In two separate workshops, a group of Pennsylvania credit union CEOs got an earful this week from a group of Gen Y students who found some fault with everything from "wordy internet postings" to still poor explanations on CU structure, awareness and methods to join.
The focus sessions, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association in Lancaster and Monroeville drew two panels of randomly selected high school and college age youth and was part of a first-of-its-kind Gen Y "CEO Leadership Workshop" program.
The 60 CEOs from both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh CUs heard from the Gen Yers that while immersed in the Internet and electronics they still prefer "brick and mortar" branches to do everyday transactions.
From the discussion, the CEOs were surprised to learn that young people get most of their information from the internet, their parents, and their friends. They watch very little TV and they are very concerned about their financial future, according to a report on the workshop meeting.
"They really want straight talk about our products and they get turned off by what one found as fluffy explanations about budgeting, which appeared on a Web site," said 26-year-old Laura Huggins, who helped coordinate the sessions and who has been serving this year as the association's "Youth Ambassador." Huggins is also product management coordinator for Belco Community CU of Harrisburg.
One CEO attending the Monroeville session Thursday, Eric Chase, of the $48 million Guthrie FCU, said he was "astounded at the frankness and willingness of the students to share information." The students "were not intimidated and they provided great insight into how their generation thinks" said Chase calling it "a delightful hour."