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Bankers Invited To Explore Community Innovation and Financing in Changing Times

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Changing economic conditions are presenting new challenges for those working in community development. Financing, particularly in moderate- and low-income areas, is getting more difficult, and understanding how to leverage limited resources is more important than ever.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is hosting an April 22-24 conference in St. Louis to address financing, resources and other community development topics. The 2009 Exploring Innovation in Community Development conference, “Innovation in Changing Times,” will be of interest to bank senior management, directors, loan officers and Community Reinvestment Act officers.

Katherine D. Siddens, U.S. Bank in St. Louis, attended the first Exploring Innovation conference, in 2007 “As the community development manager for U.S. Bank, I found the Exploring Innovation conference to be extremely beneficial to me, but also truly believe it would be a worthwhile experience for any bank representative who is interested in better understanding community needs,” Siddens says. “The information helped me uncover new opportunities to fulfill our CRA obligations and provided affirmation that bankers can serve as important connectors between the financial industry and the community at large.”

Loura Gilbert, a mortgage officer with Commerce Bank in Clayton, Mo., who also went to the 2007 conference, says “The regulators are continually urging banks to be innovative in their response to CRA guidelines. And I welcome any opportunity to meet with other bankers and experts to brainstorm ideas about these issues.”

This year’s conference will bring together high-level leaders from across the industry to explore best practices, innovative policies, and thinking in community and economic development. Topics will include:

  • expanding economic opportunities through financing innovations,
  • building wealth in urban and rural areas,
  • accelerating regional development, and
  • examining the future of community development.

For more information, visit the conference web site at For an invitation, contact Cynthia Davis at 314-444-8761 or