MADISON, Wis. (3/26/08)--The Filene “30 Under 30” group dubs itself an entrepreneurial SWAT team that undertakes the challenge of generating solutions for how credit unions can better connect with young consumers. The volunteer group comprises credit union professionals nationwide
Chad Warneke, left, of Oregonians FCU, Portland Ore., and Matt Davis of Members CU, Winston-Salem, N.C, competed over a fierce game of Wii bowling at a Filene 30 Under 30 meeting this month in Chicago. (Photo provided by Filene Research Institute)
who met this month in Chicago to discuss problems credit unions face and how to create solutions to them. Professionals divided into 10 small teams at the three-day event and chose research topics that address overall program goals for bringing younger members, professionals and volunteers to credit unions. Each sub-group will spend the next eight months developing a plan around a program or product. All the plans will be presented to the credit union market in November at a follow-up meeting and then published. Credit unions offer excellent products for young adults--they just need to deliver them better, said Peter Tufano, Sylvan C. Coleman professor of financial management at Harvard Business School and Filene fellow. Savings programs especially must be bundled for most young adults to take them seriously, he added. “It’s like telling kids that if they eat their vegetables, they can get dessert,” Tufano said. “It should be as easy to open an account as it is to buy a plasma screen at Best Buy.” Other finance, marketing, and Gen Y experts expanded on the challenges and traits of this demographic. They included:
* Anya Kamenetz, author, “Generation Debt”; * Jeremy Mullman, reporter, Advertising Age; * Trey Reeme, channel integrator, TDECU and former blogger, OpenSourceCU; * Chris Resto, author, “Recruit or Die” and MIT job placement specialist; * Susan Follick, director, Project New Age, PSCU Financial Services; * Bryan Sims, founder/CEO, brassMEDIA; and * Jeff Jordan, chief operating officer, Funding Universe.
“This generation doesn’t understand credit unions at all,” said Kamenetz. Credit unions should emulate the no-nonsense design of online players like Vanguard and Facebook if they want to capture young adults’ attention, she added. “We’re all used to being the youngest people in the group at credit union events,” said Ben Rogers, driver of Filene’s CU Tomorrow program and director of the 30 Under 30 leadership group. “It’s refreshing to see how much young talent the industry really has and to get both energy and new ideas in the same place at the same time.” 30 Under 30 members include:
* Alex Alexander, Municipal Employees CU of Baltimore; * Dustin Allen, Weber State CU; * Megan Armstrong, Sunmark CU; * Avery Cashman, Service 1st FCU; * Julie Cosgrove, Affinity Plus CU; * Christopher Danvers, Delta Community CU; * Matt Davis, Members CU; * Mike Escudero, Seattle Metropolitan CU; * Christina Gaglione, Affinity CU; * Erin Hamilton, NASA FCU; * Kia Herd, Alliant CU; * Robin Hickey, First Financial FCU; * Melissa Troiano, DOT FCU; * Brandon Kelly, E FCU; * Dustin Limburg, Wright-Patt CU; * Tanya Magnus, First South CU; * Brie McCarthy, Coors CU; * Brandi Melo, Rocky Mountain CU; * Brandon Michaels, San Francisco Fire CU; * Katherine Miller, Navy FCU; * Toni Montgomery, Americhoice CU; * Rachael Parrent, Vantage CU; * Carma Parrish, Perfect Circle CU; * Jansen Perdue, Hoosier Hills CU; * Jeremy Presta, Park Side FCU; * Megan Primeau, US FCU; * Matthew Prosneski, Travis CU; * Matthew Schewe, UW CU; * Amy Stanton, Connex CU; and * Chad Warneke, Oregonians FCU.
For more information about 30 Under 30 or CU Tomorrow, use the link.