2019 Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference

Speakers and Panelists

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Bret Afdahl was appointed director of the South Dakota Division of Banking in May 2011 after serving as counsel to the division since October 2006. Afdahl is the current chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the nation’s leading advocate for the state banking system and the only national organization dedicated to advancing the state banking system. Prior to joining the division, Afdahl worked on the legal staff at the South Dakota Department of Revenue and Regulation on a variety of tax and compliance issues.  He is a graduate of Northern State University with a degree in political science and business, a graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, and holds a certification as a fiduciary and investment risk specialist (CFIRS) from the Cannon Financial Institute.


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Leslie Andersen is the president and chief executive officer of Bank of Bennington, Bennington, Neb.  Andersen received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and a MBA from Golden Gate University, San Francisco. She has more than 30 years of banking experience.  Andersen has served as chairman of the American Bankers Association’s Government Relations Council—comprised of bank officers from every state in the nation and Puerto Rico. She is also a former member of the American Bankers Association’s board of directors, and currently serves on the board of directors for BancAlliance.  She served as chairman of the Nebraska Bankers Association in 2001.  Andersen currently serves on the executive committee for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and on the University of Nebraska’s President’s Advisory Council. She also serves on the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Board and is a Councillor of the Knights of Aksarben.  Andersen previously served as the chairman for Alegent Health Systems, Immanual Health Systems and Lutheran Family Services, and was a member of the board of the directors for the Alegent Creighton Clinic in Omaha.


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Lamont Black is an assistant professor of finance in the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University in Chicago, where he also serves as the academic director of the John L. Keeley Jr. Center for Financial Services. He is the co-organizer of the annual Chicago Financial Institutions Conference.  Prior to joining the faculty of DePaul, Black was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. His research has been published in a number of finance journals, including the Journal of Financial Intermediation and Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Stability and the Journal of Financial Services Research. He teaches graduate courses on commercial banking and capital markets in the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul, as well as courses on money and banking at the undergraduate level. Black received his doctorates in finance and economics from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University.



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Michelle W. Bowman took office as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on November 26, 2018, to fill an unexpired term ending January 31, 2020. In September 2019, she was appointed to 14-year term.  Prior to her appointment to the Board, Bowman served as the state bank commissioner of Kansas from January 2017 to November 2018. She also served as vice president of Farmers & Drovers Bank, Council Grove, Kansas, from 2010 to 2017. In addition to her experience in the banking industry, Bowman worked in Washington, D.C. for Senator Bob Dole of Kansas from 1995 to 1996 and served as a counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight between 1997 and 2002. In 2002, she became director of congressional and intergovernmental affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. From 2003 to 2004, she served as deputy assistant secretary and policy advisor to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Following her time in Washington, D.C., Bowman led a government and public affairs consultancy based in London before returning to Kansas in 2010. She received a Bachelor of Science in advertising and journalism from the University of Kansas and her Juris Doctor degree from the Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Ks. She is a member of the New York bar association.



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James Bullard is the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In that role, he is a participant on the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which meets regularly to set the direction of U.S. monetary policy. He also oversees the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District, including activities at the St. Louis headquarters and its branches in Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn. A noted economist and policymaker, Bullard makes Fed transparency and dialogue a priority on the international and national stage as well as on Main Street. He serves on the board of directors of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and the board of directors of Concordance Academy of Leadership, and he is a past board chair of the United Way U.S.A. Bullard is co-editor of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, and a member of the Central Bank Research Association’s senior council. He is an honorary professor of economics at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also sits on the advisory council of the economics department and the advisory board of the Center for Dynamic Economics. A native of Forest Lake, Minn., Bullard received his doctorate in economics from Indiana University in Bloomington.


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Michael Busch is the president and CEO of Chicago-based Burling Bank and Burling Ventures, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Burling Bancorp, Inc. Busch has more than 25 years of banking experience focused in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management, operations, marketing, client service and business development.  As president of Burling Bank, he is responsible for managing relationships with governmental agencies, business partners, civic organizations and financial technology vendors.  Previously, he was an independent commodity futures trader and member of the Chicago Board of Trade. He also served as assistant White House press secretary to President George H.W. Bush.  He received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science from Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif.  He currently serves on the boards of the Chicago Botanic Garden, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation Advisory Council, Pepperdine University’s Seaver Business Partners, the State Banking Board of Illinois and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ Bankers Advisory Board.



