Bald Is Beautiful

On March 12 Briget Polichene, a state lobbyist for Citigroup Inc., will be bald.

Polichene is shaving her head that night to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research. Since its start in 2000 — when three reinsurance executives turned a St. Patrick's Day party into a fund-raiser to benefit kids with cancer — St. Baldrick's has raised $68 million.

The concept is simple: The "shavees," as they are called, showing solidarity with kids who have lost their hair to chemotherapy, ask friends, colleagues — anyone really — to pledge money. Since 2000, more than 106,000 people in all 50 states and in 24 countries to support the foundation.

Polichene's husband, Chuck Chamness, the president and CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, has shaved his head annually since 2005, when the couple's son, Joey, was being treated for a bone cancer called osteosarcoma.

In March, Joey will be cancer-free for five years, and to mark the milestone Polichene is taking the plunge. She will be the last member of the family to take the barber's chair; the couple's three other children have all had their heads shaved. "We are extremely lucky, and grateful for the medical research that has brought the cure rate for osteosarcoma to 70%," Polichene said in an e-mail asking friends to participate. "But there is much progress to be made. Approximately 10,400 children under age 15 were diagnosed with cancer last year and about 1,545 children will die from the disease in the United States this year."

To donate visit https://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/briget.

Count McCain In

When President Obama gave a plug for a plan to bar banks from proprietary trading and prevent them from investing in private-equity firms, at least one Republican was pleased: his former presidential rival, Sen. John McCain.

The Arizona Republican said last week that the plan, conceived by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker, resembled legislation McCain co-authored to restore the Glass-Stegall Act. That 1933 law established a wall between commercial and investment banking. "Paul Volcker has a very similar proposal," McCain said in an interview. "I'm glad to see he has similar ideas. He was vital in our last recovery."

OCC Takes a Page

Is the Office of Comptroller of the Currency the hip regulator?

At least when it comes to Facebook, it is. So far it is the only federal banking agency to have its own Facebook page. While it does not feature any photos of Comptroller John Dugan on vacation, it does include links to the agency's press releases and a video, "Becoming an OCC National Bank Examiner."

So far the page doesn't appear to be very popular. With only 23 fans, it is lagging well behind the other OCC, the Orange County Choppers, who have 5,910 members.

ICBA Nominees

The Independent Community Bankers of America last week announced the nominees for its 2010-2011 executive committee.

James MacPhee, ICBA chairman-elect and CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft, Mich., will become chairman. Salvatore Marranca, president and CEO of Cattaraugus County Bank in Little Valley, N.Y., has been nominated to become chairman-elect. Jeffery Gerhart, president of Bank of Newman Grove in Nebraska, has been tapped as vice chairman.

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