Keith L. Dalrymple brings 28 years of banking experience to his new position as president of the American Association of Bank Directors, an organization whose membership has grown from 50 to more than 1,000 in its six years of existence.

Among other accomplishments in his varied career, Mr. Dalrymple fended off a hostile takeover of a New York bank in 1984 by using an employee stock ownership plan and successfully turned around his current institution, Dauphin National Bank in Pennsylvania, in just two years.

He replaces the association's founding president, A. Oakley Hunter - a past chairman of the Federal National Mortgage Association - who died last May. Mr. Dalrymple, who is Dauphin's president and chief executive, is the association's first president with inside director experience. He is also a former president of the Independent Bankers Association of New York.

Q.: Is there a need for such an association? What's its primary function?

DALRYMPLE: It was formed at the time of FIRREA in 1989 to represent the many interests of bank directors as well as to meet their educational and informational needs. There were an awful lot of directors who didn't know what their responsibilities or liabilities were back then. Some still don't.

Q.: How has its function changed since 1989?

DALRYMPLE: It's focusing less on lobbying issues and more on educational and informational issues. In fact, it has formed a division dealing with just these things. Some state banking departments are contacting it as an accreditation organization, and it's been a strong advocate for director education.

Q.: Do you anticipate any more changes in the near future or any change in focus?

DALRYMPLE: The reason it was formed will always be there, and that is to lobby. But there will be a natural trend to take on numerous responsibilities for our membership, such as a new technological assessment division. Its purpose will be to make top-notch technological advice available to our members.

Q.: Given the consolidation in the industry, won't your membership shrink?

DALRYMPLE: No, not really. We are primarily a community bank director organization, and the community banks will be the survivors in this consolidation.

Q.: What are your priorities for the year?

DALRYMPLE: My priority is to continue to effect changes in the banking laws that are clearly counterproductive to the best interests of the banking industry?

Q.: Such as?

DALRYMPLE: Well, as I testified before the House Banking Committee last June, there are laws still on the books that allow a bank director's assets to be frozen without a court order or to fine him $1 million a day, again without due process of law. I hate to say it, but FIRREA gave regulators powers of that next to God. I don't think they asked for those powers, but they sort of unfolded in reaction to the thrift debacle. Those powers are not being used much now, but suppose we slide into another crisis in five years.

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