President/CEO, SECU, Raleigh, N.C.
The CFO Council was an introduction to many good folks. It was an opportunity to meet a lot of folks and be able to call people to ask, “this happened to us, what would you do?”
The credit union movement is evolving at an exponential pace. We’re trying to keep up with changes in technology and services competitors provide. The products we offer haven’t changed radically over the last 25 years, but the competition has.
Another issue is that the industry has been shrinking for 40 years. The big guys keep getting bigger and the small guys are dealing with regulations and compliance. A big issue is, how do we remain relevant?
My advice to new finance professionals: Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about leadership, management, and so on. I started as a loan officer 40 years ago, then became a branch manager before getting into accounting. There was no grand design to build a career. Just prepare and put yourself in the position to go to the next step if that’s what you want to do.