CUNA is now America's Credit Unions.
A stronger voice to advance the credit union industry.
The Winter issue of Credit Union Magazine is usually an opportunity to look back at the year we’ve had, but I want to keep the focus firmly on the future: America’s Credit Unions.
Our Aug. 1 announcement was the culmination of unprecedented coordination between the nation’s two biggest credit union trade organizations. This collaboration resulted in some hard conversations, new ideas, and, ultimately, a vision for a stronger credit union movement.
We said from the start of this process that it’s about what our members want in a national trade association. We’ve taken a hard look at what our movement needs to thrive into the future.
Leaders across the country—united in their belief in the power of the credit union difference—answered clearly: a single, strong, and united national voice will best serve credit unions and their members.
It shows us that the CUNA and NAFCU boards who began these original conversations months ago were right on the money. Our movement needs less competition and more cooperation, and your national trade association recognizes that.
I try to impress upon people that credit unions are a united movement, and cooperatives cooperate for the greater good. Our members voted for us to take that advice.
We’ll have sacrifices to make and changes to undertake, but it’s all about creating a stronger movement. I’m excited to continue this transformation, but I can’t do it alone. Our Transition Board is well-equipped to take the lead, as it has so many times throughout this process.
We know our members need more aggressive advocacy at the federal and state levels. Advocacy teams from both organizations bring a demonstrated record of success—even in a divided Washington, D.C.—and the willingness to come together and make the best team possible.
Advocacy will remain job No. 1 at America’s Credit Unions. However, a more optimized advocacy team will help us step up our game and turn our already impressive track record into all-encompassing, “surround sound” advocacy.
The remaining tent poles supporting America’s Credit Unions are familiar to many of you: an excellent culture led by a rock star team, and top-of-the-line products, services, and events.
We’ve tried to make it clear throughout the process, but it bears repeating: America’s Credit Unions isn’t CUNA 2.0 or NAFCU 2.0. It’s not the absorption of one into the other.
It’s a fresh start, with the best of both organizations available to credit unions. The Transition Board and leaders will ensure everything that makes our two organizations special is fully present in America’s Credit Unions.
We couldn’t be where we stand today without the amazing leadership of everyone in this process. The CUNA and NAFCU boards, and staff at both organizations, put any misgivings aside to work full steam ahead on our movement’s future relevance.
There’s no one who deserves more credit than NAFCU CEO Dan Berger. He’s been an incredible partner throughout this process, and it wouldn’t have happened without his passion for the credit union movement and leadership of a fantastic organization.
CUNA Chief Operating Officer Jill Tomalin and NAFCU Chief Operating Officer Anthony Demangone will lead the Transformation Steering Group. They’ll ensure we bring together the best of both worlds, and make decisions with input from all stakeholders, including members and employees of both organizations.
It’s an exciting time for the credit union movement as we look to align like never before through a profound, future-focused transformation. Thank you for being part of this journey.
JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO at Credit Union National Association.