CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), the largest credit union advocacy gathering of its kind, will again unite credit union activists from across the country under the unique and inclusive CUNA tent.
The meeting, under the marquee “Powerful Cause, Positive Effect,” brings together nearly 5,000 activists to build and renew relationships, learn from and be inspired by national leaders, and take a forceful and unmistakable CUNA advocacy voice to Capitol Hill.
CUNA GAC is a significant event. Some fun facts about our meeting:
The elected officials who speak to our assembly are always a key feature of the GAC. In these highly-charged partisan times, it’s notable that members of Congress from both sides of the aisle again will speak about how they value their work with CUNA to advance a pro-credit union agenda in Congress.
With nearly 5,000 activists in Washington for this event, our CUNA advocacy army will stand above other groups as we descend on Capitol Hill to make our case for regulatory relief, increased consumer access to credit union services, new public policy, and preserving the not-for-profit tax status of credit unions.
At this year’s meeting we’ll review the good work of CUNA’s Corporate Governance Committee, chaired by Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union. The committee has been evaluating recommendations to modernize CUNA’s bylaws. It’s reviewing antiquated bylaws to enable a more inclusive and engaging CUNA membership model for all credit unions.
We’re holding a town hall meeting during the General Session to explain the committee’s work. And we’ll have several breakout sessions for anyone looking for more detail or opportunities for in-depth dialogue about the bylaw proposal as it’s presented to the membership.
As of mid-January several legislators signed up to speak, including: Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and John Tester, D-Mont.; and Reps. Denny Heck, D-Wash., Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Steve Stivers, R-Ohio.
Returning this year is our ED (Filene) Talk. Author Daniel Pink will share insights into the modern challenges in business, management, and productivity. (Read our exclusive interview with Pink here.) Thanks to the CUNA Councils for sponsoring this session.
Former ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel will speak on cybersecurity and the need to get more serious about the threat of hackers and the damage breaches can do to our infrastructure. And futurist and innovation expert Lisa Bodell will offer attendees strategies for catalyzing innovation at their credit unions.
We’ll also convene the CUNA Annual General Meeting. We’ll honor outgoing Board Chair Susan Streifel, CEO of Woodstone Credit Union, Federal Way, Wash., for her leadership and welcome Rod Staatz, CEO of SECU, Linthicum, Md., as he becomes CUNA’s new chairman.
During the National Credit Union Foundation’s Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Gala we’ll honor industry giants who live the principles that make credit unions unique.
Breakout sessions will focus on compliance, regulatory burden, mobilizing grassroots efforts, and other critical issues. Evolving payments technology and consumer preferences will drive discussions on how credit unions of all sizes meet member expectations in an increasingly cashless marketplace.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the CUNA GAC. Your participation is making a tremendous difference.