To reflect the Cornerstone League’s strategic plan and long- and short-term goals, the organization is putting a new structure in place. Many of the changes are in anticipation of longtime EVP, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer Karen Hart’s retirement in April.
“We used a sophisticated approach, known as organizational physics, to introduce a little productive tension,” said Cornerstone League President/CEO Caroline Willard. “In other words, we determined that some functions needed to report to different executives to provide checks and balances.”
Willard explained that one example is sales and marketing. “If you put marketing under sales, marketing can become a sales fulfillment role rather than serving the entire organization.” This idea is reflected in the new structure.
One piece of the strategic plan is fulfilled by Jim Phelps, who serves as EVP/chief advocacy officer. In this role, Phelps takes on a number of Hart’s responsibilities and oversees the League’s value proposition, branding, and affiliation. Areas reporting to Phelps include advocacy operations, the Cornerstone Foundation, and credit union engagement
Willard added that there is alignment and synergy between what advocacy does and what the Foundation does. “So much of what we do is lifting up our credit unions and their communities, and this equips us with really good stories when we go out and talk with our legislators.”
Another part of the new structure includes the hiring of a new EVP/chief revenue officer. This position will oversee sales and Cornerstone Resources, including audit and consulting, executive search and professional recruiting, information security, compliance & consulting, risk management and compliance, and shared branching.
A newly created function—Strategic Development—adds another piece of the strategic plan. Led by SVP of Strategic Development Jeff Phillipich, this area will design and develop the overall organizational strategy and focus on long-range planning for the League and Resources. It includes research, marketing and communications, partnership management, and development.
“These changes help us align our organization with our strategic plan,” said Willard. “We’ve also made our structure scalable, allowing for more growth opportunities for staff and increased transparency.”