Credit Union Chapters: Cooperation in Action
Curious about credit union chapters and what they’ve been up to? We’ve highlighted a few of the ways Northwest chapters are impacting the credit union movement.
Chapters have always been, and will continue to be, the backbone of the credit union movement. In collaboration with your Association, chapters fulfill a dual role galvanizing credit union advocates and supporting community impact.
They embody the spirit of collaboration.
Today, Northwest Chapters are both a forum for teaching credit union operations and a means for publicizing the benefits of the movement in their respective areas. All chapter activities, whether they involve sharing best practices, educating credit union staff, or supporting the local community, are united by the common objective of fostering the regional growth of the credit union movement.
Guided by the pillars of Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Philosophy in Action, chapters in the Northwest continue to have a remarkable impact on the industry and the communities they serve. Here are a just a few of the ways that chapters in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington furthered the CU movement in the past year:
- The Evergreen Chapter held a panel discussion covering various continuing education opportunities for credit union employees, including Western CUNA Management School Credit Union Development Educator (DE) certification through the National Credit Union Foundation (Foundation), and the Northwest Credit Union Association—DDJ Myers Emerging Leaders program.
- The Willamette Chapter focused in on the topic of leadership styles and communications strategies through a presentation by Gay Wayman, Organizational Development Leader at Northwest Community Credit Union.
- Cybersecurity continues to be a hot topic and several chapters held informational events on the topic in 2017. Human trafficking was another topical issue addressed; the Kitsap Chapter brought credit unions together to view a webinar on the subject followed by tabletop discussions.
- The Willamette Chapter holds an annual BSA & Bacon training event, allowing credit union employees the opportunity to complete their annual required certification in a fun and tasty setting. Their 2018 training event is coming up on May 17th.
- One of the most important functions of regional chapters is to fuel grassroots advocacy. The Northwest Chapter in Portland held a Wonder Woman themed advocacy event where they combined a movie night with a call to action and informational session on advocacy with Troy Stang, NWCUA President & CEO, and Samantha Beeler, NWCUA AVP of Advocacy.
- Recognizing the importance of annual legislative days in our state capitols, the Kitsap Chapter put together an “advocacy survival kit” full of items to help prepare and sustain CU advocates for their big day hiking the hill in Olympia.
- The Spokane Chapter held a legislative roundtable luncheon, inviting local legislators and the NWCUA Governmental Affairs team to network with local credit unions.
Philosophy in Action
- The SW Idaho Chapter organizes an annual Financial Reality Fair, teaching 400-500 students in just 2 days. They are gearing up for their 2018 event, which will be held on April 10th and 11th.
- The Spokane Chapter brought together 20 Spokane-area credit unions to revitalize Crosswalk Teen Shelter in Spokane on the 2017 International Credit Union Day. Volunteers provided an entire day of service to the organization, ranging from cleaning and painting, to providing maintenance work for the organization. Area credit unions also donated more than $20,000 of goods and services to Crosswalk.
- The SW WA Chapter held a community day on the 2017 ICU Day, bringing together the CU’s of the chapter to clean up neighborhoods, and do garden work and painting through a Habitat for Humanity partnership.
- The Pocatello and Mt. Hood Chapters held volunteer events at their local food banks – bringing together dozens of credit union employees and their family members to help feed thousands of community members.
A robust schedule of events is already underway in 2018. Visit your Association’s Micro- communities calendar online for more information.
In addition to making a real impact on the credit union movement, chapters provide an opportunity for those who serve on the board to network with staff at neighboring credit unions and develop professionally.
Mt. Hood Chapter Board President Tiffany Pillars said, “Without a doubt, joining the Mt. Hood Chapter board was one of the best decisions I’ve made; it’s allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, by leaps and bounds! I am more confident, passionate, and engaged than ever before.” She added, “To those looking for an opportunity make a difference, engage with other credit union professionals, engage with your local legislators, and help propel the Credit Union Movement forward. Look to your local chapter and volunteer! I promise you won’t regret it.”
For Cheryl Moore, SW Idaho Chapter President, chapter service is simply an extension of credit unions’ people helping people philosophy. “I love being engaged with other credit unions at our chapter meetings,” Moore said.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about your local chapter and upcoming events, check out the NWCUA Chapters page. For questions about how to get involved, contact Carmen Vigil, NWCUA Director of Cooperative Momentum at [email protected]. Chapter leaders: sign up today for your annual opportunity to connect with our Chapter Leaders at the June 7th Micro-Communities Workshop: https://nwcua.org/event/micro-communities-workshop-cooperation-in-action/.