news.cuna.org/articles/116698-what-does-it-mean-to-be-an-advocate-for-the-credit-union-movement

What does it mean to be an advocate for the credit union movement?

September 27, 2019

CU Direct is a multi-owned Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) that serves over 1,100 credit unions nationwide. For more than 25 years, their focus has been building networks and enterprise technology solutions that connect credit unions of all sizes to nationwide lending markets that would otherwise be too cost prohibitive to reach on their own.

For example, working through CU Direct, credit unions are connected to the nation's largest auto lending network, CUDL. This relationship helped credit unions fund a total of $45 billion from indirect lending in 2018 -- that’s about one auto loan application every two seconds -- and over $213 billion over the last 25 years. Strengthening nationwide recognition as a business advocate

“Today the highest valued companies are no longer manufactures like GM or Ford, they are companies that have networks like Facebook, Amazon, Airbnb,” said Bob Child, COO at CU Direct. “What do they all have in common? A proprietary owned network that connects people to day to day needs in an efficient way.”

Recognizing the value of networks. CU Direct joined the CUNA Associate Business Membership program to earn industry wide recognition for their work on behalf of credit unions. Status as an official business advocate of CUNA is “…helping us get the word out to more credit unions by giving us a voice,” said Child.

CU Direct attends CUNA face-to-face events at discounted member rates to connect and participate in roundtable discussions with credit union leadership across the nation. These insights provide CU Direct with an understanding of the needs and concerns of credit union leaders to better advocate on their behalf on legislative issues and deliver products and services that help them reach their business goals.

“The more that we can partner with credit unions, the more credit unions see the value of CU Direct,” Added Child. “We’re seeing more discussion, we’re engaging deeper and building more relationships.”

Maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship through CUNA Associate Business Membership is helping CU Direct maximize its industry reach nationwide and increase engagement with credit unions and its business. CU Direct has more outlets to get in front of industry leaders and strengthen its contributions within the movement to show its continued dedication to serving credit unions.

Building stronger connections

“Give the program a try. There are no downsides to joining,” said Child. “It’s an opportunity to share the value by way of efficiency and networking. It gives you a voice to be heard at a national level instead of calling credit unions individually.”

If you’re looking to build deeper relationships within the credit union movement and be a strong advocate for the movement, think about becoming a CUNA Associate Business Member.

Learn more about the program at cuna.org/associatemembership.