Speakers and Panelists
Cynthia L. Blankenship is vice chairman, corporate president and chief financial officer of Bank of the West, Grapevine, Texas. Bank of the West specializes in small business lending and has eight locations in Texas. She is currently a member of the board of directors for the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). She is a past chairman of the ICBA and is the immediate past chair of the ICBA services network. Blankenship has also served on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Community Banking Advisory Board. She was appointed Dean for Bankers and chaired the Southwestern School of Banking Foundation at Southern Methodist University from 2006 to 2009. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking, Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. Blankenship served as chair of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) in 2002 and served as chair of the IBAT Education Foundation which raised more than $1 million for financial literacy. In 2004, U.S. Banker magazine named her one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Banking. Blankenship has served her community through the Colleyville Women’s Club, the Community Bankers Education Foundation, the Bear Creek Community Development Project, and Dallas Summer Musicals. She is a member of the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce and a recipient of the 1999 Arts Education Award and the 2004 Colleyville Women’s Club Novus Award. Blankenship currently sits on the board of directors of the Grapevine, Texas, Convention and Visitors Bureau. In November 2010, she was named as one of the 2010 Great Women of Texas.
John Kandrac is a senior economist in the division of monetary affairs at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where he works on topics related to monetary policy implementation and money markets. His research focuses on monetary economics, banking and financial intermediation, and financial markets. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve, he was an analyst at J.P. Morgan and received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
Michael Stevens is the senior executive vice president at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). He is responsible for leading the organization's public policy, financial supervision, federal coordination, communications, industry relations and professional development functions. Stevens also serves as the principal deputy to the state banking member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Prior to his appointment in September 2011, he served as the senior vice president for regulatory policy, representing the state banking system in the development of policy in the areas of financial stability, prudential supervision and consumer protection. He joined CSBS in 1999 to work in all facets of CSBS's professional development division. Stevens is a frequent instructor and speaker on banking policy, examinations and financial analysis. He serves on the faculty of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado and at Texas Tech University's School of Banking. He began his regulatory career as a bank examiner for the Iowa Division of Banking, where he served 11 years.