CUNA Chairwoman Streifel and NWCUA President & CEO Stang Highlight 360° Advocacy at Spokane Chapter

The Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions was treated to a tour de force presentation on the 360-degree advocacy strategy of the credit union system at their Thursday meeting. The credit union system-wide strategy integrates local and national efforts for maximum advocacy impact.

The key elements of 360-degree advocacy include:

  • Advocating in Washington, DC and all 50 states;
  • Mobilizing grassroots advocates to influence policy makers;
  • Fighting regulatory burden;
  • Asserting credit union interests in the courts;
  • Supporting credit-union-friendly political candidates;
  • Delivering compliance support and resources to ease burden; and
  • Providing a presence on Capitol Hill through Credit Union House.

CUNA Chairwoman Susan Streifel, who also serves as President and CEO of Woodstone Credit Union, and NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang, who serves on the CUNA Board of Directors, tag-teamed a joint presentation that showed how 360-degree advocacy combines with efforts in expanding public awareness and fostering service excellence to create a national-local trade association agenda that will move the industry forward for years to come.

“From my office in Federal Way to my visits with policy makers at home and in Washington, DC, to my seat in the CUNA Boardroom, I have seen the power of real people stepping up as advocates for not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions,” said Streifel. “The 360-degree strategy of CUNA, the leagues, and the credit union system is the most powerful advocacy structure I have ever seen. But it’s going to take us—credit union leaders, employees, members, and advocates—to add our personal voices, experiences, and ideas to give that structure the power it needs to make a difference. We are the source of advocacy power. And to make the progress we all need, it’s going to take all of us to add our voices to protect and promote the mission of credit unions.”

Central to their message was that the power of the credit union advocacy system depends on credit union people stepping up and adding their voices to the call.

“Engagement is the rocket fuel of the 360-degree strategy,” said Stang. “The local-to-national advocacy structure of the credit union system is the envy of the advocacy world. But the muscle on that skeleton depends on people. Imagine the strength of that advocacy system when all 166 Northwest credit union CEOs and all 15,000 employees use their voices to reach policy makers directly and to rally their 5.2 million members. That kind of power will make forward-looking, lasting change for every credit union.”

The Spokane Chapter, which accepted the LEAP Award for exemplary engagement in the four pillars of chapter success—Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Philosophy in Action—was held up as a picture  of credit union engagement.

The chapter sponsored nine advocates at this year’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol in Olympia, $20,000 at their annual golf tournament to benefit CULAF and Credit Unions for Kids, and had a chapter-wide volunteer event to support Habitat for Humanity, among other contributions to the movement.

“The Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions is a shining example of the influence and power, both locally and nationally, that credit union people have when they rally together behind the common vision of not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions,” said Stang.

As if to prove his point, the Spokane Chapter presented two significant checks at the meeting. They presented a check for $20,000, which included a $7,500 match from CO-OP Financial Services, to Credit Unions for Kids. And they presented a check for $6,131 to CULAF, which helps elect credit union champions to state office.

As further evidence of the influence of Spokane credit union engagement, Stang pointed out that NWCUA Board Chair Jack Fallis hails from the Spokane region, where he serves as President and CEO of Global Credit Union, as does Debie Keesee, CEO of Spokane Media Federal Credit Union, who served as last year’s NWCUA Chair.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA, NWCUA.