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CUs should be heard with one voice
WASHINGTON (3/4/08)--Exiting Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chairman Allan Kemp McMorris and CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica took the stage at the Annual General Meeting at the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Monday and exhorted credit unions to make themselves heard and to speak with “one voice.” “The most important lesson I’ve learned in my tenure (as chairman) is that the credit union movement is best served when we speak with one voice,” McMorris said. “We must continue to make our voice heard in Washington and in our state capitals.” If credit unions don’t make their voice heard, legislators will only hear bankers’ attacks on credit unions, he said.
Click to view larger imageCLICK FOR A GAC SLIDESHOW) CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica told attendees Monday that the partnership of CUNA, leagues and credit unions joins together to ensure the nation's consumers a strong, robust credit union movement, ready to serve their needs. (Photo provided by CUNA)
He also noted that in the eight years he has spent on the CUNA board, he has appreciated the “limitless power” that is released when people work together. McMorris noted the accomplishments of the membership growth task force. The task force identified strategies for growing membership, including: raising public awareness of the credit union difference, compiling credit union best practices, studying cost efficiencies and examining markets and demographics to help credit unions find ways to better serve members. He also noted the recommendations of the financial literacy task force, including an awards program for credit unions that actively improve member financial literacy. He also touched on PF Interactive, CUNA’s brand new social network for credit union financial leaders, where credit union professionals can share best practices. CUNA's Mica presented a 2007 roundup that highlighted the progress credit unions have made in efforts to “change the conversation” and let credit unions speak for themselves on Capitol Hill and in the media. Mica noted the success of an ongoing communications outreach program started last year. It successfully placed CUNA and other credit union representatives in stories in publications ranging from The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, to media outlets such as MarketWatch, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio. Mica also described how CUNA worked to break through the clutter of messages aimed at Capitol Hill by using “non-traditional” methods to get out the credit union message. He noted the introduction of “The Little Guy,” an iconic character symbolizing who it is that credit unions represent. The Little Guy appeared at least 65,000 times on Capitol Hill last year in the form of buttons, in YouTube videos, as “leave behinds” in congressional visits, ads in Hill publications, street theater, editorial cartoons, t-shirts, mint-tins, and video e-mails. The efforts, Mica emphasized, have culminated in this week’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on credit union regulatory improvements—the “first official, full committee” hearing focusing solely on credit union issues in 10 years.


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