Colorado League Considering Name Change to "Association"
ARVADA, Colo. - Will the Colorado Credit Union League be the next one to join the ranks of former credit union leagues that changed their names and are now called credit union associations? The name change is among the bylaw changes league-affiliated members will vote on at their annual meeting April 20-22. John Dill, president/CEO of the Colorado and Wyoming Credit Union Leagues said that the word "league" is mentioned throughout the group's bylaws, and "if we didn't want the name change to go to a vote, we could simply change it to be `dba association.' But that's a lot of twists and turns. We'd rather discuss the issue with our membership and get their agreement to make the name change." Dill explained there are two things currently happening at the league "on parallel tracks" that have affected the board's decision to go through the name change. The first he said is a branding effort being conducted by credit unions in Colorado and Wyoming promoting credit unions as the place the league wants current members and non-members to make their primary financial institution. Secondly, said Dill, is the perception of the league by key people credit unions are trying to influence. "When we talk with people who are opinion leaders, elected officials, community activists and the media, and say we're with the Colorado Credit Union League, they're confused. Then we tell them we're the trade association for credit unions in the state and they get it. "The word `league' is something credit unions understand, but the term `association' is deeply inculcated in the minds of elected officials and other influential people," said Dill. The league president said this is particularly important now when there are many new members in the state legislature. "They're very busy and sometimes you only get to talk with them briefly when they're walking to a meeting or catch them in a hallway. You don't want to use your valuable time explaining who you are, you'd rather be explaining to them what you do," he said. Dill explained that he and Pete Kirchhof, the league's chief lobbyist have been talking to the board about the name change for the past year, and he said their view is it's the right course of action. In addition, Dill's also spoken with credit unions around the state through town hall and chapter meetings since last fall to explain the rationale for the name change. He said he's gotten "good feedback" from them and that they're "generally supportive" of the name change. The Colorado Credit Union League has a management contract with the Wyoming League, and Dill said they've also agreed to "move forward" with changing their name to `association' as well. Wyoming credit unions will vote on the name change at their annual meeting in September. "It's up to the membership to decide. All we can do is set up the issue," said Dill. In addition to voting on the name change, Colorado credit unions will also be asked to vote for other bylaw changes at their annual meeting. One concerns out-of-state chartered CUs that have a "brick and mortar" branch in Colorado. If the bylaw change passes, these credit unions would be eligible for full membership in the association and they'd have to pay the same dues that Colorado credit unions pay. -