer

Organization Background

Established in 1891, the California Bankers Association is among the largest state banking trade associations in the United States and is the only banking trade association to provide a full spectrum of advocacy solutions to California’s financial and banking issues in the state legislature, in Congress, before banking regulators, and in the courts. With 86 members and three endorsed partners, the CBA has a mission to educate and connect bankers to help them achieve the highest personal and organizational excellence standards. CBA offers both in-person and virtual conferences and provides members with professional development through training seminars, webinars, podcasts, and enhanced education through various partnerships. CBA also provides its members with preferred pricing for products and services that can improve operations and save money through its Strategic Partner program.

CBA is the industry’s voice for California state and federal legislative, regulatory, and legal advocacy. The organization maintains constant and direct communication with legislators, policy committee consultants, regulators, and the executive branch of government, including the governor’s office. They are proactive in submitting comments and direct testimony on measures that its members have identified as priorities, and they lead coalitions with other organizations that share their view. CBA hosts in-district grassroots meetings with local elected officials to promote relationships between California member banks and the state legislators who represent them. On the federal government relations front, the CBA advocates on critical legislative issues through a strong partnership with the American Bankers Association.

CBA’s primary membership base is comprised of financial institutions conducting business in California. Annual member dues are based upon the amount of member assets. CBA member banks range from the smallest community banks with less than $100 million in assets to the largest banks in the United States with assets of more than $2.5 trillion. The diversity of the membership is one of CBA’s greatest strengths. The association brings these diverse institutions together under one umbrella to provide common ground and unify the voice of the financial services industry.

As a component of the association’s strategic partners program, CBA offers associate membership to non-bank organizations that provide products or services to the industry. CBA also has several affiliate members that are Edge Act companies, bank holding companies (where all subsidiary banks are CBA members), subsidiaries of active member banks or banks organized under the laws of a foreign nation. These members are not allowed to hold a board position. CBA also has special members such as firms or organizations that do not qualify as a bank or affiliate member but provide services to the industry (e.g., a merchant processor).

CBA partners with a select group of product and service providers to ensure that its member banks are equipped with the resources they need. These partners include American Bankers Association, BankerCollege, Compliance Alliance, Focused Results and ODP Business Solutions. CBA provides numerous programs that provide updates for bankers on hot topics, emerging trends, current and pending legislation, new products and services and innovative ways to enhance profitability and reduce risk. These programs provide an invaluable opportunity to network with peers and stay current on important issues affecting the rapidly changing industry.

CBA is the sole shareholder of Banker Benefits (BB), a for-profit California corporation. It has a separate board, bylaws, and articles. BB initially offered and administered health and welfare benefit plans and property/casualty insurance products to employees of member banks. It remains a licensed insurance broker, although the scope of its activities has dwindled substantially. Currently, it administers the insurance products and scholarship benefits provided by the CBA Group Insurance Trust, provides administrative and accounting support to the DBA Group Insurance Trust and the Strategic Partners program, and administers the BB investment portfolio.

The CBA has 17 full time and two part-time employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $4.6 million. The CBA is well-capitalized and possesses a healthy financial reserve.

The Opportunity
Organization: California Bankers Association
Position: President and Chief Executive Officer
Reporting Relationship: CBA Chair of the Board of Directors
Location: Sacramento, California

Key Responsibilities
The President & CEO will be responsible for effective leadership of CBA and execution of its mission and goals. They will be an innovative and proactive leader and advocate with strong strategic communications, public affairs, political, and business acumen who will provide leadership and effective stewardship of the organization’s resources, operations, programs, and staff. The CEO will have a proven track record of successfully leading an organization in a dynamic environment, ensuring its relevance and value to its members. The CEO will collaborate with the Board and staff to develop and implement the organization’s strategic plan. The CEO will exercise fiscal responsibility and provide oversight for all of CBA’s assets and resources, ensuring long-term financial sustainability of the association’s business model. On an ongoing basis, the CEO will measure performance against objectives and report the results to the Board of Directors.

Specifically, the CEO is responsible for the following:

Strategy Development
  • Provides forward-thinking leadership that supports the development and execution of organizational strategy.
  • In conjunction with the Board of Directors, articulates the vision for CBA and recommends and implements strategic plans that will achieve the plan’s goals.
  • Ensures the CBA provides a strong value-proposition and remains relevant to current and prospective members nationally.
  • Positions the organization to thrive in the context of external conditions.
  • Identifies new opportunities and/or challenges and recommends action to the Board of Directors as appropriate.
  • Supports the staff in the development, implementation, monitoring, and adjustment of strategic, financial, and business plans.

  • Collaborates with the Board of Directors on matters of governance, mission, vision, and strategy.
  • Supports the Chairman, Chairman-Elect, other officers, committees, and volunteers to develop Board meeting content and agendas, leadership orientation, and governance development activities.
  • Proactively assists the Board of Directors in identifying key emerging issues and implementing future direction as established by the Board.
  • Develops, implements, and is accountable for the Association’s annual budget and operating plan.
  • Provides regular communications to the CBA Board, keeping them informed of key activities, as well as the overall operational and financial health of CBA.

