A Top Priority: Strengthening Our Roots Throughout the District

David A. Sapenaro

Ever notice when you prune a healthy bush in the fall, that the same bush grows back in the spring stronger, livelier than ever, bearing even more fruit or flowers? We were reminded of that very lesson last year as the St. Louis Bank was forced to prune back the check and cash operations at the Louisville and Little Rock branch offices, only to sow new and stronger growth in other areas.

I am referring to a Fed program we call Branching Out, which is the St. Louis Bank's effort to boost our presence and value throughout the Eighth District and its numerous communities. To borrow from a cliché, we are working hard to widen the door of open communications between the Fed and the constituents we serve.

In a nutshell, our new—or in some cases improved—activities fall under three longstanding Bank initiatives: to serve as a catalyst in promoting community development activities; to conduct regional economic research that can be used by policymakers and decision-makers throughout the District; and to provide and support economic education and information-sharing.

Since the effort began more than a year ago, we've held a number of public and community programs, including regional conferences on such topics as predatory lending and entrepreneurship. We've launched the Business and Economic Research Group (BERG), the Center for Regional Economics-8th District (CRE8) and a new regional research publication, Regional Economic Development, which debuted this past fall. At the same time, existing programs, like our former District Dialogues, have gotten a facelift (see article on Page 3) and improved the way we give information to, and glean information from, District bankers and other business leaders. Over the next several years, bankers will continue to see our District-wide presence flourish.

As for other priorities for the District—and me, personally—I am a strong believer in providing services that are the benchmark for quality and customer service and doing so in a manner that is cost-effective. You expect nothing less, and we expect nothing less of ourselves. Whether you interact with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis through our public programs, our financial services or our bank examiners, you can count on receiving exceptional service from this organization. When you do, we'd like to hear from you. And if you don't, we definitely want to know about it so that we can try to fix it.

I'm eager to dig into the assignments ahead of me and personally can't wait to hit the road to attend a number of public programs. When we land in your neck of the woods, I hope you'll take some time to stop by, offer a handshake and let me know what you think. I'd really like to hear from you.

Ever notice when you prune a healthy bush in the fall, that the same bush grows back in the spring stronger, livelier than ever, bearing even more fruit or flowers? We were reminded of that very lesson last year as the St. Louis Bank was forced to prune back the check and cash operations at the Louisville and Little Rock branch offices, only to sow new and stronger growth in other areas.

I am referring to a Fed program we call Branching Out, which is the St. Louis Bank's effort to boost our presence and value throughout the Eighth District and its numerous communities. To borrow from a cliché, we are working hard to widen the door of open communications between the Fed and the constituents we serve.

In a nutshell, our new-or in some cases improved-activities fall under three longstanding Bank initiatives: to serve as a catalyst in promoting community development activities; to conduct regional economic research that can be used by policymakers and decision-makers throughout the District; and to provide and support economic education and information-sharing.

Since the effort began more than a year ago, we've held a number of public and community programs, including regional conferences on such topics as predatory lending and entrepreneurship. We've launched the Business and Economic Research Group (BERG), the Center for Regional Economics-8th District (CRE8) and a new regional research publication, Regional Economic Development, which debuted this past fall. At the same time, existing programs, like our former District Dialogues, have gotten a facelift (see article on Page 3) and improved the way we give information to, and glean information from, District bankers and other business leaders. Over the next several years, bankers will continue to see our District-wide presence flourish.

As for other priorities for the District-and me, personally-I am a strong believer in providing services that are the benchmark for quality and customer service and doing so in a manner that is cost-effective. You expect nothing less, and we expect nothing less of ourselves. Whether you interact with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis through our public programs, our financial services or our bank examiners, you can count on receiving exceptional service from this organization. When you do, we'd like to hear from you. And if you don't, we definitely want to know about it so that we can try to fix it.

I'm eager to dig into the assignments ahead of me and personally can't wait to hit the road to attend a number of public programs. When we land in your neck of the woods, I hope you'll take some time to stop by, offer a handshake and let me know what you think. I'd really like to hear from you.

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Fed in Print: An index of the economic research conducted by the Fed.