2015 Annual Conference Sessions


Conference Sessions

General Sessions

How Credit Unions Develop Communities
Cathie Mahon
Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, will highlight opportunities for credit unions to seize the moment and become significant actors in their communities by reaching untapped markets, aligning with community development organizations, working with state and local government and becoming an intrinsic part of the fabric of communities. With more than millions of Americans unbanked and underbanked, credit unions have an opportunity to not simply reach new potential members but to work together with the public, private and non-profit sector to rebuild and revitalize communities. Ms. Mahon will survey the tools, technology and capital available to credit unions to make a difference delivering financial products and services and expand their business in the process, doing well by doing good.

Changes in the Credit Union Business Model: How the Future of Credit Unions will Evolve in the Next 20 Years
Mark Sievewright
There’s a once-in-a-lifetime transformation underway in the U.S. financial services industry. It’s a transformation that will have a dramatic, long term impact on how credit unions do business, how they strategize about their futures and how they collaborate around products, services and information. Within this, consumers are redefining what it means to be empowered and connected through a growing array of electronic devices and applications. The world of payments is also evolving rapidly and moving beyond traditional means of payment. Additionally, new generations of consumers are bringing with them new channel and communications preferences, new thinking and new ways of doing business. This session will highlight the profound set of changes we can expect to see in financial services, the implications for credit union leaders and the strategies they must pursue so that their credit unions can remain relevant and become prevalent.

Economic Development in Phoenix
Patricia Garcia-Duarte, Robin Romano and Mark Van Brunt
Learn more about how credit unions are becoming central to economic development efforts in the City of Phoenix; and how this results in new members, more and larger lending opportunities and community presence and awareness. Robin Romano, CEO of MariSol Credit Union in Phoenix, moderates a panel whose organizations fosters housing, community facilities and business development. Patricia Garcia-Duarte, President and CEO of Trellis Phoenix has been helping working families in Maricopa County become financially stable homeowners for over 40 years. Ms. Garcia-Duarte will share how Boomerang Buyers, Millennials and thousands of other first time homebuyers have benefitted from pre-purchase education, counseling and services that Trellis Phoenix provides. Ms. Garcia-Duarte will be joined by Mark Van Brunt, COO of Raza Development Fund, the largest national Hispanic CDFI loan fund in the country, providing financing for hundreds of projects for low-income families in the areas of affordable housing, education and health care. Learn how these institutions have worked together to exponentially increase their value to economic development in Arizona.

Future of Community Credit Unions
Martin Eakes
Credit unions were formed to meet a critical gap in the market.  More than 80 years ago, Congress passed the Federal Credit Union Act to make credit available and promote thrift through a national system of non-profit, cooperative credit unions.   In a shifting US economy and financial services industry, the demand for responsible products delivered through cooperative structures has more appeal than ever.  Hear from one of our nation’s leading advocates for financial reform on how credit unions can and should promote their member-oriented approach to banking.

Rock Star Community Service
Kaitlyn Greenley
Featured in the 2014 Issue of Credit Union Magazine’s Rock Star Issue the ongoing story of Kaytlin Greenley and Coosa Valley Credit Union is one of community service and preaching the credit union difference.  Learn how Kaytlin helps her members achieve their financial goals while also continuing to achieve her professional goals thus becoming a true credit union rock star.

Today’s Economy and the Effect on your Credit Union
Bill Hampel
During this session Bill Hampel will help the audience understand how the global economy is impacting the U.S. economy. He will also discuss the trends for savings and loan activity and provide a review of credit union’s earning performance.  Bill will also analyze the current economy while giving credit unions some predictive measures for future trends in the industry.

Who Will Speak for Credit Unions?
Ryan Donovan
Politics is won by those who show up. The voices seeking to limit or eliminate credit unions are not diminishing. And, in the post-financial crisis world, the challenges facing credit unions seem ever increasing, never decreasing. Those who are invested in credit unions have the most to gain—or lose—through changes in public policy. Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer, will discuss the public policy issues affecting credit unions, the work that the credit union system is undertaking to improve the credit union charter and why it is more important now than ever for credit union executives, volunteers and members to be actively involved in credit union advocacy.

Your Community. Our Community. The Competitive Advantage.
Jeff Rendel
If you’ve seen one credit union – you’ve seen one credit union. It’s the same with your community. Yet, with the diversities of credit unions – sizes, markets, members, designations, economics, and more – one characteristic is identical: your commitment to your community enhances our community, our industry—and it is a competitive advantage. As we look to ways credit unions engage in their communities, we learn more than just the societal and business benefits; we recognize the influence that developing our distinct communities has in upholding the credit union philosophy, increasing members’ financial well-being and securing the increased market share that awaits each of our credit unions. Our shared message of credit unions is flourishing and full of potential, strengthened by the individual messages of your credit union, your community development and your service to your members. Perhaps now, when one sees your credit union, he or she sees a reflection of all credit unions.

