Stang says NWCUA Will Focus On Policy Advancement, Public Awareness and Collective Action; Tells Annual Business Meeting That ‘Market Share Matters’

“Market share matters.”

That’s the message that Troy Stang brought to the annual business meeting of the Northwest Credit Union Association on Tuesday, when the NWCUA kicked off its annual Amplify Convention in Portland.

Stang, the Association’s president and CEO, shared his vision of a world in which credit unions are so relevant to consumers that they have “at least a majority share” of the financial services market. He said he measured that market share in terms of members, assets, loans and deposits, and community impact. “And I measure it,” he said, “in terms of providing real, tangible value to consumers.”

“I see a world,” Stang said, “where credit unions deliver so much tangible value that their members and their members’ families and businesses can’t prosper without their credit union. And I see a world where credit unions are so deeply woven into the fabric of Northwest communities that those communities couldn’t exist without them.”

To create that world, Stang said, the Association will focus on three specific areas in 2014: policy advancement through effective advocacy; public awareness of the structure, value and impact of credit unions; and collective action by credit unions to build trusted communities, control competitive costs and broaden their sphere of influence.

The common thread in all three areas, Stang said, is making sure that lawmakers, regulators and the general public understand that credit unions are actually more than just a part of the fabric of their communities.

“They are,” he said, “the heartbeat of those communities.”

The NWCUA will work tirelessly, Stang said, to make sure that every elected official is able to articulate the structure, value and impact of credit unions. He said the Association’s advocacy team will continue to enhance and grow its influence in Olympia, Salem and Washington, D.C., and that the Association will continue to play an active role in the electoral process.

“I see a world,” Stang said, “where no citizen would consider running for political office until they secured credit union support.”

He also envisions a time, he said, when regulators are more concerned about the relevancy of a credit union than its insolvency. The NWCUA will continue to demand that “lawmakers, rule makers, regulators and judges understand how a promulgated rule impacts the consumer. Only then,” Stang said, “can credit unions truly focus on their members.”

Stang challenged credit unions to do a better job of telling their story – “and not just when the story is about the tax battle or the latest attack by the bank lobby, but when the story is about keeping money in the wallets of every consumer.”

“Stories about people, not profits. That is what you do best,” he said, “and those stories need to be told. I see a world where no journalist works on a story about personal finance or small business without quoting credit unions.”

To make that happen, Stang said, credit unions need to come together as a cooperative community — through Strategic Link and its partners, for example — to evaluate emerging trends and implement innovations that create interest in the media and value for consumers.

Another example of that collaboration, he said, is the work of the Northwest Credit Union Foundation, which is expanding its vision beyond traditional scholarships and grants to enhance the impact of community projects across the region.

It’s a vision that matches Stang’s view of the world he foresees, a world he said the NWCUA is committed to embracing.

“It’s a vision intended to guide us through significant influence to a world where a progressive charter and an evolutionary credit union operating environment exists. That will allow us to drive real, tangible value to the members you serve each and every day,” he told the annual meeting. “And ultimately, that will allow us to drive significant market share.”

“Because market share matters.”

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in NWCUA.