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CLEARWATER, Fla.—With small credit unions and community development financial institutions gathering for Inclusiv’s annual conference this week on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Credit Union Journal queried attendees on the biggest challenges facing their instructions – a range of topics from cybersecurity to new technologies, staff education and more. Read on for a sampling of their responses.
Fabiana DeGuire, Hope Credit Union
Fabiana DeGuire, project manager, Hope Credit Union (Jackson, Miss., $281 million in assets)
Creating an inclusive culture that welcomes members from all backgrounds can at times be a challenge, because if you don't understand what type of documentation members work with, you're not able to properly serve that member. So from an educational standpoint, we're educating our staff about immigration and alternative forms of ID so they can be informed and provide a better service to the Hispanic community.
Sharon Odom, 1st Choice Credit Union
Sharon Odom, CEO of 1st Choice Credit Union (Atlanta, Ga., $24 million in assets)
Cybersecurity is a big deal right now, so having access to experts to manage my systems is expensive and that's been one of my main challenges. Making sure I have a solid disaster-recovery plan is a big priority.
Jaime G. Cuevas, Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples de Puerto Rico
Jaime G. Cuevas, marketing manager, Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples de Puerto Rico
The biggest obstacle facing cooperativas is the economic situation of the government, because many of the credit unions have bonds from the Puerto Rican government and they now have to negotiate these bonds by taking a haircut on their original investments.
Melissa Marquez Genesee Coop Credit Union
Melissa Marquez, CEO, Genesee Coop Credit Union (Rochester, N.Y., $21 million in assets)
Obtaining remote deposit capture is a current challenge because it's so desirable and most younger people want their financial institution on their phone [and this is a] challenge we have to deliver.
Vanessa Kuduk, Members Credit Union
Vanessa Kuduk, assistant vice president of lending, Members Credit Union (Cos Cob, Conn., $29 million in assets)
Lack of branches across an area can be a big challenge. Our credit union is located in a high-income part of [Connecticut]. Members are traveling from adjacent towns and if they don't have a car or [are of] modest means, it costs them money to come and see us.