Newly elected CUNA Board Chairman Brad Green began his tenure with a challenging question: what legacy will you leave for the credit union movement? Green, president/CEO of Listerhill Credit Union, Sheffield, Ala., says the CUNA/League system is as strong as it is today because of the engagement of member credit unions.
Green offers four specific areas for credit union leaders to consider, starting with engaging in credit union advocacy.
He says he “cringes” when he hears CUNA or Leagues referred to as “they or it,” because “CUNA and Leagues are as strong as they are because of the dues and engagement of our member credit unions.”
“We must move beyond dues paid and lean in and engage collectively to see change and results that we desire or expect,” he says. “CUNA and Leagues are what we make them.”
He also calls on credit unions to continue their legacy of being disruptive financial services providers that meet the needs of consumers.
“Reimagine financial services in innovative ways that enhance the financial well-being of our members. Our impact isn’t in our asset growth, but in the growth and strength of our members’ assets,” Green says. “We should be purposefully finding ways to disrupt the frustrations of the mundane, traditional financial service providers of today.”
He went on to name members as a third area of focus.
“Members should grow financially stronger as a result of their relationship with the credit union. They should find themselves better prepared for their financial future. They should be encouraged in thrift and provided access to more affordable credit,” he says. “They should have budgets that allow them to live healthy financial lives within their means. They should be able to save enough money to prepare and protect against life’s financial contingencies. Are we managing member relationships and helping them to help themselves financially?”
He concluded by calling on credit unions to be resilient, to lean in instead of pulling away from difficult situations, and to “engage, rather than disengage.”
Green will serve as CUNA Board chairman until the Annual General Meeting at the 2022 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.
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