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Trust Roundtable



These are unprecedented times we find ourselves in. With communities across the country taking steps to combat COVID-19, many trust companies are navigating these uncharted waters as well with changes in a multitude of policies and procedures. 

The Association of Trust Organizations is hosting virtual Trust Roundtables that encompass interactive discussions where trust professionals can talk peer to peer about issues they are facing and share ideas during these uncertain times. 



Upcoming Trust Roundtables Space is limited.  


Topic: ATO Trust Roundtable Register Here

July 8th @ 2 PM ET/11 AM PT
Join ATO in an interactive discussion about how your peers are dealing with current issues in the industry.

  If there are any other topics you'd like to talk about, please email them to



Past Trust Roundtables 
March 25th @ 2 PM ET - How are other trust organizations dealing with COVID-19

April 1st @ 2 PM ET/11 AM PT - Trust Organizations and COVID-19 Weekly Health Check

April 8th @ 2 PM ET/11 AM PT - Trust Organizations and COVID-19 Weekly Health Check

April 15th @ 2 PM ET/11 AM PT - Trust Organizations and COVID-19 Weekly Health Check

April 22ndPM ET/11 AM PT - Trust Organizations and COVID-19 Weekly Health Check

April 29th @ 2 PM ET/11 AM PT - Trust Organizations and COVID-19 Weekly Health Check

May 6thPM ET/11 AM PT - Trust Organizations and COVID-19 Weekly Health Check

May 13th @ PM ET/11 AM PT - Trust Organizations and COVID-19 Weekly Health Check

June 17th @ 2 PM ET/11 AM PT - ATO Trust Roundtable



How To Get Through These Critical Times

Tips for Trust Organization Leaders



Communicating with clients is essential during this time. Reassure them that your company is stable and you're able to get through this uncertain situation. Speak with them about how they want to be communicated with -- email, text, etc. If you're unsure, a call is always good!


Many companies have started relying on DocuSign as a way to easily have clients sign documents electronically. Do you have questions about this program? Contact Hannah McCombs at (206) 876-6962 or She was referred by Mike McWherter with PenChecks.

Power of video! Record a message from yourself and include it in emails you send to clients. Seeing a video message is more personal than a simple email and is a great touch to add.




Employees are the backbone of your company. This is an unsure time for your clients, but your employees may be feeling just as unsure. You can host "roll call" on your staff calls to ensure everyone has a chance to share and check-in. Some companies are giving employees a $50 weekly credit to eat out and help the local economy.

Tools: Some tools for keeping in touch with staff and colleagues are Microsoft Teams, Zoom and GoToMeeting.

Happy Hour! Video calls aren't just for business. Host a casual call to check in with everyone in a fun way.




Finances are very uncertain during this time. The current climate could hurt your 2020 financial plan. Begin thinking of what this means for your company. Be careful not to sacrifice your long term strategy for short term relief.

Many banks are deferring payments for up to 90 days. If your company has debt on hand, contact your financial institution to see if this is a possibility for your company.


Many companies have applied for the Paycheck Protection Program. You can view the SBA report as of 4/13/2020 here.


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants published this document with five steps to maximizing your PPP loan forgiveness. 

BCP Plans. If you don't have one...develop one quickly. This will be at the top of the regulator's checklist during their next examination. Do you have a pandemic policy? Here is a sample of a pandemic policy.




Virtual Meetings have become common in the workplace. However, this is new territory for us and some basic guidelines are important for efficient and effective meetings. 


Leaders & Meeting Organizers

  • Calendar invites are a great way to invite & remind everyone about the meeting and provide an easy link to click and attend the meeting.
  • Stick to your normal agendas and keep the meetings on track.
  • If there is something specific you want someone to talk about, contact them ahead of time so they can prepare.
  • Utilize the chat or message board functions. 
  • Calling on a particular person to share their comments instead of asking a general question can sometimes enhance a conversation and move it forward.
  • Encourage people to have their video on. There is a lot you can learn from body language during video calls. 
  • Have a few minutes at the end to go around and see if anyone has any outstanding questions, specifically those who did not talk during the meeting.

Meeting Participants

  • Have your microphone on must as the default.
  • Utilize the chat or message board function if you have a question or a quick comment. This can save from having multiple people try to talk at once.
  • Stay engaged. It's easy to get distracted, but the more you stay engaged the less things need to be repeated. 

Here are some articles with good tips on how to conduct virtual meetings.

NY Times - The Dos and Don'ts of Online Video Meetings

Harvard Business Review - How To Run a Great Virtual Meeting

7 Rules of Virtual Meetings Every Professional Should Know





Tom Blank, ATO Legal Counsel, and his team with Shumaker LLP have read the entire CARES Act and have developed a summary with information about the SBA loans, real estate, taxes, benefits, employment, health care, and more. See the summary here




Best Practices from ATO

  • Don't relax policies and procedures to accommodate an out of office work environment, strengthen them.
  • Be more aware than ever of scams, unauthorized intrusions, phishing, and other Social Engineering events, the crooks and scammers will take advantage of our perceived vulnerabilities.
  • Consider the financial implications of the pandemic, try to control loss of revenues, consider the impact on regulatory capital, exercise smart expense control management.
  • Be prepared for Regulatory reaction regardless of what they might be saying to you now.
  • Senior management needs to stay positive with staff- as they will need to stay positive with clients. Reassure them that corporately this can be handled, keep them engaged and informed.
  • Language is important. Do not say your business is closed. You're operating, just in different ways, and are still available to your customers. Ensure your clients know you're available. 


What has your company been doing? Be sure to share your tips with us! Email Janet at

Questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions concerning these virtual roundtables. Email Janet at

more Calendar

9/20/2020 » 9/22/2020
2020 ATO Annual Meeting

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