MADISON, Wis. (11/13/08)--Dealing with what is yet to come in the down economy and helping members navigate through it are among the top challenges facing small- and mid-size credit unions, according to a council of a dozen CEOs convened by CUNA Mutual Group.
Jeff Post, center, CUNA Mutual president/CEO, and Bob Trunzo, right, chief sales officer, address a meeting of the small- and mid-size credit union council that recently met in Madison, Wis. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
The council met with CUNA Mutual leaders for the second time in two years to brainstorm best practices, discuss challenges unique to the movement’s smaller credit unions and to provide feedback on how CUNA Mutual can help them grow and thrive. Other challenges cited include:
* Proactively communicating the value of credit unions to the American public; * The burden of compliance and regulation; * Attracting younger members; * Increasing operating efficiency; * Keeping loan growth up with deposit growth; and * Attracting quality employees and balancing the costs of new delivery channels with member usage.
“The council provides a forum to discuss the unique challenges faced by small- and mid-size credit unions and an opportunity for best-practice sharing among members,” said Dave Sweitzer, CUNA Mutual vice president, small- and mid-size credit unions. “The council also provides valuable feedback to CUNA Mutual on how we can become a better business partner by supporting their needs and those of their members.” Members of the council of small- and mid-size credit unions include:
* Andi Baum, Everyone’s FCU, Tucumcari, N.M.; * Lucile Beckwith, Palmetto Trust FCU, Columbia, S.C.; * Phyllis Cochran, Richmond Community FCU, Gracewood, Ga.; * Jon Hernandez, City of Downey FCU, Downey, Calif., Mattel FCU, El Segundo, Calif. and CALCOM FCU, Torrance, Calif.; * Michael Kerr, CU of the Rockies, Golden, Colo.; * Diane Moilanen, Settlers Co-operative CU, Bruce Crossing, Mich.; * Rick Parker, Miami University Community FCU; Oxford, Ohio; * Stuart Phillips, United Business & Industry FCU, Plainville, Conn.; * Larry Roland, ECU CU, Largo, Fla.; * James Tuggle, Transtar FCU, Houston, Texas; * Bill Winter, St. Cloud FCU, St. Cloud, Minn.; * Debra Woods, Taylor CU, Medford, Wis.; and * Stephen Brindamour, Susquehanna Valley FCU, Camp Hill, Pa.
“The council provides an excellent forum for credit union executives from different parts of the country to share information,” Hernandez said. “It’s also an opportunity to share our issues, frustrations, suggestions and appreciation to CUNA Mutual leadership. It’s good to know someone values smaller credit unions’ needs and there is a commitment to our success.” “Council members identified business challenges that they would like to see CUNA Mutual address, such as help in attracting younger members, providing financial counseling for members and helping to promote the “credit union difference” in the current economic crisis,” Sweitzer said. “It was a real give-and-take between two parties interested in making sure credit unions remain relevant to their members.” “This forum has created an invaluable networking opportunity for every member of the Council. Through it, we have established relationships and shared ideas that ultimately benefit the service we all provide to our members,” Cochran said.