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CUNA Task Force Preliminary Findings Focused on Advocacy, Choice
Friday, May 8, 2015 6:40 AM

Credit Union National Association's System Structure and Governance Task Force preliminary findings show that credit unions want better advocacy and more choice from their trade association.

The Task Force, a 12-member group made up of credit union CEOs, state league presidents, a volunteer at a credit union, and a CEO who represents a credit union not affiliated with CUNA, was appointed in September 2014 to study CUNA's structure and governance and make recommendations to the association's board of directors. The group commissioned several focus groups and a nationwide survey of credit unions to gather credit union feedback.

The Task Force presented its preliminary findings for discussion, led by Chairman Tom Dorety of Suncoast Credit Union, to the CUNA board, the National Credit Union Roundtable and league presidents this week in Denver. The Task Force is seeking a solution that will give credit unions an element of choice in how they belong to and interact with the system without harming the advocacy strength that comes from a unified, accountable system. In its work, the Task Force is considering how to meet of the needs of the credit union system as it evolves over the next decade.

"Several preliminary ideas were put forward for discussion and received positive feedback," CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle said. "The focus was on how our trade association can facilitate superior advocacy throughout the credit union system while giving more choice on how to join the organization. I'm pleased that credit unions nationwide are working to help us build a better and stronger advocacy organization."

The discussion items included:

  • Introduce some choice on how dues are allocated among three areas: the national organization, the state leagues, and a System Advocacy Fund;
  • Form a cooperative agreement between CUNA and the leagues to institutionalize accountability;
  • Dedicate all dues to fund advocacy; and
  • Establish a strong interdependence and unity between the state leagues and the national organization, to be united under the America's Credit Unions banner.

The Task Force's next steps are considering the feedback it received from the CUNA board, the National Credit Union Roundtable, and league presidents at its next meeting to revise and refine its recommendations with the goal of producing a report to the CUNA board. The board will likely vote on these proposals later this year.

"Much was discussed and everything is on the table," said Nussle. "There is no doubt in my mind that the leagues and CUNA are stronger together and deliver more jointly by creating powerful synergies to advance credit union advocacy. These discussions will continue and we look forward to continuing to engage with the credit union system on these issues before they are presented to the board later this year."