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Melissa Eggleston is chief deposit officer and executive vice president at nbkc bank, Kansas City, Mo. She joined the bank in 2016 to lead the creation and execution of a nationwide digital banking platform for consumers and small businesses. As part of nbkc’s executive team, Eggleston works to form strategic partnerships and investment opportunities with a variety of fintechs across the country. She has spent more than 16 years in community banking, serving in various leadership roles focused on strategy, customer service, business development and team building. Eggleston is most passionate about delivering impactful strategic change to meet company objectives and disrupting traditional banking practices. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Purdue University-Northwest and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards for her professional and community leadership, including being named a NextGen Leader and one of the Kansas City Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business - the top honor for women in Kansas City's business community.



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Diane Ellis is the director of the Division of Insurance and Research at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The division is responsible for maintaining the adequacy of the Deposit Insurance Fund and an effective and fair risk-based premium system. It also leads the FDIC’s efforts to assess economic and financial sector risks to the banking industry; directs policy-oriented research, both in-house and through the FDIC’s Center for Financial Research; conducts analysis for FDIC rulemakings; and manages the collection and publication of bank financial information and statistics, including the Quarterly Banking Profile. The division disseminates research and analysis through a variety of channels, including published and online reports, as well as conferences and roundtables. Ellis started her FDIC career as a bank examiner in the Orange County, Calif., field office, where she examined numerous troubled banks and thrifts during a severe recession. She then joined the Division of Insurance in Washington, D.C. where she analyzed emerging risks to the banking and thrift industries, with particular emphasis on the consumer sector and credit conditions. Ellis has also served as Deputy to the Vice Chairman, Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer, Associate Director for Financial Risk Management, and Deputy Director for Financial Risk Management and Research. She currently serves on the executive council of the International Association of Deposit Insurers. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, Texas, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.


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Christine Gaffney is senior vice president for Supervision, Regulation and Credit (SRC) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, where she oversees the consumer and safety and soundness supervision of state member banks and bank holding companies in the Federal Reserve’s Ninth District. She is also responsible for the Bank’s lending to Ninth District depository institutions and for managing the resulting credit risk. Gaffney joined the Minneapolis Fed in 2001 in the SRC department as a consumer affairs examiner. She continued in the examination role until 2008. During that period, she spent one year at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and four years as key support for the Federal Reserve System’s examiner training efforts. She managed SRC’s quality assurance and training functions before becoming an assistant vice president in 2011 and then vice president in 2014 over the credit, payments systems risk, statistical and structure reporting, and support services areas. Throughout her tenure, she has made a wide range of contributions, including leading several critical System efforts as well as helping SRC grow its areas of formal responsibility. Gaffney has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Jamestown in North Dakota.


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Huntley Garriott is the president of Live Oak Bank, Wilmington, N.C. Prior to joining Live Oak, he was a partner at Goldman Sachs in its investment banking division and served as co-head of the Banks and Specialty Finance team within Goldman’s Financial Institutions Group. During his 20-year career at Goldman, Garriott covered regional banks throughout North America and held a variety of roles focused on traditional investment banking, private equity investing, debt capital markets and risk management. He was named managing director in 2007 and partner in 2014. Garriott earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and economics from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar.


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Michael S. Gibson is the director of the Division of Supervision and Regulation at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. As division director, he oversees the Federal Reserve’s development of bank regulatory policy and its supervision of banking organizations. He works closely with officials from other U.S. and international government agencies on bank oversight issues. He formerly served as deputy director in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Board of Governors, where he was responsible for overseeing the division’s financial functions. He has worked on research and policy issues related to financial stability, financial markets and derivatives. He has authored articles on value at risk, stress testing and credit derivatives. He served on the faculty of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business for two years and as a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Stanford University.



