The 2005 Chapter Leaders’ Retreat, hosted by the talented MCUL staff, again provided executives and volunteers a refreshing look at themselves and the future of the chapters they serve. Following closely on the heels of the MCUL Executive Summit, which lent itself to individual executive development and performance, the retreat switched gears just enough to focus on leadership success within our own communities.
The speakers were nothing less than engaging, with Jeffrey Cufaude challenging our awareness of our chapter’s leadership style and responsiveness to our action commitment. MCUL President/ CEO Dave Adams pleased everyone in his role of “salsa” judge on Friday night, hosting a saucy salsa-making competition, which brought out hidden talents of even the shyest participants. Dave was back to his role of information resource the following day, presenting e-scan statistics to an interested audience.
The retreat is a fantastic networking opportunity and never lets me down as a learning experience. The speakers and team atmosphere also help to refresh me for more chapter teamwork. I look forward to the variety of resources the MCUL offers each year to keep the content fresh and interesting.
Family Financial CU (MN)
How important is credit union unity?
Consider an ordinary phone book. Each individual page is typically made of one of the thinnest and most inexpensive grades of paper available, such that a small child could effortlessly shred it to atoms.
And yet, combine hundreds of those delicate pages into a single thick book, and no one — not even a steroid-enhanced pro athlete — could hope rend these pages in two.
Can’t the same be said of credit unions?
Of course, the metaphor is not perfect. Credit unions are hardly akin to flimsy sheets of low-grade paper, subject to destruction at the hands of a small child. But the point is valid and the cliché is true nevertheless — in unity there is strength. Single and alone, every credit union is vulnerable. Standing shoulder to shoulder, we are strong and secure, and a formidable force for consumers here in Michigan and across the country.
In this issue, we take a look at the critical choice that every Michigan credit union faces as the year draws to a close — whether or not to affiliate with the MCUL and CUNA.
Of course, Contact Magazine can scarcely claim disinterested objectivity on this question, but we think there are simple facts that make an unanswerable case for credit union unity and participation in the Credit Union System.
What are those facts? Well, to cite only a few, credit unions remain tax-exempt, not-for-profit financial cooperatives — despite the best efforts of a well-financed banking lobby to destroy that unique status. And, Michigan’s state-chartered credit unions are operating under a newly modernized Credit Union Act that has been described as the most progressive in the country and a benchmark for the other 49 states. And, a professional, high-profile cooperative advertising program is increasing public awareness of credit unions and what makes them different. And, of critical importance, Michigan credit unions are represented effectively and ably among regulators, lawmakers and the media.
No individual credit union can accomplish these types of things by itself. It took the combined resources of hundreds of credit unions, joining hands under the banner of the League and CUNA, to make them possible. And consider: Thanks to its wise financial stewardship, the MCUL has dues that are the lowest of any large league in the entire country.
In other words, if MCUL Membership vs. Disaffiliation were a landmark legal case, the verdict would be swift and unambiguous: MCUL membership and credit union unity aren’t just important, they are absolutely essential if credit unions are to continue to be successful and provide the American consumer with a choice in the financial services marketplace.
Our story begins on Page 14. And, to get one credit union CEO’s personal perspective on the important of MCUL membership, check out Randy Smith’s Outlook piece on Page 8.
We at Contact Magazine want to hear from you. Letters must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2005, to be considered for publication in our next (2nd Quarter) issue. We reserve the right to edit all letters for brevity and clarity and require that all letters include a signature, address and telephone number. Names may be withheld from publication only by mutual agreement of the writer and publisher under extraordinary circumstances. All letters published solely represent the views of the authors and are not necessarily the views of Contact Magazine or the MCUL.
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