Having an Impact: Does Committee Service Really Matter?

Does serving on a Northwest Credit Union Association committee or task force really make a difference?

“When others ask me why they should participate on the Oregon Governmental Affairs Committee, they often say that politics just isn’t their thing,” says Scott Burgess, president and CEO of Rivermark Community Credit Union. “But I suggest that it’s not whether politics is your thing. It’s whether protecting your business and industry is.”

With the NWCUA announcing its committee rosters for 2014 this week, Anthem asked Burgess to reflect on the Oregon GAC’s accomplishments in 2013 and look forward to the coming year, when he’ll return as its co-chair.


The Oregon GAC accomplished a lot in 2013, Burgess says:

  • Last year, we successfully passed our update to the State Credit Union Act. While there were several technical changes to the Act, it’s important that we remain vigilant in our review of state law, ensuring that state-chartered credit unions have laws that enable them to best serve their members in this ever-changing financial services environment.
  • We also worked closely with Association leadership and key members of the House and Senate to kill banker-introduced credit union tax bills.
  • The committee also showed great leadership in the advocacy and promotion of “Don’t Tax My Credit Union!”
  • We also worked throughout the year to build strong relationships with our legislators in Salem. It’s an ongoing process of education, messaging and building a comfort level with our lawmakers so that, should issues arise, they are comfortable and confident coming to us.

Objectives for Next Year

“I believe we’ll have a few primary objectives in 2014,” Burgess says.

  • Most notably, it will be critical that all of our credit union leaders across the state work hard to establish strong relationships with legislators in their various districts. Developing that political capital is not dissimilar to growing credit union capital. Both buffer against risk.
  • Another key objective for next year will be to begin developing our 2015 legislative agenda. With a short session in 2014, we’ll want to get started early in the year on this, and our Association has already asked all credit union leaders across the state to evaluate their operational needs as it relates to state law.
  • From a federal perspective, protecting our tax status will continue to be crucial, and it will be “all hands on deck” as tax reform gains traction on Capitol Hill.

Find more information about the NWCUA’s 2014 committees, including their official charges and final rosters, on the Association’s website.


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

Posted in NWCUA.