Highlights from the 2014 Community CU & Growth Conference

Sessions feature community development and award-winning CUs.

November 6, 2014

Jeff Rendel Day 2

Master of ceremonies Jeff Rendel kicks off the second day of CUNA's Community CU & Growth Conference in Las Vegas with some early takeaways—boiled down into sentences with seven words or less:

  1. Community development financial institutions can make money.
  2. CUs invented peer-to-peer lending.
  3. Marketing does not stop after account opening.
  4. Electronic signature provides great experience over efficiency.
  5. CUs are the heroes of local.
  6. Marketing is a long-term member interaction.

Attendees then offer their own takeaways, mentioning phrases such as "be alert," "customer loyalty," and "embrace the disruption."

CO-OP luncheon

CO-OP Financial Services sponsored a special awards luncheon Wednesday, recognizing four CUs as CUNA's 2014 Community CU of the Year Award winners.

Miriam DiDios

Coopera CEO Miriam De Dios participates in a breakout session with other CU leaders who are working to implement solutions for immigrants at their financial institutions.


The National Federation of Community Development CUs' Pablo DeFilippi participates with Coopera in an emerging markets workshop about financial solutions for immigrants.

Anne Legg

Anne Legg, senior vice president of business strategies & innovation with Third Degree Advertising, leads a breakout session, "Your CU 2020 Vision Plan Progress...A Gentle Nudge."

Meghann Dawson

CUNA's Meghann Dawson introduces a speaker during Wednesday's General Session.

Paul Robert

Paul Robert, COO of FI Strategies LLC, offers practical ideas on maximizing efficiency during an afternoon workshop Wednesday.

CCUC2014 attendees

Attendees work together during a session Wednesday to solve an efficiency problem posed by workshop leaders.

Anna Pena

Anna Peña, client relations manager with Coopera, offers two reasons why roughly 18% of Hispanics are unbanked, during a morning breakout session on Wednesday. She says:

  • Hispanic households appear more likely than any other demographic group to cite identification, credit, or banking history problems as main obstacles; and
  • Other Hispanics, including foreign-born noncitizen households and households that only speak Spanish, cite account opening requirements as a main hurdle.

Denny Graham

Denny Graham, president/CEO of FI Strategies LLC, leads attendees through a workshop on how to better their organizations.

Immigration Panel

A panel discusses financial solutions for immigrants Wednesday in a breakout session led by Coopera. The panel includes (from left): Raquel Gallagher, branch manager, Ascentra CU; Maria Martinez, CEO, Border FCU; and Polina Yakusheva, vice president of marketing and business development, Fitzsimons CU.

Here’s some advice for other CUs seeking to offer solutions to immigrants:

•"Don't do it alone," says Gallagher. You can partner with organizations like Coopera.

•"It does take time," says Yakusheva. You need to get buy-in at all levels of the CU, starting with the board. And it takes time to do your "homework."

•"Reach out to the youngsters," says Martinez. Many times the younger member of an immigrant family is the English translator for the family. "The families listen to the kids."