The Iowa Bankers Association has elected its first female chairperson since the organization was founded in 1887. Nancy Dunkel is vice president of Fidelity Bank in Dubuque and says she has several goals for the year ahead.
Dunkel says she wants “to involve and engage bankers in Iowa and get them interested more in the legislative process. Many bankers throughout the state already are but we can always use more help in that educational process. Secondly, supporting economic development throughout the state.”
Dunkel serves on the state’s Economic Development Board of Directors. In 2003, Governor Vilsack appointed Dunkel to the board of the Iowa Values Fund, which worked to stimulate growth with some 500-million dollars in community development grants.
Dunkel says “I’ve seen first-hand that we need to, as far as economic development goes, be at the table with our city people and our entrepreneurs in our local communities and bring together a plan that works for our community.” She says it’s important for bankers to get more involved in grassroots efforts, like this summer when a group of Iowa bankers built a house through Habitat for Humanity at the Iowa State Fair, a house that was later moved to a permanent location in Des Moines.
Dunkel calls it “our bread and butter,” as each banker lives in his or her community and “the vitality of that community is so important to banks growing in Iowa and serving the communities and Habitat is just a perfect example of that.” She succeeds Brad Davis of Hampton State Bank in Hampton as chair of the Iowa Bankers Association.