America's CU Conference

Scenes from Wednesday at ACUC

Keynoter Amber MacArthur, a social media expert, was one of the day's highlights.

July 3, 2014


In her 2010 book, Amber MacArthur wrote about the ABCs of social media: Authenticity. Bravery. Consistency.
And during her General Session keynote Wednesday, MacArthur admits, “about 70% in that book is irrelevant today.”
That’s why when she discusses social media and technology trends, she quotes race car driver Mario Andretti: “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”
In the photo above, MacArthur and CUNA Chairman Dennis Pierce take a selfie with nearly 1,200 ACUC attendees.  



Some people remain wary of social media because they fear getting negative comments, says social media guru Amber MacArthur, during Wednesday morning’s Executive/Young Leaders Series Session.
But CUs need to monitor social media outlets, she says, to be able to address pain points as they arise. “The more you engage to address negative things, the quicker they will go away. The worst thing you can do is be silent.”

Read more about MacArthur's presentation here.


CUs are facing a “perfect storm” when it comes to recruiting, retaining, and compensating their executives, says Bruce Bauer, a CUNA Mutual Group senior executive benefits specialist, during a Discovery Session Wednesday afternoon.
“Jobs are opening up, executive talent is being aggressively wooed away from you, and your top talent is feeling financially vulnerable,” Bauer says. “CU executives who might retire at only 40% of their current salary may seek other employment options.”


CUs are in serious need of a youth movement, says Tim McAlpine, president of Currency Marketing, during a Discovery Session Wednesday afternoon.
“The average age of a CU member is now 48 years,” he says. “That should be a major concern.”
Many of the 76-million strong baby boomer generation are retiring, and the generation following Generation Y—Gen Z—currently has only 23 million members. It’s not likely to ever surpass 50 million, McAlpine says.


Network security is everyone's responsibility, says Jay Isaacson, CUNA Mutual Group's director of CU protection, during a Wednesday Discovery Session.

And your weakest link, he says, really depends on the types and levels of security you employ. As a result of Target and other high-profile breaches, all organizations that deal with member data must be held accountable.

"And boards and management must always ask what the CU is doing to protect their data--and is it enough?" he says.


“CUs are facing major changes to their membership and their asset base,” says Hendrix Niemann, managing director of wealth management for CBSI, during a Wednesday Discovery Session. “Baby boomers are starting to enter retirement, which means their money will be leaving the CU as they spend down what they've saved and invested for 30 to 40 years. They won't be borrowing or depositing."

CUs must have a plan to replace those assets, he says--and to retain the assets that the boomers will pass on to the next generation.


Nontraditional competitors are disrupting the traditional CU business model, says James Robert Lay, CEO of CU Grow, during a Discovery Session Wednesday afternoon.
The remedy: Digital “storyselling” he says.
“Use member stories to position your products beyond features,” Lay advises. “People trust people.”


Disrupt--or be disrupted. That's the message PSCU's Fredda McDonald stresses during an Industry Trends/Best Practices Session Wednesday.
Disruption is happening everywhere--transportation and payments, for example. She pointed out that the Uber--which brings a car service to you at locations in major cities around the world via its app--has created 20,000 new jobs in 2013. Imagine Uber's effect on the taxi companies in these cities, she says.
"Once you order the service, you pay for it through the app, too," says McDonald, executive vice president and chief creative officer. Which financial relationship will members be using to pay for these and other similar purchases? Work to ensure members use accounts through their CU to build loyalty and trusted relationships, she says.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) changed the fundamental nature of how CUs go about their day-to-day lending activities, CUNA Mutual Group’s Regulatory Compliance Manager Jon Bundy tells a Discovery Session audience Wednesday.

“CUs have spent the past six months adjusting to the CFPB’s new mortgage rules, and they’re not done yet,” says Bundy. They've implemented six new mortgage rules in 2014 with a seventh mortgage rule compliance deadline looming in 2015. In total, the CFPB issued more than 6,400 pages of new regulations.

Bundy's advice to CUs: Stay focused, take time to understand the changes, and make adjustments where necessary.


CUs have accomplished so much in their first 80 years, and they'll continue to do so into the future, says CUNA Chairman Dennis Pierce, during his address on Wednesday.
That is, “if we're valid, if we have a purpose, and if we’re providing something unique to Americans," adds Pierce, CEO of CommunityAmerica CU, Lenexa, Kan. "I think CUs will have an opportunity to look back 80 years from now and celebrate similar kinds of success that we’ve had up to this point."


The “community cloud” may make computer servers obsolete, says Kevin Prince, principal technology strategist for D+H, during a Discovery Session Wednesday afternoon.

The community cloud is built for a specific purpose or industry—including CUs—with all the benefits of traditional cloud computing, he explains.

D+H is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.


Your staff can't exceed members' service expectations until they've met them, says Angela Prestil, CUNA's director of business development, during an  Industry Trends/Best Practices Session. Also, it's critically important that staff know who your loyal members are because then "they can have a different conversation with them" during every interaction. As product experts, your staff will know what questions to ask and how to deliver products to fulfill members' hopes and dreams.