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Cornerstone on CUNA and System Structure, ‘We Are Better Together’
Thursday, October 1, 2015 6:45 AM

Cornerstone Credit Union League leadership met with a CUNA board member and System and Structure Task Force member on Tuesday, Sept. 22 to review and discuss the actions by the CUNA board to maintain its ties to state or regional leagues through a joint membership structure.

Following more than an hour of conversations, Cornerstone, the nation’s largest regional credit union association, remains committed to dual membership. Maintaining the ties between credit unions, Cornerstone, and CUNA provides the best path forward for credit unions and their more than 100 million members in a united, cooperative, and collaborative credit union system with shared goals and strategic emphasis. “We want to express our appreciation for the task force’s efforts and their recommendation that CUNA enhance cooperation and interdependence with leagues in the delivery of advocacy for credit unions,” says Cornerstone President/CEO Richard L. Ensweiler.

“There has been a lot of conversation around optionality and choice in the credit union system recently,” continues Ensweiler. “Our team will continue to support CUNA’s leadership as it works with Cornerstone to affect greater effectiveness, efficiencies, and communication among system partners, while maintaining the existing system structure.

“Simply put, we are better together, and can speak with one voice on behalf of credit unions together,” continues Ensweiler. “This system remains the envy of associations across this country. By connecting a strong local or regional presence through an association like Cornerstone with operations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, with a national association focused on national legislative and regulatory advocacy, we can have a direct impact for credit unions in their communities and in Washington, D.C.

“Cornerstone’s efforts in three state legislatures in 2015 resulted in significant victories for credit unions, our work with local and national regulatory agencies bridged the gap between credit unions and their regulators while working to mitigate the regulatory burdens under which so many credit unions operate, and our efforts to affect growing awareness will make an impact for credit unions,” adds Ensweiler. “Each of these strategic initiatives is supported by our relationship with CUNA, which works every day with professional staff and expertise in legislative and regulatory advocacy to ensure a favorable political environment for credit unions both locally and nationally while protecting and preserving the political climate for credit unions.

“It’s clear to me that the depth and breadth of service in a strong, interdependent league/CUNA credit union system is unmatched,” concludes Ensweiler. “We will continue to work to ensure this message is shared and clearly articulated with credit unions. We think the fact that nine new affiliations or re-affiliations with Cornerstone and an NPS score exceeding 70 of Cornerstone by its credit unions during 2015 are clear indicators that Cornerstone credit unions agree.”

Also, during Cornerstone’s Sept. 22 board meeting, the board reviewed and approved the association’s strategic plan for 2016, a plan focused on ensuring a healthy and robust operating environment for credit unions in the Cornerstone region. The strategic plan’s objectives include enhancing member engagement, being financially viable, impacting leadership development for credit unions, enhancing the political environment of credit unions locally and nationally, protecting and preserving the political climate for credit unions, mitigating the regulatory burdens on credit unions, and affecting community and public awareness of credit unions.