NWCUA Board Hears Strategic Progress, Prepares for 2012 Elections

The Northwest credit union movement is on track addressing the goals set by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Board of Directors, board members heard during their meeting March 8 in Federal Way, Wash. The four strategic objectives the board has charged the Association and membership with include:

  1. Perfecting and delivering the message about membership benefits;
  2. Evolving the credit union charter and lessening the regulatory burden;
  3. Enhancing credit unions’ state and federal legislative influence;
  4. Recognizing and serving the diverse membership needs with a focus on unity.

NWCUA CEO John Annaloro engaged with the board in continuing dialogue about the frustration credit unions face in navigating the regulatory burden. “We’re under extraordinary pressures today,” Annaloro said. “The relationship today isn’t what it should be.”

Annaloro committed to continue to work with NWCUA President Troy Stang and Northwest credit union   managers to build stronger relationships with regulators, another key strategic goal of the board.

Highlights of Strategic Plan Achievement:

Credit union awareness and membership surged in 2011 as Northwest credit unions welcomed nearly 124,000 new members – 50,000 of them in the fourth quarter during the Bank Transfer Day movement. A recent special edition of Anthem details the membership gains. Board members approved a research project commissioned by the NWCUA in which 800 consumers will be asked questions intended to help define and perfect the membership growth message, while also examining the drivers that turn consumers into promoters. The findings of the survey will be shared at the NWCUA Marketers’ Conference in May 2012.

The NWCUA board received full legislative updates. Government Affairs lobbyists in Washington and Oregon were successful in defeating legislation that would have increased the regulatory burden on credit unions involved in foreclosures, limiting the threat of onerous requirements for unnecessary paperwork and procedures.

“Northwest credit unions continue to make prudent, careful mortgage lending decisions to Northwest consumers,” noted Troy Stang, NWCUA president. “The result is an astonishingly lower foreclosure rate than that experienced by other lenders. Moreover, without the need for any legal requirements or prodding by the regulators, our credit unions have already voluntarily engaged in foreclosure prevention at every step of the process.”

Credit unions in both Oregon and Washington can now accept Public Funds deposits up to the level of federal insurance. This session, the Washington legislature acted on legislation similar to that already approved in Oregon, and Governor Chris Gregoire signed the bill on March 7.

Oregon credit unions will have a seat on the new Oregon Growth Board targeting jobs creation, and will benefit from the elder abuse legislation passed during the just-concluded session.

Recently promoted Vice President of Legislative Advocacy Jennifer Wagner updated board members on the Association’s northwest-specific Plan to Win. It includes a detailed strategy for building relationships with every single elected official, said Wagner. “We’re creating a strategy for our outreach to turn them into credit union champions who cannot say “no” to us,” she noted. “The Plan to Win also directs us to get more involved in the upcoming campaigns and elections. We have established some targeted open districts to get involved in early.”

The NWCUA senior management team and many of the board members will lead a grassroots delegation of over 200 credit union supporters visiting Congressional representatives and Senators next week as part of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Government Affairs Conference. The delegation arrives on the heels of a similar visit by bankers and will focus on promoting key legislative initiatives including Supplemental Capital and Member Business Lending.

The NWCUA board also received updates on the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF) which is fully operational after the merger of the Washington and Oregon foundations. Grant and scholarship applications are now being accepted and the prestigious Weber Marketing Group is assisting with new branding, according to RoxAnne Kruger, Senior Vice President.

Strategic Link, the rebranded service corporation also successfully merged its Oregon and Washington entities and is well positioned to offer high quality products and discounted services to NWCUA member credit unions.

The NWCUA board’s strategic goal of leveraging member strength for maximum success is being further addressed at events for credit union leaders scheduled April 24-25 at Suncadia Resort. The 2012 Leadership Orientation, Asset Sized Roundtables and CEO Executive Summit programs allow attendees to meet with Association staff and network with peers from similar-sized credit unions April 24. At the Summit the following day, University of California, Berkeley professor Jim Wilcox will share an in-depth economic forecast, and technology expert Salim Ismail will share new information about innovation and technology that could help credit unions stay competitive.

2012 NWCUA Board Elections:

The NWCUA Board of Directors discussed the recent overwhelming membership approval of a redistricting plan that will reduce the size of the current board from 18 to 11 members. Eight of the districts are represented by geographic areas and three are selected by asset size. Each credit union will be able to vote for a candidate in each category. A call for nominations will be issued in April, with a slate of candidates to be published in June. Balloting will occur by July 6; results will be announced July 12. The 2012 Board assumes office at the NWCUA’s Annual Business Meeting Oct. 2, 2012.


Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Compliance News, NWCUA.