This story is the latest installment in Credit Union Journal’s ongoing special report on strategic planning, which will run throughout the month of July.

From thinking about succession planning to reviewing technology, credit unions will have a lot to discuss during their upcoming strategic planning sessions. The Credit Union Journal asked executives from across the country what they would focus on during their strategic planning session and why.

The following are their edited responses.
Ricky Otey - Cropped.jpg
Ricky Otey, chief operating officer of Sharonview Federal Credit Union in Fort Mill, S.C.
As we continue to experience growth in our membership and potentially expand our footprint, we recognize the need to have the technology and infrastructure in place to support this growth. Part of that infrastructure includes investing in our most important asset – our people – through expanding our training and providing growth opportunities.

Additionally, Sharonview will continue its focus on operational excellence – making the things we do well even better and refining the areas where we need to grow and improve. In line with this philosophy, we are also focusing on our digital platforms and are investing in technology to better serve our members and ensure we are giving them the experience they prefer. Whether it is via mobile banking, calling our member experience center or visiting us at one of our branches, we want to always provide best in class service, or what we call “wow” service for our members.
Ronaldo Hardy is CEO of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union
Ronaldo Hardy, CEO of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union in Lake Charles, La.
Our CU is focusing heavily on what it looks like to push deeper into community development right now. A question we constantly ask ourselves is, “If we [are] suddenly no longer open for business, why would the community miss us?” That’s our driving force in our planning. It’s not as much about products or services for us as it is impact.
Mike Lord is president and CEO of State Employees Credit Union in North Carolina
Mike Lord, president and CEO of State Employees' Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C.
Some of the categories on our list of considerations in the strategic planning effort include:
  • Technology and service delivery platforms — planning for expanded investments in (and further studies of): the cloud, fintech, digital, mobile, data centers, data security, data analytics, payments, hardware, software, etc. for our branch network [of] 267 branches, ATM network [of] 1,100 ATMs, website, mobile, contact centers and voice response member service delivery channels
  • Leadership and succession planning — board and management [with] additional planning, training and implementation
  • Property management — SECU land/buildings and our SECU*RE Property Management Company (which owns and leases 1,500 properties), adding branches in select locations
  • Staffing – adding staff where needed to meet member service demands
  • Communication — with interested parties, [such as] members, regulators, auditors, [North Carolina] citizens [and] others [and] use of social media
  • Enterprise risk management — expanded risk assessments for a complex world
Brandon Michaels, CEO of Mazuma Credit Union, will leave in Aug. 2018 to take the helm at JSC Federal Credit Union in Houston
Brandon Michaels, president and CEO of JSC Federal Credit Union in Houston
JSC is going through a massive transformation right now. I am just 10 months in and we will look completely different in two to five years.

Our strategic planning session is in early September this year. We will be focusing on the following:

1. Agile workforce transformation

2. Organizational realignment around agile focus

3. Member experience initiatives by breaking down "what has always been done"

4. Discussing transforming the organization to be a tech company mindset versus a credit union

5. Road map to become the top retail brand in Houston

6. New headquarters

7. New market expansion

8. Strategies to reach $5 billion in assets by 2025
J. Paul Leavell
Paul Leavell, chief strategy and marketing officer, Nusenda CU in Albuquerque, N.M.
I imagine we are asking the same questions during our strategy session that most other CUs are asking:

1. How are we performing?

2. What is the competition doing?

3. How do we get more members: Do we go into new markets or get more out of existing markets?

4. How do we get existing members to do more with us?

5. What is the optimal loan to share ratio and how do we get there?

6. What existing processes should be improved?

7. Where can we innovate given our current capabilities and resources?

8. What new capabilities and resources do we need to fill any innovation gaps that we prioritize?

9. What are the needs of our communities that we can fill?