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CEOs Place High Value on Southwest CUNA Management School
Friday, May 29, 2015 6:20 AM

Are you considering the Southwest CUNA Management School? If not, maybe you ought to. When evaluating how valuable a training program might be, you have only to go to the previous graduates or the people who most benefit from the training—or both.

Southwest CUNA Management School (SCMS), the three-year educational program designed to develop and enhance leadership skills for credit union professionals, provides an exceptional forum for networking with other credit union professionals; access to top industry experts; and the opportunity to ignite an inner passion and vision for personal and professional growth.

But that's probably just a marketing spiel, right? Or is it? We asked some formidable CEOs who have been through the program how they regard the experience for themselves and for their staff.

AMOCO Federal Credit Union CEO Shawn M. Bailey says his credit union believes strongly that SCMS is a great resource for the leadership development of its current and future managers. The credit union has nine former graduates (three Award of Excellence and three Honors graduates), and currently three employees in the program. 

"I find the program benefits those employees who have excelled in their functional area but need more exposure to the broader aspects of managing a credit union," Bailey says. "When our employees complete SCMS, they definitely have a greater appreciation for what it takes to manage a credit union. They evolve from playing checkers (loan decision-making, opening accounts, etc.) to being chess players (ALM, strategic planning, etc.). They no longer see the credit union through black and white, two-dimensional lenses. Instead, they begin to see the credit union in three-dimensional layers with many moving parts and intricacies."

"This type of growth and development," Bailey continues, "is invaluable and essential for our employees and credit union to remain competitive in today’s landscape. Consequently, completion of SCMS is a minimal expectation for any of our employees aspiring/selected to our vice president and executive level positions."

Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union CEO James Boyd agrees that when hiring or promoting from within—all other things being equal—a person with SCMS credentials would have an advantage over other candidates. "SCMS helps a person understand the big picture," he says. "And it builds relationships that will last your entire career."

Caprock Credit Union CEO Dale Hansard, Jr. is an SCMS graduate, and he's sent a number of his staff members through the program—two there this year. "As I now work with fellow graduates," he says, "certain decisions and methods are agreed upon and put into motion with less effort and difficulty. I realize the synergy among the graduates in our credit union and our community." 

Hansard says he's always happy proud to brag on SCMS. "It is a terrific measure of a person’s commitment to the credit union movement and to self-actualization," he says. "In a way, there is a certain kind of magic that happens at SCMS."

That doesn't sound like "just a marketing spiel" to us. If you want to increase your clout and leverage your career prospects, consider enrolling in SCMS.

Enrollment for the 2015 SCMS Summer Session (July 12-22) ends soon. Act now to join the excitement. Prospective students should visit for additional information.

If you have any questions, please contact Janine McBee at (469) 385-6634 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6634.