Small credit unions discussed critical issues unique to their operations during Sunday’s Roundtable meeting at the Washington Convention Center.
Stephanie Sievers, CEO of $96 million asset Aneca Federal Credit Union, Shreveport, La., and chair of the CUNA Small Credit Union Committee kicked things off with an overview of the committee’s recent activities, including a recent visit to NCUA to discuss the agency's cybersecurity assessment and support for the Network Credit Union concept.
Following this update, Sievers asked a number of committee members to facilitate discussion on the following topics:
• Earnings. Gary Parker, CEO of $13 million asset 1st University Credit Union, Waco, Texas, discussed how strong lending programs build lasting member relationships and healthy earnings.
• Marketing. Terri Robinson, CEO of $20 million asset Pacific Northwest Ironworkers Federal Credit Union, Portland, Ore. noted how solid marketing and promotion boosted loans at her credit union.
• Strategic planning. Mira Ness, CEO of $17 million asset New York University Federal Credit Union, stressed the need for a strategic plan, as well as the need to revisit and revise that plan as the operating environment shifts.
• Resources. Bill Myers, director of NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, and Martha Ninichuk, OSCUI deputy director, provided an overview of OSCUI activities and programs. They outlined training efforts (including webinars and videos), grants programs and consulting activities, and discussed changes and enhancements in 2016.
• Collaboration. Bob Hoel, Filene Research Institute’s senior scholar, closed the session with a spirited discussion of collaboration and partnerships—including an update on the “Network Credit Union” initiative—a growth strategy alternative to the traditional merger which was introduced at the Roundtable in 2015.
Hoel described Filene’s work to advance this concept and recent developments both with credit unions who have expressed interest in the idea and with regulators. Advocates, he explained, are seeking more formalized instructions and procedures to advance the development of such organizations.
"Just because we're small, doesn't mean we're irrelevant," Sievers told the group. "All credit unions started small, and any credit union can be a disruptor."
CUNA Mutual Group sponsored the event.