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Convention & Expo: Wrapping Up Day 2 & 3

On Tuesday, October 22, credit union leaders gathered for a group breakfast during the Missouri Credit Union Association’s (MCUA) Convention & Expo featuring the Annual Business Meeting.

Steve Rick, chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group, hosted the first session of the day. Rick gave a detailed recap of the economy and forecasted what credit unions can expect in 2015. He projected that the U.S. will experience economic growth at a rate of 3.5%. His reasoning was based on the following factors:

  • Housing market recovery (25%)
  • Rising home prices (5-6%)
  • Rising auto manufacturing (16.5 million units)
  • Rising business investment spending
  • Strong energy sector
  • Strong medical care sector
  • Easing credit conditions
  • Rising consumer confidence
  • End of deleveraging
  • Less imported oil 

Next up, Celeste Cook, of CU Strategies, spoke of the importance of telling your credit union’s story and key leadership strategies for growth, profitability and retention. 

She asked credit union leaders to train their staff to engage with members and nonmembers in the “right” conversations. She noted it’s not about listing all the great things credit unions do in general—it’s about making credit unions relevant to each consumer, whether they’re a member or nonmember. Specifically, staff should try to find a need and explain how their credit unions can fill it.  

“Your employees need to be passionate about credit unions and the difference they make in people's lives,” says Cook.

Cook would lead two breakout sessions later that day—"Winning with Auto Lending" and "Lending Best Practices."

Other breakout sessions included:

  • "2014 Elections & Credit Union Advocacy" - Missouri Senator Paul LeVota, Amy McLard, David Kent & John McKechnie
  • "10 Disciplines for Exceptionally Strategic Credit Unions" - Jeff Rendel
  • "Risk-Based Capital & Other Legislative/Regulatory Advocacy Hot Topics" - Amy McLard, John Thomas & John McKechnie
  • "Digital Strategy: Making a Good Impression Online" - Nora Holloway

Day two concluded with a reception in the Exhibit Hall.

The last day of the event, October 23, kicked off with an awards breakfast. Winners are listed here. A special presentation was made for the 2014 Honor Roll recipient, Charlie DiMercurio. DiMercurio worked for Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union as an executive in human resources, and he has served as a volunteer for the credit union for more than 46 years.

Next up, Trey Hawkins, of vice president of political affairs at CUNA, spoke on CUNA MAP (Member Activation Program). The MAP study surveyed 70,000 members over the course of a year. Two credit unions, CommunityAmerica Credit Union (Kansas City) and University FCU (Austin, Texas), tested most effective methods in activating members to take grassroots action and if this caused in negative effects on the members’ relationship with the credit union. The study found that members who received advocacy outreach from their credit unions have a stronger bond with those institutions, with about 82% of members ready to do more business with their credit union after exposure to advocacy messaging.

After a brief break, credit union delegates and representatives filed into the Annual Business Meeting. The MCUA Board swore in four new directors and performed general housekeeping, such as approving board minutes and recognizing guests.

However, voting on the new dues formula was the highlight of the meeting. The new dues formula, which passed with overwhelming support, is based on CUNA’s square root formula and reduce dues for a number of credit unions in Missouri.

The final speaker of the day, Josh Sundquist, inspired the audience to relate to their members and nonmembers through stories. 

“People forget facts, but they remember stories,” says Sundquist. He drove the point home sharing his own personal stories surviving cancer and facing unique challenges as a leg amputee—at 9 years old he was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer and given a 50% chance to live. Four years later, doctors announced he was cured.

While his stories included serious challenges, Sundquist spoke with humor and left attendees with a lasting, positive impression. 

Caption (first): Steve Rick, CUNA chief economist, predicts future economic growth. 

Caption (second): Celeste Cook explains the importance of training credit union staffers to relate to members and potential members. 

Caption (third): Charlie DiMercurio was surprised to learn he won the Honor Roll Award for 2014. He is pictured with his fellow board members. 

Caption (fourth): The MCUA Board of Directors are sworn in. 

Caption (fifth): Josh Sundquist entertains the audience with a humorous story.