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Craig Goodlock is the chairman and CEO of Farmers State Bank, Munith, Mich.  Goodlock has been involved in the Michigan banking community since 1979. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Adrian College, Adrian, Mich. Goodlock is the only banker in Michigan to have chaired both the Michigan Bankers Association and the Michigan Association of Community Bankers. In 2009, he was voted Michigan Banker of the Year. Under Goodlock’s leadership, the bank has grown from one office in Munith to a $78 million bank with three locations in Munith, Stockbridge, and Grass Lake, Mich.



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Yadav Gopalan is an assistant professor of accounting at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. His research interests include banking, financial reporting, disclosure regulation and credit market intermediaries.  Before the start of his academic career, he spent six years as a research associate and financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and St. Louis.  In addition to his academic appointment at Indiana University, he is a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.   He earned his Ph.D. in business administration (accounting) and his Master of Science in finance from the John M. Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Gopalan earned his Bachelor of Science in economics from Michigan State University.


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Jonathan Griffin is the senior vice president and chief business development officer at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis (FHLBI). Griffin is responsible for business development functions to support FHLBI’s member products and services. He also oversees the advance trading desk, strategic planning, market research and analytics, membership recruitment and member capital stock.  He joined FHLBI in 1996 as a senior credit analyst, serving later as the advances manager, then as an account manager. He was named first vice president and credit services director in 2007, where he oversaw all member credit underwriting, member collateral and member lending functions. Prior to joining FHLBI, Griffin spent several years working in corporate finance at an insurance holding company.  He holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind., and an MBA with an emphasis in finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Griffin is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Fellow of the Life Management Institute.



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John Hackney is an assistant professor of finance at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. He graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., with a degree in finance and economics, and spent his working life before graduate school in his family’s screen-printing business, which directly benefited from community bank funding. He received his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Washington in 2016. His research currently focuses on the effects of government regulation on small business financing.


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Patrick T. Harker is the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. In this role, Harker participates on the Federal Open Market Committee, which formulates the nation’s monetary policy. Before taking office at the Philadelphia Fed, Harker was the 26th president of the University of Delaware. He was also a professor of business administration at the university’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the College of Engineering. Before joining the University of Delaware in 2007, Harker was dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to being appointed dean in 2000, Harker was the Wharton School’s interim dean and deputy dean, as well as the chair of its Operations and Information Management Department. He has published/edited nine books and more than 100 professional articles. From 1996 to 1999, he served as editor-in-chief of the journal Operations Research. In 2012, Harker was named a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He was also named a White House fellow by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and was a special assistant to Federal Bureau of Investigations Director William S. Sessions from 1991 to 1992. Harker is a board member of both the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and its Select Greater Philadelphia Council. He is also a board member at the Science Center in Philadelphia. Previously, he was on the boards of Catholic Relief Services, Pepco Holdings, Inc. and the Huntsman Corporation. He was a founding member of the board of advisors for Decision Lens Inc. He was also a nonbanking Class B director of the Philadelphia Fed from 2012 to 2015. Harker has a Ph.D. in civil and urban engineering, a Master of Arts in economics, a Master of Science in engineering and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, all from the University of Pennsylvania.



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Artashes Karapetyan is an assistant professor of finance at ESSEC Business School in Paris, France. Prior to joining ESSEC, Karapetyan served as a faculty member at BI Business School in Norway, and as a research economist at Norges Bank, Norway’s central bank. Karapetyan’s research interests are real estate finance, housing and financial intermediation; in particular, relationship banking. In his work, he uses both theoretical and empirical methods, and has experience using international credit registry datasets from Norway, Portugal, and Hungary.



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Stefan Lewellen is a visiting assistant professor of finance at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).  Prior to joining Penn State, Lewellen held academic positions at Carnegie Mellon University and the London Business School. His primary research interests are in the areas of corporate finance, financial intermediation, political economy and industrial organization. His work on corporate finance received SAC Capital’s award for outstanding research, and his work on financial intermediation has been published in the American Economic Review.  His research has been cited by numerous media outlets including the Economist, the Harvard Business Review, and NPR’s Hidden Brain.  Stefan earned his Ph.D. and MBA from Yale University. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Engineering Route to Business (Finance, Aerospace Engineering) from the University of Texas at Austin.



