Brett Martinez

Martinez: Unity is our strength

Three-tiered system sets credit unions apart, says CUNA Board Chair.

October 22, 2019

The credit union movement is stronger due to the three-tiered system that allows credit unions to speak with one voice on issues affecting the system. The tiers refer to credit unions participating at the CUNA level, the state league level, and in their own local communities.

“When you show up with your voice, the power of that is huge,” says Brett Martinez, Redwood Credit Union CEO and CUNA Board chair. “When we unify, we can tackle anything in our way.”

He addressed nearly 100 credit union board members at the 2019 CUNA Roundtable for Board Leadership Saturday in Phoenix.

Without the three-tiered system, it would be much more difficult to address big issues, such as protecting the credit union tax exemption.

“It’s what we do together that sets us apart,” Martinez says.

Martinez also spoke about the CUNA Board’s passage of a resolution in September that makes diversity, equity, and inclusion as a cooperative principle of America’s credit unions.

The resolution calls for credit unions to promote equality, equity, and opportunity for members, volunteers, and industry professionals at all levels of the movement, from grassroots involvement to the top of the credit union.

“The world is changing,” Martinez says. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a conversation that is happening.”

Martinez also updated attendees on the Awareness Initiative and recent advocacy wins.