ICBA Press Release Banner 2020

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 7, 2022) — Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey and ICBA Group Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations and Strategy Paul Merski are featured on The Hill’s 2022 list of the top Washington advocates in the nation. This is the fifth consecutive appearance for both Romero Rainey, who assumed the role of ICBA’s top lobbyist in May 2018, and for ICBA congressional relations team leader Paul Merski. 

“Representing the nation’s community banks before Washington policymakers every day is an honor, and we appreciate The Hill’s recognition of ICBA’s efforts to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish,” Romero Rainey said. “ICBA is privileged to serve as the nation’s voice of community banks—relationship bankers that lead the nation in small-business lending and support local communities.”  

A third-generation community banker born and raised in Taos, N.M., Romero Rainey is the former chairman and CEO of Centinel Bank of Taos. Upon graduating from Wellesley College, she returned home to Taos with the dream of continuing her family’s business of running the town’s only local community bank. Romero Rainey served in several ICBA volunteer leadership capacities, including ICBA chairman, before assuming the role of ICBA president and CEO in 2018. 

Merski has more than 30 years of experience in legislative and economic policy development and analysis for some of the most prominent organizations in Washington, D.C. Before joining ICBA, Merski served as the chief economist for the Joint Economic Committee and as senior tax and banking policy adviser to Sen. Connie Mack, director of fiscal policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy, director of fiscal affairs for the Tax Foundation, and an economist for the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

“I am proud to share this honor with Rebeca and ICBA’s entire congressional and government relations team,” Merski said. “Working closely with our state and regional partners and volunteer community bankers, ICBA has helped ensure the positive story of community banking continues to resonate with elected officials, driving meaningful policies that benefit local communities.” 

About ICBA  The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services. 

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5.8 trillion in assets, over $4.8 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.