While on a semi-vacation in Northern Michigan last week I had the opportunity to drop in on the Michigan Credit Union Leagues Annual Conference and Exhibition in Traverse City. This year drew a great crowd of over 580 attendees and over 1100 total guests.
After opening the exhibit hall to attendees Thursday night MCUL rolled out the red carpet with a welcome reception and kicked off the auction to raise money for Credit Unions for Kids.
Friday morning Michigan Credit Union League and Affiliates out going board chairman George Isola welcomed the crowd. George handed the gavel over to Howard Spencer at the conference. George discussed member growth and that Michigan credit unions grew member business lending 45% between 2007 though 2011. Michigan CUs have grown loans 21% annually over that same time period. MBL is much needed in a state that was hit hard by the recent recession.
Mr. Isola also discussed the $2.4M cooperative adverstising efforts that 60% of Michigan CUs are participating in to spread the credit union message. He would like to see more cooperative advertising in the years to come.
MCUL CEO David Adams took the stage next with a state of the credit union movement in Michigan. MBL is a hot button issue that can help bring Michigan’s struggling economy back with small business loans at no cost to tax payers.
David showed a video titled Positively Different, the conference theme, that highlighted the over 5300 community projects Michigan credit unions are involved in. He discussed how 188 Michigan CUs are voluntarily taking part in the CU Difference campaign in 2012 that is going on statewide. Where to go from here, expand the message, promote and unify the credit union difference.
Mr. Adams stated that Michigan CUs are in a great position and hit on what they need to do going forward: Consider taking more lending risk. Help members save and invest. Strongly promote the ATM Network and debit cards. Tout low credit card rates. Become full service, consumer financial services providers through collaboration. Manage ricks, such as interest rate risk and concentration risk, to preserve the credit union model.
The morning session wrapped up with NCUA Board Member Michael Fryzel addressing the room. He discussed the continued economic hardships people in the state of Michigan face and how credit union can help. Fryzel stated, “America rose to its great level of achievement because of people helping people. If you believe that, show it by being the preeminent people-helping-people organizations in the nation.”
I am now off to Seattle for the CUES School of Strategic Marketing. Stay tuned next week for daily updates and you can follow along on Twitter @CUinsight.
Randy Smith is the co-founder and publisher of CUinsight.com, your one stop place for all things credit union. As the publisher of CUinsight.com Randy looks for new and innovative ways to spread the credit union message and keep the community informed. Randy works closely with individual credit unions, leagues and associations on a variety of topics including media relations, business development and strategic planning to get new ideas off the ground. Put simply, Randy likes to create and foster new ideas and watch them grow. In June of 2012 Randy was named a “CU Times Trailblazer 40 Below”. Randy has been cited and written for many publications and speaks at industry events to further the growth of the credit union movement. Randy can be reached at email@example.com or through Twitter www.twitter.com/CUinsight and Facebook www.facebook.com/CUinsight.