External Affairs and Advocacy
Advocacy is the most important role that CBA plays on behalf of its members. The key responsibilities of the CEO in this area include:
  • Working closely with the CBA’s Government Relations group to advocate for the California banking industry at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Meeting regularly with state and federal legislative leaders and regulators.
  • Focusing efforts on engaging the next generation of bankers at a local level.
  • Developing relationships with the American Bankers Association and other state banking associations to advocate on key issues surrounding the financial services industry before Congress.
  • Increasing awareness and education of legislative advocacy value proposition and activity to members both internally and externally through the development of outreach programs.
  • Seek opportunities to partner outside the industry (business events, panels, etc.) to promote a positive image of the banking industry to the consumer.

Strategic Communications
The CEO will be responsible for communicating to a wide range of constituents including the Board of Directors, banking leaders and officers, regulators, legislators, and employees. Key responsibilities include:
  • Promotes visibility of the Association within the financial services industry statewide and nationally and with key stakeholders.
  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors and identified volunteer leaders, develops key messages to the membership and other stakeholders.
  • Engages and communicates with the members regularly to understand their needs, maximize engagement, and enhance member satisfaction.
  • Leads efforts to forge new alliances, partnerships, and collaborations to promote the CBA’s agenda and priorities.

  • Sets the organizational values and business culture for CBA and ensures that all staff and volunteers live the values.
  • Directs the operational activities of the Association, ensuring that the organization is capably staffed and effectively organized to meet the set goals.
  • Leads and continues to develop the organization’s staff, inspiring and empowering them in their roles. Cultivates cross-division collaboration and fosters a culture of integrity, diversity, social responsibility, teamwork, transparency, and results.
  • Ensures the CBA maintains key infrastructure, financial, and technological capabilities to serve the members and effectively implement the mission of the association.
  • Reports financial results to the Board of Directors and along with CFO ensures that recordkeeping and internal controls meet the requirements of auditors and government agencies in all locations where CBA operates.
  • Reports and develops plans to manage business risk issues to the Finance & Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
  • Maintains an understanding of legal issues in the management of non-profit organizations and ensures legal compliance and appropriate risk management.
  • Maximizes operational efficiency in all areas, with a focus on meeting deadlines and exceeding expectations with respect to all programs promoted and delivered by CBA.

Membership development and retention is one of the key elements to maintaining and increasing the effectiveness of the association. The CEO’s key responsibilities in this area include:
  • Passionately communicate the association's objectives, value, and activities to the membership.
  • Improving the retention and recruitment of banks as members within the CBA reach.
  • Develop a strong and trusted relationship with each member regardless of bank size or charter.
  • Engage bank members to include various levels of employees in membership activities.
  • Proactively develop a prospective member outreach program.
  • Oversee the retention and recruitment of non-banking firms serving the banking industry as strategic partners.
  • Provide opportunities for members to network with other members as well as with regulators and other relevant industry providers.
  • Evaluate member services to ensure events are relevant, educational and will engage members and prospective members to attend.
  • Develop an emerging bank leaders’ program to expose them to and involve them in the work of the association.

The Candidate
Professional Experience and Qualifications
Specific experience and qualifications will include the following:
  • 10+ years of progressive executive leadership experience for an association, company, or a division within a large corporation, with complexity and scope similar to that of the CBA.
  • Experience overseeing the development and implementation of an organization’s strategic plan. Strong analytical skills with the capability of analyzing and articulating complex and strategic issues and their potential impacts upon decision-making for staff, Board members and key business partners.
  • Experienced advocate before state and federal government officials, with a reputation of effectively working on a bi-partisan basis.
  • Skilled leader with a record of developing, mentoring and managing staff performance and fostering an entrepreneurial customer-focused team. Capacity to delegate, empower and distribute decision-making effectively and successfully build and manage a diverse leadership team. Demonstrable experience of effectively leading people and organizations through change and transformation.
  • Board relations and governance experience, with an ability to build consensus across diverse stakeholders. A member-centric mindset designed to ensure a robust value proposition for current and future members.
  • A future leaning perspective on how the digital world is evolving and implications for CBA. An ability to anticipate, discern and act on industry signals and trends.
  • Knowledge of managing large scale events that provide value to a constituency.
  • Strong financial and business acumen to ensure the long-term fiscal health and sustainability of the CBA.
  • Reputation for integrity, sound judgement and upholding high ethical standards.
  • Strong emotional intelligence, with an ability to forge consensus and lead with compassion and empathy.
  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to translate new opportunities into measurable results.
  • Agility to anticipate and understand trends that impact the CBA and ability to lead necessary change to ensure the organization’s continued relevancy and impact.
  • Self-aware and authentic with the confidence and maturity to navigate and succeed in a multifaceted organization which values diverse perspectives.
  • Outstanding written, oral and presentation communication skills. A relationship builder.
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master's degree in relevant discipline is a plus.

There is a strong preference for the CEO to be located in Sacramento.

Estimated salary: $350,000 - $380,000.

Korn Ferry Contacts

Robert Wagner
Senior Client Partner
T. (310) 344-7297

Lorraine Lavet
Senior Client Partner
T. (703) 919-6540

Sophie Carr
T. (484) 425-1607

Emily Lynch
Senior Project Coordinator
T. (703) 498-7227


Korn Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.