Onsite: CUES Symposium 2015 Recap

I had the opportunity to spend the week at CUES Symposium 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I know, tough assignment for the first week of February. Some how we all manage through the 85 degrees heat and ocean breezes.

CUES Symposium brought together some 220+ credit union CEOs and board chairs. This conference is different in that for the CEO to attend the must bring their board chair. Sessions and activities focus on building and improving on this key relationship and developing the roles of each in their credit union.

Monday started with a welcome from CUES President/CEO, Chuck Fagan. You could see the discomfort of many CEOs and board chairs when Chuck presented the statistic that 50% of the workforce will be millennials by the year 2020. I may have even heard a “Kids these days” at my table. Chuck focused on the changing workplace and the need to modernize education in our credit unions. You can read more about how CUES is helping with this in Chuck’s latest Community article, “2020 Learning: Wherever, whenever and on the device you prefer.”

Jay Baer, marketing strategist and best selling author held a rousing general session on Youtility. Jay spoke about Facebook and social media and how every single member and nonmember’s Facebook feed is a combination of personal and commercial relationships. The focus of Jay’s presentation was to get the credit unions to stop trying to be amazing and start being useful. Doing this is what he calls “Youtility,” marketing so useful that people would pay for it. Jay gave examples of companies doing it right, Hilton Hotels, Clorox and even mentioned a couple credit unions (Elevations Credit Union and Idaho Central Credit Union).

The following three days had the attendees of CUES Symposium divided into three groups based on asset size of their credit union. The groups rotated by day through sessions presented by:

Richard Powers a senior lecturer from the Rotman School of Management and the CUES Governance Leadership Institute. Mr. Powers facilitated the session entitled “The Tone at the Top: Strong Ethics Make Strong Credit Unions.”

Sarah Robinson a business strategist, speaker and the author of Fierce Loyalty. Ms. Robinson led her session “Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Brand Communities.”

Doug Nielsen, CSP, MSW, LCSW, an author, performance interventionist, coach and psychotherapist. Mr. Nielsen’s session was titled “The Core Connected Leader: Unleashing Your Inner Power.”

All three sessions were interactive and involved many discussions between the CEOs and board chairs in attendance. There may have even been an guitar and singing that happened in one group.

CUES Symposium 2016 will take place next year at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa in Maui, Hawaii (my personal favorite place on earth). So mark January 31 – February 4, 2016 off your calendar, grab your board chair and plan on being in Maui.

Randall Smith

Randall Smith

Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust. As one of the co-founders of CUInsight he looks ... Web: www.CUInsight.com Details