WICHITA, Kan. -- More than 400 credit union staff and volunteers attended the Kansas Credit Union Association's 72nd Annual Meeting and Convention, held over three days recently at the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center in Overland Park.
"The annual meeting is the time when our members come together to conduct the business of the association," Erich Schaefer, KCUA board chair commented. "Equally important, it is a time for the membership to come together, explore new ideas and renew our sense of unity."
The convention's theme, "Imagine...Focus...Lead", challenged Kansas credit unions and credit union leaders to imagine a brighter future, focus on strategies that will enable them to reach their goals and lead the movement into the next generation.
Breakout sessions were available to provide credit unions the opportunity to learn tactics that will help make their dreams a reality. They were able to learn everything from how to Market to Generations to Why Members Walk Away from Loans from top professionals in their fields.
Also, the KCUA showcased its 2006 achievements at the annual business meeting and elected new board officers to serve in the year 2007.
Erich Schaefer, president of Golden Plains Credit Union in Garden City, was elected as chair and Mark Keilig, president of United Northwest Federal Credit Union in Norton, was re-elected as vice chairman.
Among those honored for their achievements was Gary Regoli who, according to KCUA, had demonstrated outstanding leadership ability in 2006 as president/CEO of Boeing Wichita Credit Union. Regoli was awarded the highest credit union honor in the state by his peers, the Henry Peterson Professional of the Year award.
Roy Broxterman, who has served as a volunteer board member of the Hutchinson Credit Union for 22 years, was also recognized by the KCUA as volunteer of the year. Among his most significant achievements, Broxterman provided leadership for two new branch projects and granted insight to and oversight of the start-up of a mortgage CUSO, offering mortgage-lending support to 10 credit unions and their members.
Receiving the KCUA's Political Involvement Award was Ron Smeltzer, executive vice president of the Kansas Super Chief Credit Union in Topeka. He is credited with recognizing the need to actively promote the credit union message of "people helping people" and advocates on behalf of credit unions at both the state and national levels. Most notably, Smeltzer succeeded in raising $5,000 for Congressman Jim Ryun's (R-Kan.) 2006 campaign.
In the spirit of unity that the convention wanted to express, before the convention's end, many attendees gathered at Saddler's Indoor Racing for networking and fellowship and to test their skills on the track, hoping to maintain focus at speeds up to 45 mph. --firstname.lastname@example.org