FCUL Launches Leadership Councils To Help Develop Mid-Level Expertise

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In a new effort to offer more to its members, the Florida Credit Union League is set to start its own leadership council, modeled after CUNA's national-level programs. The Leadership Councils of Florida will focus on human resources/training and development; operations, sales and service; chief financial officers; and lending.

Anita Stoumbelis, SVP of human resources and education with the league, said FCUL believes most small credit unions can't afford to send many staffers to distant conferences, and even if they could afford it, one conference a year does not provide a sufficient learning opportunity.

CUNA has six CUNA Councils across six different professional disciplines.

"Their councils have been very successful," Stoumbelis said. "We felt there was something missing in our offerings. I want to involve employees of credit unions with their peers and develop them professionally through the informal means of a network."

Stoumbelis said the Leadership Councils of Florida are an extension of CUNA's Council concept, but will be smaller and organized at the state level. She said one aspect that has been missing from the Florida league's educational programs is the long-term relationships built through personal contact with other CU professionals over a period of years. Plus, many national associations offer plenty of top-tier educational seminars or conferences that mid-level staff can't afford, whether due to time or money. Local, and frequent, networking seminars will provide mid- and low-level managers the same opportunities to learn, share ideas and expand their own circle, she added.

Stoumbelis said that while credit union CEOs benefit greatly from such organizations, they are frequently busy with the board of directors, community relations, new technology or, with larger CUs, even lobbying state legislatures or Congress. Stoumbelis said mid-level managers are the focus of the new leadership effort. Anyone who is a vice president, EVP, SVP or a manager deep in the details of HR or lending will benefit, she said.

"These are the folks back at the credit union doing the day-to-day operations; anybody who has the responsibility for that area. Everything is changing all the time," she said. "

Stoumbelis said several meetings are still to be held to jumpstart the program. On June 14, councils on numerous topics, including lending, will take place in Orlando as part of the Florida league's annual conference. Stoumbelis said attendees don't need to register in advance for any council. "They can show up that day and pay if they like," she said.

Stoumbelis said a speaker will kick off the councils each morning discussing leading employees for change and market challenges. During the afternoon council members will discuss the morning presentation and how it applies to their respective credit unions.

CUJ Resources

Cost for the leadership programs is $189 per person with no late fee for walk-ins. For info: www.knowmore.net or Julianne Talley at 800-342-1266, extension 1148.

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