Join a Council to Share Wisdom, Solve Problems

Registration is now open for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) 2012 Networking Councils, affording credit union professionals the opportunity to learn cutting-edge techniques, discuss best practices and make new professional connections throughout the region.

Each of the six networking councils meets quarterly and provides resources, information, networking and professional development to credit union professionals in various fields, helping individuals handle day-to-day challenges while working to plan future successes. And while councils have been in place in Washington for a dozen years, the Jan. 1 merger brought the council program to Oregon in 2011. The meetings are now split evenly between Oregon and Washington.

David Rimmer, member solutions manager for Verity Credit Union, has been an active member of the Collectors Council for more than three years. He describes the community created by the councils as being one of their greatest benefits.

“In the true spirit of credit union-ism, everyone is willing to share,” Rimmer said. “If somebody says, ‘Hey, I’m stuck. I really need this,’ someone will help. It’s a good group of people.”

In addition to the four in-person networking forums, which offer a blend of outside expertise and the chance to bring issues and challenges before the group, council members receive a contact list of council members in their network and unlimited access to the council’s listserv, ensuring that access to fellow council members goes beyond the scheduled meetings.

“We all struggle with basically the same things, and so between [the meetings] and the listserv, it’s a great way to get feedback or bounce an idea or just go, ‘Help!’” Rimmer said. “Or whatever the situation may be.”

Each council is specific to a certain aspect of the credit union movement, offering professional development and networking opportunities for individuals who work in different areas of expertise. Membership is open to credit union employees who have responsibilities related to these key areas of credit union management, and each works with an NWCUA staff liaison.

The Collectors Council provides an opportunity to share challenges, successes and trends with collection and recovery peers. The demand to keep delinquencies low and recoveries high is challenging for any professional in this field. By meeting regularly with peers, participants can gain a new perspective and share knowledge that will help make this task easier while improving the credit union’s ability to accomplish its goals. 

The HR & Trainers Council, meanwhile, provides a forum for credit union professionals in human resources and training to learn about new techniques, preview other credit unions’ practices, and share professional presentations in this self-directed forum. The open format of this council serves to encourage and re-charge staff, most of whom are dealing with similar challenges and developments within the credit union movement. Human resource and training professionals from across Oregon and Washington will gather to learn, teach, and pass on tips; providing resources, information, networking and professional development to best prepare for what’s on the horizon.

The Compliance Council offers a forum for compliance professionals from across both states to discuss the challenges inherent in keeping credit unions compliant with the regulations that govern them. The council provides opportunities to discuss upcoming regulatory changes and devise strategies to minimize their impact. Members benefit from the collective intelligence of a room full of compliance professionals all trying to create best practices for credit unions.

Members of the Lending Council stay on top of matters affecting the lending industry through networking opportunities with fellow credit union lenders. But this council is not just about lending issues. It is about looking ahead and ensuring that credit unions are prepared for new opportunities and challenges. The available peer support and resources in lending strategies help bolster interest in the industry while looking ahead to what’s on the horizon for credit union lending professionals.

The Marketers Council caters to the communicators in the credit union movement, providing professionals in the marketing, communications, media relations and public relations fields the opportunity to network and share the challenges and successes they have had promoting their credit unions’ products and services. Regular interactive meetings with presenters from both in and outside the industry provide an outlet and a source for solving problems that will further the success of credit unions.

Being technologically savvy is what it will take to be known as a leader and to ensure credit unions thrive—and stay secure. Meeting with credit union professionals responsible for the technology and security of the organization gives participants in the Technology & Security Council an opportunity to gather information from peers who are facing challenges of their own while gaining insight from everyone’s experiences. Meetings also feature industry experts who share their insights and review current trends and identify successful and innovative best practices.

Each council meets for the first time in January or February. NWCUA member credit unions will be receiving a print brochure in the mail before the end of the year, and those interested in taking part can also register online. Detailed schedules and more information are also available on the council program website.

More than anything, the councils help participants feel like they are part of a larger community—and part of a movement. And they represent an ideal way to benefit from the collective wisdom of the entire credit union world.

Because as Rimmer said, “If you try to do this in a silo, you’re going to have some issues.”


Questions? Contact Director of Outreach Programs Kasey Rockwell: 503.350.2217,

Posted in Events, NWCUA.