Small CUs Share Strategies for Success

Session addresses lending strategies, expense control, and compliance issues.

February 25, 2014

Small CUs

Small credit unions gathered for a roundtable discussion on Sunday to tackle critical issues unique to their operations.

Topics included real-world lending strategies, collaborative and back-office efforts to reduce costs, NCUA initiatives, and the regulatory climate.

John Graham, chair of CUNA’s Small Credit Union Committee and CEO of Kentucky Employees Credit Union, provided an update of the committee’s recent activities, including meetings Friday with NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz and NCUA Board Member Richard Metsger.

Mike Schenk, vice president of CUNA's economics and statistics department, delivered a brief summary of small credit union financial and operational results, noting that despite significant challenges to this sector, more are growing and earning at healthy rates.

The Filene Research Institute’s Bob Hoel led a spirited discussion on some of the strategies credit unions have employed to increase their lending share, sparking input from the audience on borrowing trends.

The panelists sharing their success stories included Nick Kessenich, CEO of $19 million asset Members First Credit Union, Madison, Wis.; Teri Robinson, CEO, $13 million asset Pacific Ironworkers Federal Credit Union, Portland, Ore.; and Windy Campbell, CEO, $11 million Electric Cooperatives Federal Credit Union, Little Rock, Ark.

Hoel then shifted the discussion to the bottom line. Panelists included Joni Brown, president of Service Center for Credit Unions, Inc.; George Hofheimer, chief research and innovation officer for Filene Research Institute; Anne Legg, senior vice president, business strategies and innovation, Third Degree Advertising; and Debie Keesee, CEO, $10 million asset Spokane (Wash.) Media Federal Credit Union.

Afterward, attendees mingled with a variety of small credit union service providers including the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, NCUA and its Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, and the National Cooperative Business Association.

CUNA Mutual Group sponsored the event, which was recorded and will appear on CUNA’s website following the GAC.