CUJ Q&A

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The CU Journal Asked Directors At CUES Meeting: 'What is The Most Important Issue For You At This Meeting?'

Dr. David Sherer, outgoing chairman of the board, Group Health CU, Seattle

There wasn't any one issue. Because I'm the outgoing chairman, I came here with several of our board members-we have five here out of nine. It might be paternalistic on my part, but I wanted to imbue them with a sense of our roots and where we belong. I also wanted them to have the opportunity to network.

Bruce Burpee, director,

Whatcom Educational CU, Bellingham, Wash.

The session on business lending. This is a fairly new area for credit unions, and it is really important to us. The session gave us information on how to track the performance end. It helped me know what to ask the CEO to know if we are headed in the right direction.

Kyle Markland, CEO,

Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul, Minn.

I am here with four of our board members. We divide up the sessions and convene at lunch and dinner to discuss what we heard. We were interested in the session on board governance, the CEO/board relationship and how to formulate a governance policy, but unfortunately, it was one of the ones that got cancelled.

Gerald Benedetto, director

American Eagle CU, East Hartford, Conn.

I was here for a variety of reasons, so it is hard to quantify. I really wanted to see the Sandra Hughes session on board governance, but it was cancelled. Also, mergers. This is the first time I've seen a breakout session on mergers, and it was a full room. Obviously, it is a hot topic (he said, noting that the session was standing room only).

Willie James, first vice chair, Municipal CU, New York, N.Y.

I was very enthused with Tim Lerew's session on the outlook for credit unions in 2008 and Steve Williams' session on new technology. Technology is the future, and we need to handle it and maintain it to meet our members' needs. Lerew pointed out the technology skills of members 18 to 24 years old. We have to know how to attract those members, and we have to make sure we have technology strategies and plans in place.

Helen Brandt, director

Deere Harvester CU, Moline, Ill.

The business lending session, because our credit union is chartered to do business loans, but we haven't started yet. After attending the session, I understand better why we are moving slowly. At first brush, it seems as if business lending is a good and wonderful thing, but there are some risks.

Faye Miller, Capital CU, Bismarck, N.D.

This is one of the best CUES conferences I've attended in a long time. It had great speakers. In my real life, I'm a CPA, so I don't need to hear ratios, I want to hear trends. I have learned it is more important to know how your credit union compares to its competitors than its peers. I particularly enjoyed the session that talked about killing sacred cows. Everyone is facing mergers and can see if you don't grow you can't survive.

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