CU Planet Blog to Tell the Credit Union Story; Journey Starts in Northwest

Rogue Credit Union CEO Gene Pelham discusses community impact with CU Planet founder and publisher Carlos Rodriguez.

The only thing better than telling your own credit union’s story may be getting a passionate credit union professional and multimedia journalist to tell it for you. That would be other-worldly.

Carlos Rodriguez hopes to take credit union storytelling to a higher stratosphere.

Rodriguez is chasing his dream with a backpack, a high-def video camera and a talent for capturing collaboration between people and credit unions. As founder and publisher of the CU Planet blog, he experienced several “starts and stops” before figuring out the blog’s future as a multimedia site. It officially launched Oct. 17—International Credit Union Day—with a mission to tell the stories “about people who imagine a better world and believe in the power of working together to improve their lives.”

For Rodriguez, the passion comes from his personal desire to eliminate poverty, something he believes credit unions can accomplish.

“I think we can use the power of cooperation to build a better world,” he says. “I think when credit unions are truly working together, with the members’ best interests in mind, and you allow your mission to drive you, then we can do amazing things.”

Rodriguez briefly worked as a journalist in the U.S. Army Reserve before beginning his credit union career in 2001. His career included stints at four California credit unions—most recently at Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, where he served as marketing manager before striking out on his own to start CU Planet.

The inaugural edition includes a video story showcasing Seattle’s Verity Credit Union and the Verity Mom blog, as well as a video report about a partnership between a Vancouver, B.C., credit union and local governments to convert 2010 Winter Olympics dormitories into modern condominiums.

Also posted on the site are three blog posts or video stories from the Northwest credit union community. Rodriguez conducted interviews during the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Amplify Convention in Portland earlier this month. Those reports include:

  • A profile of Rogue Credit Union’s local impact in Medford. “Credit unions earn their tax exemption every day,” CEO Gene Pelham told Rodriguez in his on-camera interview.
  • An interview with NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang about strategic philanthropy and how the Northwest Credit Union Foundation will drive asset building, economic empowerment and cooperative development; and
  • A report about collaboration between Connection, Kitsap, and Peninsula credit unions to help members cope with the impact of the federal government’s sequestration earlier this year.

For now, Rodriguez is operating as a “one-man band”—gathering and shooting video, writing, and editing all of the content for his site. CU Planet currently includes an option allowing credit unions to upload their own stories and photos, and Rodriguez hopes to add more storytellers in the future.

“Ultimately, I hope to turn this into a cooperative,” Rodriguez says.

 

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

Posted in Article Post.