Thomas Siems, Ph. D., Conference of State Bank Supervisors 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.
Jim Reber, ICBA Securities Jim Reber is president and CEO of ICBA Securities, ® part of the ICBA Services Network® and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America®. Reber joined the company in 1990 and was elected president and CEO in 2005. Prior to joining ICBA Securities, Reber was senior vice president and investment strategist of Vining Sparks IBG, a leading broker-dealer for institutional investors, now ICBA Securities’ exclusive broker. Reber also served as vice president of Union Planters Bank in Memphis. With over 30 years of experience, Reber is a frequent speaker at bank conventions, seminars and conferences. He also writes a monthly investment column for the award-winning national magazine, Independent Banker®. Reber is a certified public accountant and a chartered financial analyst. He is on the board of regents of the Paul W. Barret School of Banking and served as its chairman in 2017. Reber received a BS in accounting Magna Cum Laude from Christian Brothers University and serves on the Board of Trustees.
Mike Pellicciotti, Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti was sworn in as Washington State Treasurer in January 2021. Previously, Mike represented the 30th legislative district in Washington's House of Representatives, serving on House Capital Budget Committee and as Vice Chair of the House State Government Committee. When not in the legislature, Mike served as an Assistant Attorney General, where he managed a unit that combated financial fraud and government waste, managing the return of over $30 million to taxpayers from corporate healthcare fraud. Mike’s legislative record has demonstrated that he is an independent voice committed to government reform. While serving in Olympia, Mike has repeatedly brought forward legislation demanding transparency and accountability across government. Mike believes in restoring faith in government by restricting politicians and high-ranking government officials from the “revolving door” of becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving elected office. He has led efforts in the House to ensure people are taxed on the accurate value of their vehicles for car tabs. Mike successfully led passage in the House of Representatives of a new law to shine a light on “dark money” in politics — and to ensure large financial campaign donations to Political Action Committees are no longer hidden from the public. He also introduced a new law that bans foreign financial campaign donations in Washington elections. Mike strongly opposed the legislative effort to limit its release of legislative public records. He wrote and passed into law the Corporate Crime Act that increased financial penalties by 100 times for those who commit corporate criminal offenses against the public. In the community, Mike was chair of the Washington Equal Justice Coalition, which advocates for those denied access to justice, including veterans denied benefits. He also has served with the Federal Way Human Services Commission. The child of educators, Mike attended public schools and focuses on educational and vocational training opportunities in the district. He has a Bachelor’s in business administration; a Master’s in rural economic development which he received as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar; and a Juris Doctor from Gonzaga Law School. He later served on the Board of Regents of Gonzaga University.
Roberta Hollinshead, WA Department of Financial Institutions Roberta S. Hollinshead was appointed as Director of Banks for Washington DFI on December 1, 2016. As Director, she is responsible for chartering and supervising the activities of all Washington state-chartered commercial banks and trust companies. Roberta works closely with stakeholders to promote sound economic development in the banking industry supporting a prosperous economy in Washington. Roberta’s tenure with DFI began in July of 2001 as a financial examiner. Roberta worked her way up the ranks and prior to becoming the Director she served as the Chief of Examinations for the Division of Banks. Roberta holds a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration, with a Finance concentration, from the University of Washington. In addition, Roberta has a Master’s in Business Administration from Seattle University and a degree from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado.
Christopher Williston, VI, Independent Bankers Association of Texas
Senator Christine Rolfes, Washington State Senate (D-23) Sen. Christine Rolfes represents the 23rd Legislative District, which includes the Kitsap County communities of Hansville, Kingston, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Keyport, Silverdale, and East Bremerton. Since her election to the state House of Representatives in 2006, Christine has become a leading voice on education funding and reform, small businesses, ferries, military-families and veterans, and the environment. She chairs the Senate Ways and Means Committee, responsible for leading the development of the state’s $52 billion biennial budget. In addition to her current work as budget leader, Christine has long been an environmental champion, sponsoring legislation related to reducing toxic pollution, protecting orca whales and other endangered species, cleaning up Puget Sound, and preventing oil spills. She was a key partner in the preservation of thousands of acres of working forests and recreational lands near Port Gamble. She currently serves on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Christine also serves on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Advisory Board of the William D. Ruckelhaus Center, and the Puget Sound Partnership’s Ecosystem Coordination Board. Prior to being elected to the State Legislature, Christine was twice elected to the Bainbridge Island City Council, where she led on non-motorized transportation, water access, and open space preservation-related issues. In addition to her elected public service, she has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development on natural resource management, trade and development issues, primarily in Russia, and for Kitsap County acquiring open-space and parkland and planning under growth management. Christine earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. She and her husband Leonard raised their now college-aged daughters in an historic farmhouse on Bainbridge Island, where the family still lives with their two goats, six chickens, and indoor pet rabbit
Dave Mastin, Association of Washington Business Dave Mastin is the Vice President of Government Affairs at AWB. He is the association’s chief lobbyist and directs its legislative and regulatory programs. A former legislator, Dave represented the 16th District, first as a Democrat and then as a Republican. He served in several leadership roles, including House Majority Leader. He is from Walla Walla and was most recently the executive director of government relations at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and on the state superintendent’s executive leadership team. Dave received his bachelor’s at Whitman College and his juris doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law. He and his family live in the Olympia area.
