A Conference With Surprising Star Power

No dull moments in Hollywood, thanks to Sir Paul and JT.

December 8, 2013

For the past few years, the CUNA Technology Council and the CUNA Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Council have teamed up to host an annual conference featuring excellent content, large crowds, and a bustling exhibit hall.

This year’s conference, held at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood in late September, was no exception.

A top flight of keynoters included:

  • Chip Heath, co-author of The New York Times’ bestseller “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard”;
  • Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union League;
  • Randy Romes, principal of information security with CliftonLarsonAllen; and
  • Kris and Tim O’Shea, who helped conclude the conference on a humorous note with a skit called “The O’Shea Report.”

In addition, there were dozens of breakout sessions designed to meet the needs of both technology and operations folks. And both councils held their annual awards programs to honor their peers for exceptional work and innovation.

READ: Credit Union Magazine's conference highlights

In addition to quality content, attendees were treated to a few surprises that conference planners likely were unaware of when they decided on Hollywood as their destination. On the conference’s first night, the Emmy Awards were held in neighboring Los Angeles—about eight miles away. Some intrepid star watchers made the trip.

But on the second night, the show came to us. Directly across the street from our conference hotel is the building where “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is broadcast. Kimmel’s guest that day was Sir Paul McCartney. After Sir Paul got done with the show, he came out and put on a one-hour free concert directly below our hotel’s fifth floor balcony. It seems the demographic of council conference attendees was a perfect match for Sir Paul.

The following night, the whole process was repeated with Justin Timberlake. While Timberlake didn’t create quite as much buzz with council attendees, we all agreed it was pretty good evening entertainment for a bunch of credit union tech and ops folks.