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Traci Mach is a principal economist in the financial structure section of the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.  She joined the Board of Governors staff in 2003.  While at the Board, Mach has been involved in conducting economic analysis of issues relating to the household and small business finance, working extensively with the Board’s Survey of Small Business Finances and its Survey of Consumer Finances. Mach received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and her Ph.D. in economics from The Ohio State University.  Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Board, Mach served on the faculty of the economics department at the State University of New York at Albany. 


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Lori A. Maley is the vice chairman, president and CEO of the Bank of Bird-in-Hand, Bird-in Hand, Penn. From the bank’s inception in 2013 until 2017, Maley served as the bank’s chief financial officer and executive officer, as well as the assistant treasurer and assistant secretary.    Prior to joining the Bank of Bird-in-Hand, Maley was the acting chief accounting officer, controller and senior vice president of Phoenixville, Pa.-based Customers Bank. She had previously served as the chief financial officer, executive vice president and treasurer of Wyomissing, Pa.-based Berkshire Bank and as the comptroller of Pennsylvania National Bank.  Maley holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pa., and a master’s degree in finance from St. Joseph University in Philadelphia. She is a Certified Public Accountant.  Committed to sharing her expertise with others, she has taught at several schools including Kutztown University, The Pennsylvania State University, Albright College and Muhlenberg College.  In 2018, she received the Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s Patricia A. Husic Woman of Influence Award and was selected as a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the greater Philadelphia region.


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Jelena McWilliams was sworn in as the 21st chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) on June 5, 2018. She serves a six-year term on the FDIC Board of Directors, and is designated as chairman for a term of five years.  Prior to joining the FDIC, McWilliams was executive vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Prior to joining Fifth Third, she worked in the United States Senate for six years, most recently as chief counsel and deputy staff director with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and as assistant chief counsel with the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship committee.  From 2007 to 2010, McWilliams served as an attorney with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.  Before entering public service, she practiced corporate and securities law at Morrison & Foerster LLP in Palo Alto, Calif., and Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP) in Washington, D.C.  She graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in political science, and earned her Juris Doctor from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law.




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Andrew P. Meyer is a senior economist in the Community Bank Research and Outreach office of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He received a doctorate in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and has worked at the Federal Reserve since 1994. In addition to his research on community banking issues, Meyer conducts statistical analysis of the downgrade and failure risk of commercial banks. He also serves on a committee to improve the Federal Reserve's off-site bank surveillance program and has taught regularly in examiner training schools.



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Carlos Parra has a Ph.D. in finance from McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and is working as an assistant professor of finance at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. His primary research interests are in household finance, financial intermediation and empirical corporate finance. Currently, he is working on projects related to the effect of debt relief on household behavior, the relationship between deposit shocks and credit supply, the effect of cash windfall on small businesses and their owners, and the labor market consequences of housing wealth shocks. His work has been selected for inclusion in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Summer Institute and the Western Finance Association annual meeting.


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Gary Petersen is the chairman of North Dakota-based Cornerstone Bank and Cornerstone Holding Company. He is currently a member of the Ninth District Federal Reserve Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council, as well as the chairman of advisory board for the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-owned bank in the country. He is a past director and chairman for the North Dakota Bankers Association Board and was previously a member of the North Dakota Department of Banking and Financial Institutions Board. Gary has served on numerous other community boards and has been an active volunteer for community events. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and Juris Doctor from the University of North Dakota and is a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota.



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John W. Ryan is the president and CEO of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the national association representing state banking supervisors and the leading advocate for advancing the state banking system. Before being named CSBS president and CEO in August 2011, Ryan was CSBS's executive vice president, a position he had held since October 2003. He first joined CSBS in 1997 as an assistant vice president for legislative affairs. Prior to joining CSBS, Ryan worked at Newmyer Associates, a public affairs consulting firm, where he led the company's financial services consulting practice. Previous to his work at Newmyer Associates, Ryan spent four years as a professional staff member to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs. Ryan received a bachelor's degree in political science and economics from the University of California-Berkeley.


