Volunteers Can Help Associations
I was intrigued by your recent articles and subsequent online voting poll regarding volunteer representation on credit union trade association boards. They raise some interesting issues related to volunteers on the boards of credit union trade associations. In my view, one of the most compelling arguments supporting volunteer representation on credit union trade boards is the need to reflect the governance structure inherent in our own credit unions; volunteer members elected to serve by our members. For the National Association of Community Credit Unions (NACCU), volunteer representation on our board of directors has been mandated since our inception in 1999. Our founding members believed it critical to include individuals representing the "voice of the community" on the board of directors of a community credit union trade association. Volunteer directors play an active role in NACCU: their active participation is critical to achieve the association's mission and one-third of our board consists of volunteers. NACCU embraces this participation and believes volunteer directors bring a wealth of untapped knowledge and perspective to our association. We are fortunate that our current volunteer board members include two board chairs and a member with over 30 years experience in financial services leadership positions. The benefit of volunteer representation on NACCU's board extends beyond the association. For example, volunteers serving on NACCU's board are much more involved in the political action of the credit union movement and are then able to also improve their own credit unions' political effectiveness. I invite your readers to explore the governance model employed by NACCU and discover the benefits it continues to reap for our members. I believe they will find an organization enriched by the contributions of its volunteer board members that also, in turn, benefits the individual credit unions and the entire movement. John Sackett NACCU Vice-Chair and Chairman of Royal CU Eau Claire, Wis.