What Renewal Committee Is Tackling Now

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With 2006 marking the 10th anniversary of CUNA's Renewal Project, a new blue-ribbon panel is tasked with reviewing the outcome of Renewal and assessing new issues, as well.

Every five years a Renewal Review Committee goes over the changes engineered in 1996 to determine if anything needs to be tweaked and if any new issues have cropped up since then. This second review committee is tackling a whole host of topics, according to CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel, including:

* Consolidation. "The number of Class C (large) credit unions it takes to make up 1/3 of members is getting smaller and smaller," Hampel explained.

* Districts. "Some states are growing more rapidly than others, so how the districts are drawn needs to be reviewed," he added.

* Term Limits. Board members are limited to serving three full terms. There are five positions on the executive committee, and although there is no written rule, members of the executive committee typically serve one-year terms and then move through the seats on the committee. The problem, Hampel explained, is that when a chairman serves two terms, the math doesn't work, and a person is term-limited out before he or she can serve as chairman. This is about to be the case with Vice Chairman Don Larsen, CEO of Community CU, Tacoma, Wash.

* The Role of Volunteers. This is an issue that has been cropping up again and again as some volunteers have complained they do not have enough say in the national leadership of the movement. "Volunteers are allowed on the CUNA board," Hampel said. "But they are never elected."

* Corporate Membership. Corporate credit unions originally were excluded from CUNA membership. After 2001, corporates were allowed to become associate members of CUNA through the Association of Corporate Credit Unions. But as associate members, corporates still cannot run for the CUNA board.

Renewal Review Committee Chair Patsy Van Ouerkerk (who also served on the original Renewal Steering Committee) said credit unions should be receiving surveys from the committee on these and other topics in the mail.

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