Credit unions will realize their greatest success if they work together on issues such as advocacy, creating awareness, and providing solutions for service excellence, CUNA Board Chairman Rod Staatz says.
For the credit union movement to advance, CUNA, the leagues, their system partners, credit unions, and their members must unite, says Staatz, who trumpeted that message at Tuesday’s General Session at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference.
“This is a statement I believe is absolutely fact and something I know the leagues know well: CUNA working with leagues and credit unions is the strongest, most prominent advocate for credit unions in America,” says Staatz, president/CEO of SECU of Maryland in Linthicum. “That’s what we believe. That’s what we orient ourselves toward.”
Advocacy remains the CUNA/league system’s top priority, Staatz stresses. But success in advocacy strongly depends on involvement not just by CUNA or the leagues, but also by credit unions and their members.
“Our success [will be] due to all of us, and will be due to all of us working together: CUNA, leagues, credit unions, and members,” Staatz says.
“There is no group like us,” he adds. “There is no group that has the reach, that has the enthusiasm, that has the talent that you see … and we intend to use that for very good purposes, to advance the credit union movement in the United States.”
That same principle of cooperation also can raise awareness of the movement, Staatz says.
CUNA introduced the beginnings of an awareness initiative Tuesday that aims to align credit union messaging with research-proven tools to enhance ongoing and new awareness and marketing efforts.
The success of this effort will hinge on full-system involvement, according to Staatz.
“We are America’s credit unions and we need to get the word out,” he says. “We’re going to need all of our voices over the next few years” to make sure Americans hear that message.