CUNA Mutual Group Convenes Select Credit Union Council

Credit unions are built on the idea of cooperation, from their member-owned structure to their core philosophy of “People Helping People.”

As the financial services industry becomes increasingly complex, small and mid-size credit unions have relied on those cooperative ideals not only for their governance and community outreach, but to achieve the scale and reach of some of their larger competitors.

In 2007, CUNA Mutual Group tapped into that strength by forming the Select Credit Union Council to provide ongoing feedback and insight to guide CUNA Mutual Group’s programming. The 10-member council annually brings together forward-thinking credit union leaders from across the nation to share ideas and solutions and to address the unique challenges facing small and mid-size credit unions.

“Through the formation of a council made up of small credit union leaders from across the nation, CUNA Mutual Group has received an earful of suggested changes, enhancements to existing products, and ideas for new products to help small credit union’s compete in the marketplace,” said Bernie Niebauer, president and CEO of Russell Country Federal Credit Union in Great Falls, Mont. Niebauer is the council representative for credit unions in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska.

“This is an excellent opportunity to reach out to a group of industry leaders and peers that are able and willing to help small credit unions,” said Donna Dyer, sales market manager for CUNA Mutual Group.

As part of the council’s October meeting at the CUNA Mutual Group campus, the 10 current council members conversed with CUNA Mutual Group CEO Jeff Post and other company leaders.

According to Niebauer, new and updated programs are available to give smaller credit unions affordable access to cutting-edge technology.

“Enhancements to CUNA Mutual Group’s MemberCONNECT® Program, under the new name ‘TruStage™,’ allow a small credit union to provide a package of protection to members with a more professional and family-friendly appeal,” he said. “CUNA Mutual Group’s mobile loan app is available to all credit unions and allows small credit unions to utilize the same technology available to larger financial institutions.”

Also touched on during the October meeting were economic trends impacting loan performance and consumer lending; the new TruStage™ direct-to-consumer brand that provides credit unions a means to help members anytime, anywhere from any device; and an update from Dave Colby, chief economist, regarding the slow economic recovery.

“CUNA Mutual Group leaders listen to concerns voiced by Select Council members,” Niebauer said, “and make every effort to provide the same product and service lines as are available to larger credit unions, demonstrating their commitment to helping small credit unions.”

To learn more about the council, for updates on past meetings, or to ask questions and voice concerns, credit union professionals in the Northwest are encouraged to contact Niebauer at or by calling 406.761.2880.


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Posted in Around the NW, CUNA, NWCUA.