Aaron Stetter, ICBA Aaron Stetter is executive vice president, policy and political operations for the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA). Stetter is responsible for advocating ICBA’s policy priorities before Congress, the executive branch and industry coalitions. His issue areas include regulatory relief, unfair competition from tax-exempt entities, cannabis banking and various payments issues. Additionally, he supervises ICBA’s political action committee, ICBPAC, the association’s robust advocacy program as well as state relations. In 2015-2016, Stetter served as chairman of the influential Electronic Payments Coalition, whose members include card networks, card-issuing banks and their respective trade associations. Stetter joined ICBA in 2005 and has served as senior vice president of congressional relations & advocacy, vice president of congressional relations and grassroots outreach and director of state relations. Prior to ICBA, he was manager of grassroots programs for the National Restaurant Association. Stetter is a featured speaker at industry events nationwide, such as ICBA’s state and regional partner conferences and ICBA’s acclaimed educational programs. Stetter earned a BA in English and political science from The State University of New York at Buffalo and a MA in public management from Johns Hopkins University.
Ben Pankonin, Social Assurance The co-founder and CEO of Social Assurance, Ben consulted for banks, brokerages and financial firms in the area of IT management and software prior to forming Social Assurance. He led sales and marketing efforts for hyper growth on the Inc 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies for Five Nines Technology Group as the Director of Business Development and is a 2012 Pipeline Entrepreneur Fellow. Ben’s background in enterprise security and software bring a unique perspective to social media solutions. Ben’s thought leadership in enterprise technology has been featured in publications such as CRN and the Midlands Business Journal and he frequently speaks on the use of technology in the enterprise. Ben studied Business and Computer Science at Nebraska Wesleyan University completing his Bachelor’s degree.
Brad Tower, Phillips Burgess Government Relations Brad Tower is a second generation governmental affairs professional with more than 15 years’ experience in contract lobbying. The Olympia native has effectively advocated for a wide variety of interests in this state, including those of health care professionals and facilities, manufacturing companies, agricultural concerns, local governments, retail businesses, financial institutions, and victims of crime. An accomplished writer and regular contributor to numerous trade publications and the media, Brad maintains a year-round presence in the state capitol, nurturing relationships with legislative and administrative agency staff members. He is a recipient of the Association of Washington Business (AWB) Ron Gjerde Award for outstanding contributions to the business community by a lobbyist. In addition to lobbying, Brad has created a web-based legislative tracking and reporting service widely used by Washington’s top tier governmental affairs professionals (www.legitrak.org). He also contributes time in the community as a football coach for Thurston County Youth Football League and YMCA Flag Football, a regular blood donor, and an advisory board member for Raise for Rowyn, a nonprofit supporting families dealing with the death of a child. A High Honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, the recurrent political campaign volunteer is a repeat presenter on effective advocacy strategies and the role of lobbyists in public policy at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs, the Jennifer Dunn Leadership Institute, and Seattle University School of Law.
Troy Nichols, Phillips Burgess Government RelationsTroy brings to Phillips Burgess Government Relations more than two decades of public policy and campaign experience throughout the Pacific Northwest. His solid record of accomplishment at the local, state, and national levels in both Oregon and Washington State has earned him the reputation of a hard-working and successful advocate for a wide variety of interests. Troy's broad experience includes serving as Washington State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), where he advocated for small business interests in the Washington State Legislature and was responsible for spreading a pro-small business message throughout the state. Following his success at NFIB, he was tapped to serve as the Director of Policy Development for the Washington House Republican Caucus, where he coordinated the caucus legislative agenda and managed a staff of ten policy analysts. He was also the caucus staff liaison for the House Capital Budget Committee, helping to negotiate and pass several multi-billion dollar capital budgets during his tenure. Most recently, Troy led the Olympia Master Builders (OMB), a five-county trade association, as Executive Officer. During his term of service, he helped stop the Association's decade-long decline in membership, balanced its annual budget for two years in a row, revamped existing programs, added significant new events, and racked up an impressive string of local policy and electoral victories. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment was helping to lead a coalition of interests in bringing a successful legal challenge against Thurston County's Mazama Pocket Gopher Interim Screening Process. A native of Oregon, Troy quickly climbed the political ranks, starting out in 1995 as a legislative assistant in the Oregon State Senate. From there, Troy spent several years in Eastern Oregon, working as a field representative for US Senator Gordon Smith and Congressman Greg Walden. Troy returned to Salem in 2001 to become the policy director for the Oregon House Republican Majority Leader. He also successfully directed the Oregon House Republican campaign efforts in 2002 and 2004, leading the caucus to its largest majority in three decades during the 2002 election cycle. He eventually served as Chief of Staff to the Oregon House Majority Leader and the Speaker of the Oregon House, and during that time he was also elected to serve on the Keizer City Council. Outside of work, Troy enjoys attending live sporting events, concerts, and travelling. He is an assistant T-Ball coach for his son's Capitol Little League team. He was also a founding member of The Roanoke Conference, the annual must-attend event in Ocean Shores, Washington, for center-right political enthusiasts throughout Washington. Troy and his wife Julie recently finished building a new home in the Olympia area, where they live with their two young children.