Thomas J. Sheehan, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Grafton State Bank in Wisconsin, was nominated last week to head the Independent Community Bankers of America. The voting will come in March at the group's annual convention.

Mr. Sheehan would succeed Robert N. Barsness, chairman and president of Prior Lake State Bank in Minnesota, who would become ICBA chairman.

Nominated as president-elect is Robert I. Gulledge, chairman, president, and CEO of Citizens Bank Inc. in Robertsdale, Ala. A. Pierce Stone, chairman, president, and CEO of Virginia Community Bank in Louisa, is the choice for vice president.

John V. Evans Sr., president of D.L. Evans Bank of Burley, Idaho, was nominated as secretary, and James E. Caspary, president of First National Bank of Clifton, Ill., is in line to become treasurer.

The ICBA will meet March 5-9 in San Antonio.

Federal banking regulators should be sent back to English class, lawyer H. Rodgin Cohen said last week after reading the Federal Reserve Board's rules on applying to become a financial holding company under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act."There is a plain-English requirement in the statute," the Sullivan & Cromwell partner said at a conference on the new financial reform law. "This regulation, I must say, flunks.

"On page 4 you have a sentence that is 175 words. That is too long."

Mr. Cohen also blasted the Fed's liberal use of parenthetical statements. "Parentheticals confuse the reader," he said. "Please remove all parentheticals."

The Fed isn't the only regulator having trouble translating its rules into plain language. In a rule proposed last Wednesday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency solicited comments not only on the rule itself, but on its writing style, asking readers to let the agency know "whether the proposal is written clearly and is easy to understand."

Usually it's Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm who tells tales of his "momma" to illustrate a point, but last week regulator Ray Natter shared some motherly wisdom.Speaking at a Glasser LegalWorks conference on the financial reform law, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's deputy chief counsel recounted a recent conversation with his mother to shed light on the consumer viewpoint.

After hearing an explanation of the new law, which overturned statutes dating back to the 1930s, Mr. Natter's mother, an 80-something Brooklynite responded: "This means I can go to my bank and buy insurance, and buy securities, and I can make a deposit. I haven't had this much convenience since the Great Depression."

Mr. Natter said that was her way of "being a little bit cynical."

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has promoted Mitchell L. Glassman to director of the division of resolutions and receiverships, and Ronald F. Bieker to ombudsman.Mr. Glassman succeeds John F. Bovenzi, who was promoted to deputy to the chairman and chief operating officer. Mr. Glassman joined the agency in 1975 and had been deputy director and then acting director of the division, which picks up after failed banks and sells their assets.

Mr. Bieker joined the FDIC in 1988 after 13 years as a community banker. He had been deputy director and then acting director of the compliance and consumer affairs division. He succeeds Arleas Upton-Kea, who now heads the division of administration.

The directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York have elected former New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio as chairman of their 17 member-board.The Democrat had been the politically appointed chairman. The financial reform law shifted responsibility for selection of Home Loan bank chairmen to their boards from the Federal Housing Finance Board. His remaining appointed term as a director and his elected post as chairman both end Dec. 31, 2001.

Mr. Florio, who served in Congress for 16 years, is a partner in the Newark, N.J.-based law firm of Fischbein, Badillo, Wagner, Harding and teaches public policy at Rutgers University.

"Gov. Florio's in-depth knowledge of community needs, particularly in New Jersey, his previous service on the board, and his understanding of how Washington works combine to make him a particularly effective chairman," said Alfred A. DelliBovi, president of the New York Home Loan Bank.

Cornelia Burr, a former assistant counsel in the Senate's Office of the Legislative Counsel, has joined ISD/Shaw Inc., the federal banking policy consulting firm announced this month.Ms. Burr, who was most recently involved in financial reform, bankruptcy, and e-commerce, has covered a variety of issues, including Social Security, Indian affairs, aviation, product liability, and small business. Working as counsel for ISD/Shaw president Karen Shaw Petrou gives her the opportunity to home in, she said. "It's really good to focus in on one major area and develop a broad base in one issue of law," she said.

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