Vol. 108 2024 Issue 3 (may/June)

Lucas White: Indiana Banker Takes the Helm of ICBA

Lucas White Indiana Banker Takes the Helm of ICBA

Thanks to the community banking model, our economy is more diverse with more small businesses and entrepreneurs than any other economy in the world.

For only the second time in IBA history, an Indiana banker is now chair of a national trade association. Lucas White officially took office as chair of ICBA at the end of their national conference in March. The fourth-generation banker is president of The Fountain Trust Company, Covington, and helped guide the IBA through the COVID pandemic when he served as our chair in 2020.

Lucas was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to answer a few questions about assuming the chairmanship of a national trade, the state of the banking industry, how the Allen Edmonds Experience started and more.

What does it mean to you to be elected chair of a national organization?

Being chairman of ICBA is one of the greatest privileges and honors of my life. It is very humbling to be trusted with the responsibility of representing community banks across the country. I have spent my entire life in Covington working in the family business. To be a kid from rural Indiana who lives across the road from his parents, it doesn’t seem like real life to be able to do something like this.

What makes you passionate about community banking?

Community banking is the quintessential example of shopping local. We collect local deposits, and we lend them out locally. We basically recycle the money in our communities. By doing that, we provide local jobs, help people reach their dreams and are essential to the economy and the communities we serve. Rural communities would struggle without community banks.

What are the biggest issues currently facing community banks that you want to address during your chairmanship?

Independence of the regulators is a major problem at the moment. Historically, the regulatory agencies were fairly independent of the political winds and consistent from one administration to the next. That has changed dramatically over the last few administrations. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the best example. Their agenda and rulemakings are driven by the political motivations of whatever political party has the presidency. This leads to a pendulum effect when it comes to regulations and enforcement. Community banks will follow whatever the rules dictate, but the rules need to be consistent.

In your opinion, what is the most exciting trend or development in banking right now?

Consumers are starting to come back to community banks. The big bank failures last year reminded people that community banks are stable over time and have diverse sources of deposits. People are also learning that they are just a number with the big banks, and they want more personal service than that.

What recent professional challenge taught you an important lesson, and how did you overcome it?

I didn’t really have to learn to work remotely during the pandemic. I have been traveling a lot with ICBA over the last couple years, and I have had to learn how to keep things moving when I am out of the office. I have learned that a lot can be done with an iPad and cell phone!

What is the thing you have done/accomplished, professionally or personally, that you are most proud of?

One of the things I am most proud of is that my bank helped get a girls varsity soccer team started at Covington High School. About five years ago, the school had enough girls to start a separate team from the boys, but they needed funding. We gave them $42,000 over three years to get them up and running. Things like that can happen when people bank with their local community bank.

Who or what inspires you?

Community bankers and their stories inspire me and constantly remind me that community banks are worth fighting for. By the end of this year, I will have spoken at 20 bank conventions across the country. I meet community bankers and learn about their banks and what they do in their communities when I go to conventions. Those stories make me remember how important what we do is.

How do you define success?

It depends on what the topic is. Success as ICBA chairman will be getting more community bankers involved in advocacy and convincing young bankers that they can have leadership roles in their state association and ICBA. Success at my bank will be achieving what we need to do to get the bank down to my kids’ generation. Personal success is enjoying time with my wife Sue and our kids.

What are you reading or listening to?

I like to read spy novels or adventure stories. I’m currently reading “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road” by Neil Peart.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I love running, sailing, traveling and riding my motorcycle. I spend a lot of time these days at my kids’ sporting events.

IBA Annual Convention attendees will know that you’ve sponsored the Allen Edmonds Experience as part of the Indiana BANKPAC auction for the past several years. Is there a story behind your first pair of Allen Edmonds shoes?

Sue bought me my first pair for Christmas 12 years ago. Lyric, our oldest, was due a couple weeks after Christmas, so we went to Chicago the day after Christmas to buy a pair. Online, I found two pairs I wanted. Sue and I started negotiating and, as a joke, she agreed to two pairs if I walked into the store on North Michigan Avenue, held out both arms and said, “I am here for the full Allen Edmonds experience!” I walked out with two pairs of shoes. That’s how the auction item got the name. As I went through the chairs of IBA and traveled around the state visiting banks, somehow people learned that I enjoy nice shoes. I thought we would try it at the auction to see if we could raise some money, and it has worked so far.

Tell us about something on your bucket list or a favorite memory.

I want to ride my motorcycle in every state and every Canadian province. I am only missing a small pocket of states on the east coast, just north of Washington D.C. and the three northern-most Canadian provinces (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Newfoundland and Labrador).

Lucas White addresses attendees at ICBA’s annual conference in Orlando, Fla., March 16, 2024, as he assumes his position as chair of the Independent Community Bankers of America. (photo by Chris A. Williams for ICBA)

Video Extra
Lucas is a fierce advocate for community banks, saying in his chairman’s address at ICBA LIVE, “We have the best banking model in the world, right here [in the U.S.], but every day we face new challenges, and lately it feels like we’re under attack.” If you are interested in getting involved in grassroots advocacy, reach out to the IBA government relations team. Lucas also unveiled a new email at ICBA LIVE – – if you would like to speak directly with him. Click to watch his entire chairman’s address.

Rebeca Romero Rainey, president & CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, with Lucas as he was inducted as chairman on March 16, 2024.  (photo by Chris A. Williams for ICBA)

Amber R. Van Til, president & CEO of the Indiana Bankers Association with Lucas at a reception in his honor at the ICBA’s annual conference in Orlando, Fla., March 15, 2024. (photo by Chris A. Williams for ICBA)

 Lucas speaking at a reception in his honor at ICBA’s conference on March 15. (photo by Chris A. Williams for ICBA)

Lucas and Graham in Grand Cayman in the Caribbean.

(from left) Oliver, Lucas and Lyric White rafting in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming

Lucas and his family at a reception in his honor at ICBA LIVE on March 15, 2024. (photo by Chris A. Williams for ICBA)

(from left) Lucas, Graham, Sue, Oliver and Lyric White at Mount Rushmore

Lucas White carting around his sons, Graham and Oliver

Lucas White’s family leads the applause as he took office as ICBA’s new chairman, including, from left, Kip White, chairman & CEO of The Fountain Trust Company, Covington; Lyric White, Lucas’ eldest son; and Campbell White, executive vice president. (Photo by Chris A. Williams for ICBA)

Thank You, Sponsors

The following IBA-member banks and vendors sponsored an IBA reception in Lucas’ honor at ICBA LIVE. We thank them for their support.

  • Alliance Bank, Francesville
  • Amundsen Davis LLC
  • The Bippus State Bank, Huntington
  • Citizens State Bank, New Castle
  • Crossroads Bank, Wabash
  • Farmers and Merchants Bank, Laotto
  • The Farmers Bank, Frankfort
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis
  • First Bank Richmond
  • First Farmers Bank & Trust Co., Converse
  • First Federal Savings Bank, Evansville
  • First Harrison Bank, Corydon
  • First National Bank, Cloverdale
  • First Savings Bank, Jeffersonville
  • The Fountain Trust Company, Covington
  • German American Bank, Jasper
  • Home Bank, Martinsville
  • Hoosier Heartland State Bank, Crawfordsville
  • Independent Community Bankers of America
  • ICBA Solutions
  • LNB Community Bank, Lynnville
  • Logansport Savings Bank
  • North Salem State Bank
  • Peoples Bank, Munster
  • Profit Resources Inc.
  • Springs Valley Bank & Trust Company, Jasper
  • Tri-County Bank & Trust Company, Roachdale

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