Man's Story Promoted As Inspiration For CU Leaders

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LAS VEGAS-The story of Bernard LaChance should be an inspirations, according to Denise Gabel, chief innovation officer for the Filene Research Institute.

LaChance, a Canadian-born singer, became his own manager, promoter and agent out of necessity. Gabel presented LaChance during a breakout session at the 1 Credit Union Conference hosted by CUNA and WOCCU here. LaChance said the best advice he received early in his career was "Do it yourself." He made recordings of his music, booked a theater, and took to the streets to single-handedly sell out the arena. His hook: a T-shirt superimposed with a seating chart, and as people purchased tickets on the sidewalk they crossed off their seats on his shirt.

"The T-shirt is the image of the story," he said. "Everybody has got to start somewhere, so just start somewhere."

LaChance's boldness eventually paid off with an invitation to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Gabel said he is proof CUs can promote themselves with little capital investment.

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