The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) announced that local community banker Jim Gowen, Jr., President and CEO of Merchants and Planters Bank was elected to the ICBA Federal Delegate Board. ICBA is the nation’s voice for community banks.

“I am honored to be elected to this position and represent my home state of Arkansas,” Gowen said. “It gives me a chance to work for community banks across the country that practice trusted, relationship-based lending and offer hands-on personal service and invaluable financial expertise to local consumers and small businesses.”

In addition to helping shape and advocate ICBA’s national policy positions and programs, Gowen’s duties include being a liaison between independent community bankers in Arkansas and ICBA staff and leadership in Washington, D.C. He will also work to recruit new members to ICBA.

ICBA is the only national trade association dedicated exclusively to promoting the interests of locally operated community banks and savings institutions. With trusted financial expertise and high-quality customer service as their hallmarks, community banks offer the best financial services option for millions of consumers, small businesses, farms and ranches.

“Jim is a dedicated community banker who is respected by his industry peers,” said ICBA Chairman Scott Heitkamp, president and CEO of ValueBank Texas of Corpus Christi, TX. “We are delighted Jim will be generously offering his time and valuable professional talents to the service of the community banking industry.”