CU Mag: What were your impressions of the international CU development you participated in when you served on the WOCCU board of directors?
Jury: The World Council of Credit Unions does amazing work. While there are distinct differences in credit unions across the world, we also share many similarities.
Regardless of where I visited, one constant I found was the cultural foundation of credit unions. The cooperative nature of financial inclusivity and commitment to improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities was visible everywhere.
There are also universal challenges, including regulatory frameworks, limited awareness, aged memberships, and the need to grow capital.
Credit unions across the world provide dignity and financial self-sufficiency to consumers whose needs remain unmet by for-profit financial institutions.
CU Mag: How has the CU movement changed since you joined it in 1989?
Jury: Much has stayed the same. Credit unions remain not-for-profit, cooperatively owned, and democratically controlled organizations.
Through this cooperative experience, consumers not only use the organization’s services, but they also own and govern the organization. We continue to have passionate staff and board members committed to the future of their organizations.
At the same time, there have been many changes. The external environment pressuring credit unions seems to be more challenging and complex than it once was.
I think it’s more difficult to run a credit union today, regardless of asset size. The spectrum of requirements placed on credit unions—including consumer expectations, competition, technology, data security, and regulatory requirements—has intensified over time.
The smallest credit unions often have other challenges specific to them, and yet we are seeing great examples of success in this market.
Looking ahead, I believe credit unions have great opportunities and will continue to resonate with consumers. We continue growing members and assets, while frustrating competitors with our strong satisfaction ratings.
Yet we have work to do to enhance our relevancy with consumers. CUNA’s Creating Awareness Committee is doing tremendous work to identify a sustainable brand platform.
For almost 30 years, I have been told that the tax status of credit unions will change, that we have an aging model that won’t satisfy the needs of consumers over time, and that regulations create an unsustainable future.
Despite what I’ve been told, credit unions are resilient and growing.
CU Mag: What skill or trait has been most valuable to you during your career?
Jury: I have been fortunate to hire and fill our organization with the best and brightest entrepreneurs who have a solid mission-based foundation.
Professionally, our organization and I have benefited greatly from their good work and I believe our members are pleased with the results.
CU Mag: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Jury: With respect to problem solving, the greatest advice I’ve been given is that through open and shared dialogue you can solve any challenge presented to you.
CU Mag: What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about Iowa?
Jury: While Iowa is most well-known for its agriculture and farming—ranking first in hogs, eggs, corn, ethanol, and soybeans—there is a history and spirit of innovation and equality that may surprise some.
Iowa is home to the first computer, the first public school to admit men and women on an equal basis, and one of the first states to legalize gender equality.