Credit Union Directors to Learn Effective Governance Model at Volunteers’ Conference

A governance model that could clarify credit union policies and help directors better understand their roles will be shared at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) Volunteers’ Conference June 7-9.

The Conference takes place at the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington.

Credit union industry consultant Steve Winninger will share the Policy Governance® model with attendees. Developed by Dr. John and Mariam Carver, the model identifies pitfalls that lead to frustration and ineffective performance, and outlines practices to eliminate them.

Winninger is a 35-year credit union industry veteran who started in the trenches and spent more than two decades in the corner office of a large credit union at which used the Policy Governance® model. He was trained at the Carver-sponsored academy to help credit unions implement the policy model, and since 2003 has helped financial institutions in America, Ireland and the UK to understand how it works.

“Some folks probably think this is complex and difficult, but it isn’t as difficult as they think,” said Winninger in a recent interview with Anthem. “I think the growing complexity of credit unions today and the focuses on board-level responsibility are things that suggest this model deserves a very serious look. It goes a long way to protect board members against charges they are not doing their jobs right.”

The “ah-ha” moment for directors could be when they see that the model clarifies “what needs to be done, and what does not need to be done” at the board level.

The concepts the model explores and develops include:

  • The differences between governance and management, and who is responsible for each.
  • Adequate and proper control, delegation and monitoring by the board.
  • Role clarity for directors, officers, CEOs and management staff.
  • Improved accountability.
  • Simplified policy development.

With regards to the latter, Winninger shared an example of a credit union board that was able to replace a five-inch-thick stack of rules with a clear and comprehensive, 40-page policy guide.

Directors, Winninger said, can be “well intentioned people watching what they think is important, but I believe they can be more effective, and their CEOs can too, if they have an integrated system.”

Conference attendees can attend a pre-session board succession planning course also offered by Winninger, and receive Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) certification credit from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Former CUNA Board Chair Harriet May will also present at the Volunteers’ Conference. Her training program will focus on directors’ responsibility to engage their credit union members in grassroots advocacy.

Special room rates are available for attendees. Registration is available online.


Questions? Contact Monica Titley: 206.340.4844,

Posted in Community Impact, CU4Kids, Events, NWCUA.