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Alisha Sears is a senior analyst in the policy development group at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). Sears provides analytical and operational support to the regulatory committee, legislative committee, state supervisory processes committee, taskforces, and interagency groups that contribute to the CSBS policy development process.  Prior to joining CSBS in the spring of 2018, Sears worked at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). She has also held positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), law firms, and an investment advisory firm.  Sears received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the American Bar Association's Law Committee, and Women in Housing and Finance.


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Padma Sharma is an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She joined the economic research department in July 2019. Sharma’s main areas of research are in financial economics and econometrics. Her research addresses the impact of banking regulation on bank incentives and the real effects of distress in the banking sector by developing new econometric methods. Prior to joining the department, she completed her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Irvine, where she received a Graduate Dean’s dissertation fellowship in 2018. She was also a dissertation intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In 2017, Sharma was selected as an emerging scholar at the Community Banking research and policy conference in 2017. She received her Bachelor of Science in economics, mathematics and statistics from Bangalore University, Bangalore, India, and her Master of Science in economics from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai, India.


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Thomas Siems is the senior economist and director of research at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) in Washington, D.C. His data-driven research contributes to the development of sound financial services policy and supports the state system of financial regulation in a changing environment. Prior to joining CSBS, Siems served for close to 34 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, most recently as assistant vice president and senior economist, where he led a team to advance the understanding of economic growth and stability to business and community thought-leaders. Siems earned a Bachelor of Science in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan and received his Master of Science and Ph.D. in operations research from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He has published more than 75 articles in academic, Federal Reserve, and referred journals. He delivered a 2015 TEDxSMU Talk, “The Wealth of Innovations,” and has authored five children’s picture books, including The Dangerous Pet, which poetically guides readers to comprehend the dangers of debt.




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Kandarp Srinivasan is an assistant professor of finance at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University, Boston. He received his doctorate in finance from Washington University in St. Louis, his Master of Science in finance from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in Barcelona, Spain, and his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Bangalore, India. His research interests are in banking, financial crises and bankruptcy. Prior to his Ph.D., Kandarp worked as an investment banking analyst with the Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong in its mergers and acquisitions division.


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Julie Stackhouse is executive vice president and managing officer of supervision, credit, community development and learning innovation for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Prior to joining the St. Louis Fed in September 2002, Stackhouse served as vice president and managing officer of the Risk Management department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. In addition, she was formerly an officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City prior to relocating to Minnesota in 1995. She served in many capacities at the Kansas City Reserve Bank, starting as an examiner in 1980. Stackhouse holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Drake University and is a graduate of the Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking. She currently serves as president-elect of the Board for National Charity League, Inc., a mother-daughter philanthropic organization, and as a member of the St. Louis Forum. In 2010, Stackhouse was named a St. Louis Business Journal “Most Influential Business Women” recipient, and in 2016, was recognized with the Delta Sigma Pi Lifetime Achievement Award.


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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.


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Julieann M. Thurlow is the president and CEO at Reading Cooperative Bank (RCB) in Reading, Mass. She joined the bank in 1993 and rose through the lending ranks to become its president in 2006. At that time, the bank had four branches and $237.6 million in total assets. It now has assets of $580 million and eight branches. Thurlow is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the Bank. In 2014, Julie was named to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Advisory Council. She is a former trustee for the Cooperative Bank Employee Retirement Association and the Massachusetts Bankers Association’s Federal Liaison Committee.  She is a board member of the American Bankers Association and presently serves on its government relations council and membership council, having previously served on its professional development council, mutual advisory council and the financial task force for regulatory reform. She serves the local banking industry as a member of the board of the Cooperative Central Bank, and is chair of its finance and audit committee. Thurlow is also a director at Atlantic Community Bankers Bank, which provides correspondent and other innovative services to banks and credit unions. She was a founding member of BancAlliance, Inc. In 2014 and 2017, she was named by American Banker magazine as one of the top 25 Women to Watch in Banking. In addition, she  has earned a spot on the Commonwealth Institute’s Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts for the last four years running. Thurlow is the president of the Reading Cooperative Charitable Foundation and is active in identifying and supporting organizations and projects that improve the quality of life. In addition to receiving an MBA from the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Conn., she completed advanced studies at the Stonier National School of Banking, the Massachusetts School of Financial Studies and Harvard Business School’s Division of Continuing Education.


