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NJCUL wraps up Reality Check conference
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (3/14/14)--The New Jersey Credit Union League wrapped up its three-day Credit Union Reality Check conference Wednesday.

The three-day program started by partnering three Creative You teams--Team Aspire, Greater Team Alliance and Team XCEL--with mentors from the Filene Research Institute to incubate their innovative ideas for New Jersey credit unions (The Daily Exchange March 11).

Bryan Eichenbaum, vice president, sales and lending, United Teletech Financial FCU (left); Beverly Zook, president/CEO, MoneyOne FCU; and Chris Chichester, president/CEO, Jersey Central FCU, took part in the lending panel moderated by Alex Sornoza, calling officer and vice president, sales and business development, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, during the 2014 Credit Union Reality Check in Atlantic City, N.J. (New Jersey Credit Union League photo)
The three credit unions on the lending panel offered distinct takes on the environment. MoneyOne FCU, $104 million in assets, sticks to what it is good at and outsources what it needs to in order to provide options to its members, said Beverly Zook, president/CEO of the Largo, Md., credit union.

Jersey Central FCU, Cranford, has nearly 50% of its members borrowing from the $17 million-asset credit union, according to President/CEO Chris Chichester. Technological advancements are on the horizon for $317 million-asset United Teletech Financial FCU, Tinton Falls, N.J., said Bryan Eichenbaum, vice president of sales and lending.

All three agreed that there is a story behind every loan application, which highlighted the importance of the "people helping people" philosophy.

Other speakers and their topics included:
  • Author Mike Staver challenged credit unions to be courageous in their leadership and how to strike a balance between logic and "gut feelings."
  • Credit unions' priority should be how well they help members manage their financial lives, Aite Group analyst Ron Shevlin told Tuesday's audience. To do that, he said, credit unions must shift their data collection from demographics and attitudes to purchases and behaviors.
  • Howard Stoeckel, former president/CEO of the Pennsylvania-based Wawa convenience store chain, gave attendees a sneak peek at his new book, "The Wawa Way: How a Funny Name and Six Core Values Revolutionized Convenience."
  • Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Mercer University, Macon, Ga., assured attendees that despite their doubts, the economy is improving. He tackled job growth, both statewide and nationally, oil prices and inflation trends.
  • The conference ended with this thought from executive coach Mike Neill: The service you provide your members will never be better than the service you provide to each other.


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