OTTAWA, Canada (7/18/13)--Grzegorz Bierecki, president/CEO of the National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU), Poland's credit union trade group, has been named chair of World Council of Credit Unions' board of directors.
|Incoming World Council Chair Grzegorz Bierecki, left, of Poland receives the chain of office from outgoing Chair Manuel Rabines during a general session at the World Credit Union Conference.|
Bierecki succeeds outgoing chair Manuel Rabines, general manager of Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito del Peru (FENACREP). Bierecki formally accepted the chair's chain of office during the World Credit Union Conference general session Tuesday in Ottawa.
"A very long time ago, I chained myself to credit unions," said Bierecki, a Solidarity activist who was jailed for his political activity under Communist rule. "It was 24 years ago when I saw these words describing the credit union philosophy on the wall of a Kansas building: 'Not for profit, not for charity, but for service.' It was [with] this sentence that my study of credit unions began."
|"Working together with international institutions developing regulations, influencing credit unions and supporting their work, said incoming World Council Chair Grzegorz Bierecki. "That is the task that no one will perform better than the World Council of Credit Unions."|
Bierecki has played a key role in the rebirth of Poland's credit unions--or SKOKs as they are known in Poland--which in the course of 15 years became the largest non-bank financial network in the country. Bierecki has led Poland's credit union system as president of NACSCU since 1992. Today, 55 credit unions in Poland serve 2.6 million members under a unified marketing brand from a central back-office platform.
"Credit unions are an example of love acting in the economy," Bierecki told the audience as he applauded their dedication toward helping others. "If love is intelligent, it can find a way to act that is prudent, right and profitable. I ask that you do not ever run out of such a love."
|World Council of Credit Unions' 2013 annual general meeting included member organization delegates from more than 30 countries. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)|
New World Council directors at the 2013 annual general meeting Monday afternoon included Oswaldo Oliva Vidal, CEO of Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito de Guatemala, who was elected, and Steven Stapp, president/CEO of San Francisco FCU, who was appointed by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
World Council also recognized its new direct member association, the Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives Group of Afghanistan, at the annual general meeting. New associate members included the Credit Union Executives Society and The Members Group, both in the U.S.
World Council presented member awards to recognize growth in assets and membership in 2012. The Outstanding Asset Growth Award went to Confederacao Interestadual das Cooperativas Ligadas ao Sicredi of Brazil. Outstanding Membership Growth Awards went to CUNA for highest absolute growth and to Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Co-operatives (KUSSCO) for highest relative growth.
CUNA was honored for achieving its highest membership growth numbers in decades. KUSCCO received the award for relative membership growth during a period when many countries in the region were experiencing a slowdown in membership growth.
The World Credit Union Conference ended Wednesday.