Small Credit Unions Focused on Learning, Networking, and Brainstorming at Spring Roundtable


Small credit union professionals gathered in Portland recently to share stories, discuss succession planning, explore low-cost technology strategies, and more. The group also learned how a rebrand helped rejuvenate Trailhead Credit Union.

Small credit union professionals embraced a full day of learning, networking, and brainstorming at the Spring Small Credit Union Roundtable meeting held May 8 at Trailhead Credit Union in downtown Portland. Nearly 40 credit union leaders and executives gathered to share their thoughts and ideas on important information and  issues from the small credit union perspective. As a sponsor and partner of the event, CUNA Mutual Group hosted a pre-event social hour on May 7. 

As small business leaders, these credit union executives wear many hats and it can be difficult to step away, which is why we try to pack as much content, discussion, and networking as possible into the day,” said Northwest Credit Union Association Director of Cooperative Momentum, Carmen Vigil. “These events are successful because of the energy and enthusiasm brought by the attendees, and this event was one of our best yet.” 

The Spring Roundtable kicked off with a storytelling session in which participants shared stories of how their credit union provided exceptional member service experiences. A roundtable discussion followed, with succession planning, recruiting, and staff development emerging as hot topics. 

Over lunch, Providence Federal Credit Union Chief Operations OfficerBrett Wooden, shared insights into how credit unions can implement cuttingedge technologies on shoestring budgets and inspired the group to think differently about their attitudes and strategies surrounding technology.  

“Small Credit Unions can live in the environment as a startup,” said Wooden. “They’ve got individuals that do multiple things in multiple departments which allows them to launch faster with technology.” 

In the afternoon, Northwest Credit Union Foundation Executive Director, Sharee Adkins, explained how using the Community Impact Reporting Tool will help credit unions tell the collective story of their impacts throughout the Northwest. 

The event wrapped up with remarks from Trailhead Credit Union President and CEO, Jim McCarthy, who shared how a brand overhaul rejuvenated the credit union and led the group on a field trip to the credit union’s Mississippi Avenue branch. The branch features Trailhead’s trendy quintessential branding throughout and was a key component of Trailhead’s growth strategy. 

The next Small Credit Union Roundtable will take place on Aug. 21. Participants can attend in-person at an NWCUA office or remotely via Zoom video conferencing technology.  

At this event, roundtable topics will be scheduled at specific times, allowing credit unions to bring in department leaders and staff for the portion of the meeting that specifically applies to them. For more information and to register for the Aug. 21 meeting, visit the  Small Credit Union Resources page. The next event following this will be the Small Credit Union Roundtable at MAXX, taking place as a pre-conference event on Oct. 15.

For more information on small credit union programs, resources, or opportunities, contact  Carmen Vigil, Director, Cooperative Momentum and Small Credit Union Champion. 

Posted in Article Post.