Breakout Sessions

Approaches to Financial Counseling
Justine Zinkin and Mark Lynch
One-on-one financial counseling is one of the most effective means of building informed, successful members and borrowers. In this session you will learn how credit unions can structure financial counseling and measure and track results on the individual’s and the institution’s financial health.

Board Leadership and Strategic Succession – Successful Strategies from Credit Unions Like Yours
Jeff Rendel
Many credit union boards face the same challenge in board succession planning. How do we recruit potential board members, and how might these candidates better characterize the changing faces of our credit union’s membership?  The answer – and the assignment for current Boards over time – is to work to establish, recruit, nominate, and appoint credit union members who productively represent the demographics of your member base and possess the board-designed set of skills necessary for success.  This fresh add-on to board strategy helps your Board continue to speak for your members, and introduces innovative conventions that allow your board to grow with your credit union. Learn how credit unions of all sizes and markets successfully prepare for continuity and change with their boards.

Business Lending Within your Community
Dale Frankhouse Jr. and Tristram Coffin
Does your credit union lend to businesses?  If not, you may be missing out on an opportunity to build your balance sheet and your community.  As capital to small businesses contracted following the financial crisis, many credit unions discovered a key niche becoming an important source of capital to small and medium-sized businesses in local and regional markets.  Historically discouraged from making loans to businesses, more and more community credit unions are building the expertise to successfully lend to businesses, while filling a vital need in their communities.  Understanding the local market provides significant advantages to small businesses over national banks and high-cost online lenders.  Small business lending helps to grow a business; create and preserve jobs, make a business more energy efficient and improve cash flow.   Blake Myers will lead a discussion with two accomplished business lenders and instructors to dig in to the right approaches for credit unions to take in building out a business lending pipeline; analyzing and underwriting a business and its management, evaluating local and regional markets and opportunities, assessing cash-flow and monitoring the ongoing operations of the business.

CDFI Certification
John Bissell
Along with a Low Income Designation, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification is one of the most valuable tools in increasing your credit union’s capacity. Certification provides access to Technical Assistance Awards of up to $125,000 and Financial Assistance Awards of up to $2 million each year. Certification also helps credit unions attract capital from local public and private resources. Are you one of the 2,400 credit unions without CDFI certification that has 100% of its branches in CDFI investment areas? You’ll hear how Suncoast CU, Greylock FCU and other CDFI credit unions are leveraging their certification to grow in membership, lending and impact. Attend this session to learn if certification is right for you.

Developing an Engaged Board
Rory Rowland
A credit union board is a key ingredient to increasing an organization’s impact to it’s members and the community. Having the right people on the board is critical to the success of the organization. This session will explore the key ingredients to having an engaged board while not producing a group that micromanages the credit union’s operations.  Learn best practices for board engagement on a variety of topics including the credit union’s vision, strategic planning advocacy, and serving your membership and community.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Lisa Carver
Emotional intelligence is fast becoming a term commonly heard around board rooms and human resource departments. Simply defined, it’s the ability to know and understand your feelings and how they affect your actions. In the workplace, emotional intelligence helps you manage your moods and reactions to make you a more effective, productive and less stressed-out employee. Emotional Intelligence assessments and training are now being implemented in many credit unions including boards.  In this session you will learn the concepts and benefits while developing a strategy of implementation.

Establishing and Executing a Credit Union Foundation
Doug Olson and Alan Branson
More and more credit unions are establishing foundations to better help their membership and serve their communities.  Come to this breakout and hear from two credit union practitioners that have experience with the process. This session will focus on the process of setting up a foundation, establishing goals, best practices, and plenty of examples of how foundations can positively affect your community.

Immigrant Financial Inclusion
Winona Nava and Miriam de Dios
Immigrants are a vibrant, dynamic part of the US economy and present a tremendous, largely untapped market for credit unions. The Federation and Coopera have launched a national campaign to reach unbanked and underbanked immigrants with credit union products linked to immigration and legalization efforts. Credit unions, local governments, non-profits and the Citizenship and Immigration Services have met in New York, Texas, California and Florida. This joint effort is leading to the development of new products specifically designed for credit unions to help fund immigrant’s immediate needs while laying the groundwork for future financial well-being. Attend this session to learn how you can become part of this growing financial inclusion network and to better serve immigrants in your community.

