President’s Vision a Call to Action for CU Professionals to ‘Connect & Influence’
October 14, 2016
For NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang, the Northwest Credit Union Movement’s 2017 and beyond agenda was punctuated by a trip to the Apple Store.
Taking a broken iPad for repair, he met an Apple employee named Michael. The two quickly began talking about Stang’s line of work, with Michael expressing confusion about credit unions.
“What do credit unions do? Are they like banks,” Michael said.
“That’s when the light bulb went off for me,” Stang said. “The Michaels of the world don’t get our lingo. The Michaels of the Northwest are both our challenge and our opportunity.”
How to reach them is a critical mission, he said, while referencing the need to keep in mind credit unions’ past.
“It was rewarding to hear (CUNA President and CEO) Jim Nussle on this stage last year, calling credit unions the original disruptors,” Stang said. “The charter was embraced in this nation to shake up the banking industry; to provide an alternative to the for-profit Wall Street model.”
That model has been tested in recent years, both by economic trends and the speed at which change is happening. Stang asked that attendees not shy away from this change, but to “lean in and invite it,” and by sharing both the stories of their work, and hard data on their impact, with legislators and regulators.
To aid in that effort, Stang noted that Northwest credit unions will soon have updated economic and community impact data to better articulate the Credit Union Difference, showing just how different they are than for-profit Wall Street banks.
“That data is critical to point to when you’re out in the field, advancing public policy,” he said.
75% market share by 2025
More than espousing how credit unions are different than banks, Stang noted a tall order for those in attendance, and their 15,000 credit union staff: capturing 75 percent of market share by 2025.
“I recognize it’s a tall order, but collectively, I believe it’s a goal we can reach,” he said.
By equipping and connecting credit union leaders and staff, but also those the members they serve, with the ability and desire to advocate for credit unions, Stang noted that credit unions can continue to expand their influence and drive change in hyper-local advocacy efforts, MAXXimizing their influence across the board.
Bringing credit union advocacy to local entities and points of contact, such as school boards, chambers of commerce, city councils and similar groups, Stang said the Credit Union Difference can take hold for more people, enabling them to become “fierce ambassadors” of credit unions in their communities.
Stang pointed to the recent Presidential primary, where 26 million Americans voted for Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
“Each of those campaigns was fueled by a multitude of issues,” he said. “But at the heart of both? Consumer sentiment, and a desire for the voice of the consumer to be heard,” calling it real market potential for credit unions.
Stang ended by asking those in attendance to find their own Michaels, and create their own case studies.
“Every one of us has a hand in the future success as a Movement,” he said. “Every day when we interact with members, we have the chance to ignite and inspire them to become ambassadors.”