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Cornerstone CEO Ensweiler Responds to CUNA Notice of Changes
Monday, December 14, 2015 7:05 AM

By Dick Ensweiler, CEO/President Cornerstone Credit Union League

More than 80 years ago, the credit union leagues of America determined that we did not all need to create and staff Washington, DC, offices for the federal legislative and regulatory relations our members required. League officials gathered in Estes Park, Colorado, in 1934 and voted to create the Credit Union National Association. It would be owned by leagues and serve as their epicenter for advocacy, and all other areas of common interest where we would be more effective in unified positions, training, best practices, and information flow. In that joint relationship/structure leagues and CUNA have been a tremendous force as we have worked closely together on a plethora of issues facing the credit union movement. 

In 2014, CUNA-elected leadership decided to create a task force to take a new look at the close-knit structure that has served us so well. They met over the course of a year and concluded that our success going forward will be dependent on maintaining a tight relationship between leagues and CUNA. They developed several recommendations dealing with structure and governance, one of which was that the strength of our united commitment must continue. They also determined that this interdependence between CUNA and leagues can continue without credit unions mandatorily belonging to both organizations. 

The CUNA board deliberated on the task force recommendations and voted in September 2015 to keep the system intact as it has always been. Several leagues decided to take a different course, however, and will offer their credit unions the option of joining their league or CUNA, but preferably both. They committed to ever stronger interdependence and have pledged to do all they can to encourage their member credit unions to maintain dual affiliation. 

CUNA bylaws do not allow for that independence, and the association now finds itself in the position of accommodating several structures. At their meeting last week, the CUNA board decided to propose to their membership, at their next annual meeting, changes that reflect that position, to become effective beginning in 2017. 

The Cornerstone Credit Union League board is watching this emerging situation and will monitor the progress of CUNA’s membership vote. We will ensure immediate communications to you if and when changes to our current posture occur.