CEO Update: Member voices are the only ones that matter

First off, thank you for your participation in industry-wide events and meetings, especially as they directly impact your ability to serve those who serve our country. As a member-based organization, the title of this article is self-evident. Trade associations, leagues, and other system partners will always have their own opinions. However, these opinions must be shaped by the views expressed by members themselves, or else you risk losing the members your organization is supposed to represent.

Last week, an important meeting took place outside of DCUC. The purpose of the meeting was to hear your views on proposed legislation that will directly impact both your credit union and the industry’s future. Once again, it was no surprise to DCUC that our members are passionate about certain issues and have no reservations in letting others know your position. DCUC repeatedly tried to warn industry leaders that pursuing this course of action and attempting to gain consensus for approval after the fact was ill-advised.

We are still amazed when industry partners fail to grasp the significance each DCUC member credit union has in representing the needs of your local military and veteran communities. Additionally, the collective voice defense credit unions have throughout the industry is often overlooked and underestimated. Yet, defense credit unions today make up a quarter of the industry and are collectively larger than the two largest leagues combined. This widespread influence is reflected by DCUC’s nationwide and international presence.

There is always a danger in speaking with only “one voice” to Congress and the Administration. Common sense and experience remind us how difficult it is to be all things to all people. The best move is always to state your intentions up front, listen to all stakeholders, seek consensus on a path forward, decide, and then (and only then) execute a plan of action. It never works well in reverse, which last week’s meeting demonstrated with respect to opening the Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA) for the benefit of a single credit union.


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