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Francesco Vallascas is professor of banking in the accounting and finance division at the University of Leeds, Leeds, England.  Vallascas has previously worked as a lecturer in financial intermediation at the University of Cagliari in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.  He has collaborated with academics in Germany, Sweden, and the U.S. and with policymakers from several organizations. He is the deputy director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Finance (CASIF) and the deputy director of the International Banking Institute at the Leeds University Business School.  His research interests are in bank regulation, governance and systemic risk of European and U.S. banks. In particular, Vallascas has examined the effectiveness of corporate governance and regulatory mechanisms in limiting risk-taking by banks. He has collaborated with the European Commission on several research projects.



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Rajesh Vijayaraghavan is an assistant professor of accounting at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, Vancouver, Canada. His research focuses on risk management, financial reporting and corporate governance with a special interest in understanding financial institutions. He is also interested in the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence for questions relevant to banking policy. Prior to his academic career, Rajesh worked in risk management at an investment bank in New York. Rajesh earned his doctorate in accounting and management from Harvard Business School, Boston. His dissertation focused on examining the bank loan loss accounting rules, and the implementation aspects of the current expected credit losses standard. He holds bachelor’s degree in technology from the University of Madras, India and a Master of Science from New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.


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Teng Wang is a senior economist in the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He completed a PhD in Finance, and MPhil with cum laude from the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Teng maintains an active research pipeline on a variety of topics related to financial intermediation, credit availability and risks, law and finance, as well as corporate finance and innovation. He has published peer-reviewed articles in academic journals including the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Management Science, and Journal of Banking and Finance. He is a regular presenter at various conferences including the American Economic Association Annual Meetings, Financial Management Association Annual Meetings, and Financial Intermediation Research Society Meetings. In addition, Dr. Wang contributes to the Federal Reserve's financial stability and responsibilities, including conducting research and facilitate key policy and technical decision-making on all issues related to the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act supervisory stress tests.


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Robin Weissmann has served as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Banking and Securities since 2015.  Throughout her career, she has led strategic operations related to commercial and investment banking, regulatory policy and government. Under her leadership, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities has demonstrated a commitment to consumer protection and responsible innovation.  Wiessmann has advocated for cybersecurity, financial capability and executive leadership for women, as well as safe harbor for banks to serve state-compliant marijuana-related businesses. For the Governor’s Consumer Financial Protection Initiative, she provides strategic oversight of a financial information exchange that coordinates efforts of more than 20 state government agencies. Wiessmann has served as chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) Non-Depository Supervisory Committee. She is currently CSBS board secretary. She is also the chair of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and is a member of eight other economic development, policy, and supervisory boards, including the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the State Employees’ Retirement System. Before being appointed to her current role, Wiessmann served as deputy director of finance for the city of Philadelphia and as treasurer of the state of Pennsylvania. During her private career, Wiessmann held leadership positions at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. She was a founding principal and president of Artemis Capital Group, the first women-owned investment banking firm on Wall Street. In addition, Wiessmann served as chairman of the board for Vantagepoint Funds Mutual Fund, and on the board of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. In 2019, she received a lifetime achievement award as a Philadelphia Inquirer Influencer of Finance. She is a recipient of the Arthur E. Armitage, Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers Law School, from which she earned her law degree, and is a graduate of Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.


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Zhonghua “George” Wu is an associate professor in real estate and finance and the Tibor and Sheila Hollo Research Fellow at Florida International University, Miami.  He received a Ph.D. degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to his academic career, Wu worked as a research associate at the National Bureau of Statistics in China.  His research areas are real estate finance and investments, corporate finance and banking. His recent research topics include impact of technology advances on commercial banks, executive compensation, and the effect of employee productivity on firm performance. He has published research on real estate investment trust corporate policies, commercial property market and empirical asset pricing in real estate.