Credit Union Leaders from Across the Northwest Collaborate at [email protected]
Speakers focused on advocacy, acquiring bank assets, diversity, equity, and inclusion, cybersecurity, and other key industry topics.
Credit union leaders from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington gathered last week for [email protected], where they collaborated on key issues facing the credit union industry and heard from U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and James Risch, furthering credit union advocacy efforts.
The event, held at Sun Valley Resort in Idaho, Aug. 13-15, provided executives with the opportunity to build relationships with one another, collaborate, and learn from experts on a variety of timely topics. The Northwest Credit Union Association hosts the event at a different Northwest location each year, focusing on executive-level programming, while also providing an opportunity to network with colleagues.
Crapo and Risch shared remarks with the over 90 executives, expressing their appreciation for the partnership with credit unions and the unique role they play in local communities. Crapo currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Risch serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“It was an honor to host Senators Crapo and Risch, and hear them share in their own words the impact of credit unions here in the Northwest,” said NWCUA President and CEO, Troy Stang. “And it was an invaluable opportunity for credit union leaders to advocate face-to-face with two influential lawmakers. These in-person opportunities are what help propel credit unions priorities.”
Samantha Beeler, NWCUA VP of Advocacy, also brought the advocacy conversation into focus, providing information on how it can galvanize credit unions’ staff members and facilitate critical conversations that move the needle on legislation. She spoke to attendees about the role NWCUA plays in convening credit unions with lawmakers and the bottom-line benefits advocacy brings to the industry.
[email protected]2019 attendees also heard from several speakers, including author Lee Silber, a credit union advocate. Silber focused on the art of conversation, and how engaging with staff and members drives deeper relationships and better results.
Angela Russell, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with CUNA Mutual Group, spoke on the future of diversity, the differences between equality and equity, and shared how CUNA Mutual has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion in its own business strategies by launching several programs and integrating new policies, procedures, and practices. She told credit union leaders how they too may incorporate best practices to build stronger teams and memberships.
During a CEO-only breakout session, the group met with Stang to discuss the challenges they face, and they collaborated on solutions and shared best practices, providing a valuable opportunity for high-level, strategic discussion.
On the final day of the conference, executives heard from a panel of speakers that focused on the trend we’re seeing in the marketplace of purchasing bank assets. The session examined how best to approach the process, important factors to consider, and how to manage new-member onboarding.
Bill Anderson, Mid Oregon Credit Union’s President and CEO, Steve Ferber, Mid Oregon’s Director of Commercial Services, Charley McQueen with McQueen Financial Advisors, and Brian Witt from Farleigh Wada Witt, provided valuable insights and answered questions, while Michael Bell of Howard & Howard facilitated.
The session examined how credit unions can expand – organically and inorganically, and that inorganic growth, which can include the acquisition of bank assets, should be considered each year in a credit union’s overall budgeting strategy. When credit unions purchase bank assets, they gain equity and see a return on their investment in a shorter amount of time compared to other growth.
Attendees also got a deeper look into the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union initiative. Several executives expressed support for the regionally focused, consumer-facing campaign, and plans are under way to launch early next year.
“Excitement is building around this initiative, and it was wonderful to see so much interest, support, and commitment from credit union leaders during this conference,” said Danielle Sittu, NWCUA SVP of Marketing and Communications. “We deeply appreciate their support and engagement.”
The final day at [email protected]2019 also focused on cybersecurity with Scott Alldridge, CEO of IP Services. He challenged attendees to think about how their credit unions are prepared to respond to a threat and best practices to consider.
Next year’s event, [email protected], will take place at Sunriver Resort, near Bend, Oregon, Aug. 12-13. Credit union CEOs are encouraged to add the event to their calendars and bring other members of their executive teams.
The next, not-to-be-missed credit union networking event is MAXX 2019, the Annual Convention and Trade Show, to be held in Spokane, Oct. 15-17. Register online today and visit the website to learn more about this year’s future-focused programming.