Creating Influence
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Idea Institute: Access to Strategies and Unique Concepts for Credit Unions

Last week credit union leaders gathered at the 14th Idea Institute, this year in Greenville, SC. The Idea Institute is an intimate conference that puts credit unions in contact with industry practitioners – often those undertaking strategies outside the box – to provoke thinking, ideas and new ways of tackling the world of consumer and commercial finance. Sharing insight with the attendees were:

  • Steve Rick, CUNA Mutual’ s Senior Economist, with a comprehensive overview of what to anticipate in the economy and the likely impact on credit union net interest margins.
  • Brian Knollenberg, Vice President of Member Insights and Strategy for BECU, on leveraging data and technology for members.
  • Lisa Ginter, CEO of CommunityAmerica CU, on crafting a vision to differentiate from competitors.
  • Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Gov’t Empl. FCU, on outside-the-box ideas to push the boundaries of credit union structure, charter, offerings and services for members.
  • Tiffany Ford, CEO of University of Michigan CU, on adding growth culture to the metrics of credit union success.
  • Tony Budet, CEO of University FCU, on making a HUGE impact on the community and his credit union’s evolving story of how they change lives in Austin, Texas, and beyond.

The above speakers provided interesting context on their different areas of expertise, but unique about this conference is the personal interaction during the presentations by the credit unions themselves. Thought generation and idea sharing come from the dialogue with credit unions in attendance, and from sharing about best practices and efforts of those around the state (or how implementation of ideas has worked in their respective shops).

From an advocacy perspective, one of the points was on becoming a “policy influencer” – something Georgia credit unions work toward in their engagement of legislators locally, and hiking the Hill. If you are seeking avenues and ideas in this area, please let us know and we will be happy to share an advocacy strategy plan template as a resource to help grow the ability to influence policy collectively!

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