Innovative Products and Strategies for the Underbanked
Paul Grinde and Steve Zuckerman
Credit unions have developed products and services that successfully meet the unique financial needs of these consumers. Safe and affordable small dollar loans have been particularly effective in providing an alternative to high-cost predatory lenders. Learn how innovative new products tested in credit union environments are helping low-income consumers build their credit scores, develop a cushion against future emergencies and accumulate savings.

Innovations in Payments
Ryan Zilker
Payment systems for credit unions are changing because the behavior of our members are changing, with an increasing emphasis on anytime, anywhere access to accounts and payment capabilities. This session will discuss the topics mobile and ecommerce that is shaping the future of payments. The session will also focus on how credit unions can use payments to expand their membership overall and help the underbanked community.

Loan Growth Strategies: Developing Partnerships within the Community
Stever Barbier and Judith Cowden
Community Development Credit Unions are experts at connecting with community partners to expand their outreach and better serve members. Though many credit union partnerships exist to provide support services to members or the community, there are partners that can help credit unions increase loan volume. This session will illustrate how a partnership with organizations that provide financial education, counseling, and home buying coaching can be a win for your credit union.

Managing Risk
Cindy Williams and Larry Fazio
Community credit unions specialize in lending to low- and moderate-income consumers. Our goal is to manage risk, not minimize it. An estimated fifty-six per cent of American consumers have sub-prime credit. Lending to credit challenged consumers, when properly managed, benefits both the credit union and consumers. Learn how community credit unions are successfully managing risk, allowing them to say “yes” to credit challenged consumers who might otherwise turn to payday and other fringe lenders.

Models for Collaboration
Sheilah MontgomerRichard Dines, Kent Hartzler and Mark Cummins
Collaboration benefits both large and small credit unions and our industry as a whole. Most often credit union partners are looking to benefit from each other’s expertise to reduce expenses or grow effectively. This session takes you beyond the philosophical discussion of the benefits of collaboration to the specifics of identifying shared solutions and finding a partner with complementary skills sets. Learn more about two new collaboration initiatives, rFaith Network and My Credit Union Mentor. This session will also feature the results of research undertaken by the Filene Institute showing the tremendous economic benefits that credit unions can gain when collaborating with other types of cooperatives. The study proves the business case for credit unions to build relationships with cooperatives that share with them a core set of principles.

Reaching the Subprime Lending Market – How to Make it a True Win-Win!
Sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group
We hear a lot these days about the subprime auto market (FICO score below 650) and how it has been growing in loan value in recent years. Almost $1.5 of every $10 in auto loans in the US is with subprime borrowers. 28% of new vehicle loans made in Q1 were to subprime borrowers. There is a lot of predatory lending going on, where subprime borrowers are paying 16-25% on auto loans – it’s like putting a car on a credit card. This session combines current auto buying trends with ideas on how credit unions can serve subprime borrowers better, while responsibly dealing with the additional risk. We will cover effective strategies for credit unions to reach this market including marketing approaches that really gets results.

The Future of Branches
Brian Porter
Many experts forecasted that credit unions branches could eventually become obsolete with the advances in technology and mobile banking. Reality is proving otherwise with many credit unions continuing to increase their physical presence in the community. This session will show the latest data on branch development, the latest innovations in branch design, and how trends will continue to shape credit unions’ branch strategies.

The Role Millennials Play in the Credit Union Movement
Holly Arter
The session will discuss the role millennials play in the credit union movement included what credit unions can do to fully embrace this generation. Learn techniques to attract millennials as members and create an internal atmosphere where this generation can succeed as employees.

Utilizing Social Media to Grow your Membership and Serve your Community
Jason Milesko and Ryan Bell
Social media is a hugely popular way of communicating today, and most of us interact with it on a regular basis. While the majority of us use social media for personal interactions, many credit unions are getting in on the act too. Social media represents an excellent way to connect with prospective members. This session will focus on social media techniques credit unions can utilize to grow their membership and serve the underserved community.

Writing Loans for the Credit Challenged
Randy Thompson and Cindy Williams
Serving underserved consumers and communities can prove challenging to credit unions of all sizes if they don’t understand the market or have the strategies in place to cover the expenses for the services they provide. This session is designed to help you develop a loan program that serves credit-challenged consumers that is sustainable because it is priced correctly and monitored appropriately. Learn the elements of a pricing strategy that goes beyond matching the rates of the competition, increases yield and is complaint in today’s regulatory environment.

Young Professionals: Making Real Impact in Credit Union Communities
James Marshall, Christopher Curry, Danielle Buscher, Rachel Barker
Following Crash the GAC 2015, the ‘Crashers’ were challenged to make real change and impact in their credit unions, states and communities based on what they learned in Washington D.C. Come and hear the story of how the 2015 GAC Crashers implemented what they learned at their credit union and how that made a difference; with tip, hints and takeaways for you to implement at your credit union.

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