More than 850 professionals gathered together in Chicago for the 89th Annual Convention held by the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL).
This year’s convention focused on credit unions working together to empower their communities. Educational sessions supported credit union efforts to reach diverse communities, train leaders, navigate the changing financial landscape, and apply the latest cybersecurity practices.
ICUL welcomed then-NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters April 4 as the opening speaker.
"The opportunity to dialogue with Illinois credit unions today is appreciated," McWatters said. "Your input on what impacts your operations on a day to day basis is invaluable to my role as a regulator. With safety and soundness at the forefront, targeted and simple regulation allows you who run credit unions to do what you do best and remains of utmost importance."
CUNA CEO Jim Nussle also addressed the convention. He emphasized the key role the event plays in supporting credit unions.
“The Illinois Credit Union League Annual Convention is a great time to spread the credit union difference and showcase the incredible work our members do within their communities,” he said. “We look forward to celebrating our industry leaders and experts in the field through unparalleled networking and education.”
Leaders of the ICUL advocacy team, including Keith Sias, Patrick Smith, Ashley Sharp, and Stephen Olson, provided a legislative and regulatory update on Friday morning. The session highlighted the league’s most recent advocacy achievements and empowered attendees to get involved in future endeavors.
Friday’s session on CUNA’s Awareness Initiative highlighted the need to advocate for credit union among consumers as well as legislators. Over three years of nationwide research revealed a common misconception among consumers about credit union membership and services. The Awareness Initiative gives credit unions the opportunity to collaborate on a unified message to dispel these myths.
Tom Kane, president/CEO of ICUL, also weighed in on the importance of advocating for credit union in the current political and social landscape.
“With 50 new state legislators in place after the last election, we have a great deal of work ahead to raise awareness about the positive impact and benefits of credit unions within their local communities and the larger economy.”