NWCUA Board Puts Redistricting Recommendations to Membership

The Association’s Board of Directors meeting both celebrated the results since its January formation and focused on challenges ahead for the Northwest credit union system.

The board heard reports from all of the committees and tasks forces, which are already having an impact setting policy and direction for the Association.

“It has been a great first six months, despite continuing concerns about regulatory and compliance burden,” said Association CEO John Annaloro. “We are ahead of plan from a financial and structural stand point, and the benefits of merging associations are evident.”

NWCUA President Troy Stang agreed. “The initial integration is well underway and we see the effective voice in action.” 

Post-Merger Development
Board members unanimously approved a new strategic plan for the Association’s four key priorities:

  • Perfecting, developing and leading advocacy for credit unions;
  • Evolving the state and federal charters to achieve equal opportunity for credit unions in the marketplace;
  • Enhancing effective relationships with lawmakers; and
  • A focus on unity.

Task force recommendations to redraw the Association’s district boundaries will be presented to membership for a vote this fall. The plan will result in new board representation in 2012. The recommendations reduce the size of the Board of Directors from 18 to 11 seats, eight geographic seats and three at-large seats. The proposed new boundaries take into account both regional interests and asset size, and will have 24-28 credit unions each.

Task force co-chair Diann Owen praised the tireless work of the redistricting task force, and is excited for the next step as member credit unions engage in discussion; town-hall meetings have been schedule throughout the region in August to let members weigh-in.

Director Elliot Gregg, at first skeptical of the redistricting proposal, was impressed once he studied the plan. “In my district, it appears it’s not dominated by small or large credit unions. It is a good mix. I have the opportunity to be represented by a board member from a similar credit union size,” he commented.

Intentions to merge the Washington and Oregon Foundations are also moving forward. Two meetings have been held since the letter of intent was signed, with a focus on marrying the two state foundation policies and determining the size and make-up of the merged board.

Advocacy
With the internal structure is in place, the Association’s management can better focus on the challenges ahead such as the impact of the interchange rule. Association President Troy Stang told the board there would be a “laser focus” on the regulatory burden credit unions.

Board Chairman Bill Anderson led the applause for the Association’s legislative efforts, particularly on the passage of the Oregon credit union charter modernization bill and the legalization of prized-linked savings accounts in Washington.

During discussion about federal legislation, disappointment was expressed in all four northwest Senators for not supporting the credit union industry on the interchange issue. The outcome of the vote still stings for board members.

Board members echoed concerns that the interchange rule will result in higher member fees, and encouraged staff follow up with the Northwest Senate delegation. CEO Annaloro assured the board that the Association will ensure senators understand their vote negatively affected credit unions and their members so that future issues are handled differently.

The Political Action Committee had its first combined meeting in April. A webinar sharing “best practices” was well attended, the board learned. Two of the Association advocacy team, Director Jennifer Wagner and VP Mark Minickiello, pushed the board to evangelize payroll deduction for CULAC.

CUNA Mutual Partnership
CUNA Mutual sent a high-ranking delegation to the board meeting, including Bob Trunzo, Chief Operating Officer, who emphasized four key points: the continued strong financial performance of CUNA Mutual; expected losses due to natural disasters; their conversion process to a mutual holding company; and continued growth and development of their consumer-focused products. 

Wrap-Up
Chairman Anderson was pleased as he drew the meeting to a close. “This is such a great group.” He said. “For an 18-person board, we do well staying focused on the issues important to all credit unions in northwest.”

 

Questions or Concerns? Contact the Anthem Editor: Editor@nwcua.org.

Posted in NWCUA.