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Directors Swap Stories of Success

by Tabitha Garvin, MCUN

It was my great pleasure to interact with the nearly 40 volunteers that attended the recent Montana Credit Union Network Annual Convention. To honor our volunteers, MCUN staff created a comfortable, casual VIP Suite for directors to relax and visit with their peers from around the state. We also awarded special prizes, including registration to one of the Directors/CEO Forums (Sept 16-18 in Polson or November 6 in Billings), a Smart MOVES webinar training, and a beautiful water fountain. If you missed out on this year’s event, mark your calendar for next year, May 13-15 in Billings at the Crowne Plaza.

Altana Volunteer Bill Pedersen and Tabitha Garvin relax in the VIP Suite MCUN's Tabitha Garvin leads credit union directors in a discussion during a breakout session at the Annual Convention
Altana FCU Volunteer Bill Pedersen and MCUN's Tabitha Garvin relax in the VIP Suite. Montana credit union volunteers gather to swap stories and share strategies during the Director's Break-out session.

A key event at the conference was a break-out session, during which directors from around the state shared some of their successful strategies. Many of the credit unions represented are focused on connecting with a younger generation and ensuring that their credit unions will be a part of their communities for generations to come. Great use of technology was a key strategy for most.

The bulk of the discussion focused on working with the CEO. Of the eight credit unions represented, over half had recently experienced or were in the process of a CEO transition. Hiring from within by developing high-quality candidates seems to be one of the winning strategies. One director shared, “Have a succession plan in place and then follow it. Even if you have a good internal candidate. Going through the process will affirm your decision.” Great advice.

The notion of having associate directors was also discussed at length. Each credit union that shared used a very different model for recruitment and retention within their associate director program. Other topics included mergers, branding, community reputation, and orienting new directors. Be sure to be reading the A Direct Line blog to gain insight into all of these topics and more. With the nearly 500 volunteers in Montana’s credit unions, we hope to see more of you networking and sharing your successful strategies to help the credit union movement in our state grow even stronger.

Tabitha Garvin is the VP-Fee Based Services for the Montana Credit Union Network. She would welcome any questions or comments on this material. You can email Tabitha or call her at 800-745-5546, ext. 132.

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