Are You Innovative? Aspiring To Lead? New Group Is For You

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The Filene Research Institute and the Center for Credit Union Innovation have announced the formation of a group dedicated to "stimulating innovation and leadership development of the next generation of leaders in the credit union firmament."

Filene said it is seeking candidates to fill out a 25-member roster to form "i3," an "innovative group of aspiring credit union leaders from across the nation." The name i3 captures the core purpose of the group, Ideas, Innovation and Implementation for Credit Unions. According to Filene, the i3 group will be charged with identifying and evaluating promising financial service innovations that meet member needs; lower costs and increase operational efficiencies; build member loyalty; and meet the special needs of member segments.

"i3 will also develop fresh ideas and initiatives that address major issues facing credit unions; identify developments in other financial institutions that can be adopted by credit unions; and provide a forum for cooperation, collaboration, professional development and industry succession planning," Filene said.

The development of i3 is being underwritten in part by a donation from U.S. Central Credit Union, Lenexa, Kan.

"The innovations that will shape the future of credit unions are most likely to come from the next generation of leaders," says Bob Hoel, Filene's Executive Director. "Most of those leaders are already working in key positions in credit unions, but they have not yet reached the CEO level. They are loaded with creative energy, and aspire to take credit unions to the next level of member service and success. Our great opportunity is to tap their creative skills for the benefit of the entire credit union community."

Filene said the initial recruiting goal is to identify innovative, insightful and energetic credit union professionals who have not yet reached CEO level. "The selection process consists of a number of steps developed and administered by a third party," says Mark Meyer, Filene's Director of Innovation. "Successful candidates will excel in innovation ability tests, meet application requirements, have experience in innovation, and possess overall background and experience in the financial services industry. Their application will be reviewed by an independent third party and Filene Research Institute staff."

Members of i3 will serve staggered three-year terms. The initial group of successful candidates will begin serving in 2004, with a second group joining the program in 2005. The first national meeting of i3 is scheduled for May 23-24, 2004 in Napa Valley, Calif. Candidate applications must be received by Feb 27, 2004.

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