Providing Superior Member Value Seen As Big Challenge

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The overriding challenge to CUs this year? Providing superior member value, according to a presentation at the MyDAS Educational Conference here.

Chip Filson, president of Callahan and Associates, Inc. told the more than 100 credit union executives attending the meeting that although CUs have great financial stability, they also have low or static market share in key products and in many cases single-digit, long-term growth rates. Further adding to the challenge of demonstrating member value, he said, is the growth in community charters. Filson offered two approaches to create competitive advantage: productivity enhancements and digital knowledge management.

"Productivity is not a silver bullet, it's a way of thinking about your business and how you'll be operationally efficient and differentiate yourself," Filson said.

According to Filson, the future of CUs depends on cooperation. "If we are going to break new waves in the future, for many organizations the only way to do it will be a new passion for cooperation and partnership," Filson said. "This cooperation needs to be innovative and must create an efficiency for member return way beyond today's numbers and thinking."

In other sessions, participants heard from David M. Carter, founder of The Sports Business Group, Mark Shonka, author and co-president of IMPAX Corporation, and Mark Chatfield, senior vice president of Texas league.

Carter urged attendees to refine their CU's personal brand in an evolving business environment. "The combination of good personal and professional brands is what is critical to successful leadership, " Carter said.

Participating on the CEO panel were several noted CEOs, sharing their CUs stories and their outlooks for 2004. The panel included Bill Birdwell of Southeast Corporate, Mike Gomez of Fiscal CU, Dennis Huber of SCE FCU, Catherine Tierney of Community First CU, Wayne Tew of Clark County CU, Mendell Thompson of America's Christian CU, and Linda White of United Health CU.

Conference attendees also participated on user panels. MyDAS recognized 11 CUs for their outstanding efforts in the areas of marketing, research or education: March Community CU, San Mateo CU, America's Christian CU, Silver State Schools CU, LA Financial CU, Neighborhood CU, Goldenwest CU, Boulder Dam CU, Carolina Collegiate CU, Los Angeles Federal CU, and Allied CU.

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