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Leaders Must Serve with Courage, Former Ford CEO Says
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 6:35 AM

Monday’s Keynote Speaker Receives Standing Ovation

During Monday's general session at the 2015 World Credit Union Conference and America's Credit Union Conference, former Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally received a standing ovation for advising credit unions on the benefits of strong teamwork and leadership.

"I think working together really works. It's based on people deciding what their vision really is," said Mulally. "You [credit union] people have a really great vision. Also that relentless implementation plan of everybody knowing everything, everybody helping each other to turn the reds to yellows to greens. I think that you're going to create a lot of value around the world."

Based on Mulally's international success at Ford Motor Company, his words of wisdom on growing any business is to ensure to give the customer what they want. When you decide together to profitably grow the business, there is nothing better. If you agree that is what you are going to do as a company, then you are going to unleash all the talent.

Credit unions worldwide all face similar challenges. Despite these challenges, we see credit unions preserve, according to speaker Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO.

"Because we go back to our mission: we empower and we champion the common person," Branch told the general session audience.

One of the ways credit unions worldwide make strides with financial inclusion is by including more technology. "Consumers want to be able to do their financial transactions when and where they want. Convenience is king," Branch said.

When looking at the challenge of growing young adult membership, offering services online and on a mobile device is a must. The median age of credit unions in most countries is mid-to-late 40's, which is 10–15 years older than the median age of those countries. In 2014, World Council set a goal to reach 50 million new members by the year 2020. This goal is based on the fact that young members are the future of the industry.

Branch spoke of World Council's Vision 2020 with a promise, "We will reach 260 million members by 2020, and that is the work that we will all do together."

Branch finished his speech by sharing the positivity of credit unions changing lives. "You should be proud to be a part of the global credit union system."

Jim Nussle, Credit Union National Association president and CEO, also shared insights on advocacy, growing membership, and the future for credit unions.

"Our future, in my estimation, is not a place we are just going. To me, our future is one that we need to deliberately create," said Nussle as he left the crowd with an inspiring message on how our power to grow comes from advocacy.

Monday finished with a variety of breakout sessions that followed educational tracks on leadership, operations, young adult membership growth, advocacy, and emerging trends. Attendance was high in all breakout sessions and attendees learned valuable tools to take back to their credit unions.

The World Credit Union Conference and America's Credit Union Conference has welcomed more than 3,000 people from 61 countries at the Colorado Convention Center this week. The event runs from July 12-15. Follow conference activities, including daily event photos, on Facebook and Twitter with #CUinDenver2015.

About World Council of Credit Unions
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.