What a whirlwind adventure! This week was my first CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. For those who attended either this year or have in the past, you know what is involved. To anyone in the industry who has not…2016 will be here before you know it. So register now.
Seriously. If you’re a vendor, here’s an opportunity to meet more influential representatives of credit unions than you could ever reach otherwise. For staff of CUs, this is how you grasp what it truly means to work for a co-op. Mingle with others who quickly become friends and share how to make your institution ever-better. Management: Find your companions in credit unions large and small. Exchange a knowing conversation on how each strives to improve their respective communities.
And did I mention you are in DC? Yep. That’s the G of the conference. Like any respectable interest, you must lobby your representatives to fight for your cause. Unfortunately, this is Congress, not the United Federation of Planets. Money and power are king here, and for a group consisting of not-for-profits, the former is a challenge. So, show your collective influence. Make them understand how you fight for your members, not a group of shareholders.
At the beginning of the conference, I met a gentleman who was a Board Member Emeritus of his credit union. His term? Over 50 years, with no financial compensation. He does it for the love of the cause. He sees the good that comes of the credit union, adds what he can to keep it growing. With a genuine desire to help others and a heart of gold (he won a drawing and offered me half the winnings…would you do that?), it’s people like him that represent what makes credit unions different.
There is so much more to say, and other learning experiences to share, so keep an eye out for future posts about the conference. If you want analysis of issues or lobbying results, read elsewhere. I’ll be looking to the human interests, the tales that collectively tell the story of Credit Unions.
Also, tomorrow is Pi Day, when geeks everywhere celebrate a fundamental value of our universe. Like circles? You like Pi. Everyone loves Pi! However, this isn’t just another 3/14. This Pi Day comes once a century. Pi begins 3.1415926. So, on 3/14/15 at 9:26 PM, we’re having a party. One that won’t be repeated for another hundred years.
The only issue? Sweet or savory?
(That’s a dumb question. The answer is obviously “both!”)