I have noticed an alarming trend in the last several years and that is that almost all conferences and seminars are being held in large resorts located in such areas as Hawaii, The Bahamas, Arizona, ski resorts in Colorado, and even one on a cruise ship. I for one could not justify my spending our credit union's money to fly from Florida to Hawaii to attend a director's conference. I think the message we are sending to our members is that they are paying for us to have nice vacations. I think that this is even more important as we are reaching out to underserved people groups that may not be able to afford a trip to locations such as these.
I value the knowledge and networking that is available at these conferences, as I think most directors do, it's just the location that is a thorn in my side and is one of the reasons I don't attend them.
When I joined my first credit union in 1961 shortly after enlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard, there was a feeling of trustworthiness among members that I feel is missing today and I believe that the above actions contribute to this. Many of our newer younger members view us as just another "bank" down the street. I have heard comments from members in the past that support this. I remember an old saying that I picked up years ago concerning investing: "Invest every dollar as if it had been earned splitting fire wood." I think that could very well be applied today as directors approve spending their respective credit union's dollars.
CUNA, through their Center for Professional Development, publishes the VAP Training literature, why couldn't they establish a training center, centrally-located in the U.S., so directors and management team members could receive training to upgrade their skills without appearing that they are on vacation? I believe that the biblical mandate of "Avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing" could be applied here. Jim Tribeck Director First Coast Community Credit Union Palatka, Fla.