The Connecticut Credit Union League is bent on demonstrating the value of trade group membership by offering for free what it calls a state-of-the art education package encompassing compliance topics, strategy tools and legal guidance.
The education series is an outgrowth of the league's two-year-old program offering discounted services to the state's smallest and hard-pressed CUs under a deal with vendors and business partners.
Promoted as "completely free" to affiliated CUs, the 2011 professional education series will include both full- and half-day sessions extending over an eight-month period and covering such topics as BSA and RESPA, UCC/check law, HR, security, bankruptcy/collections, elections and marketing/PR. There will be 16 separate sessions.
"We're doing something that I haven't seen tried elsewhere by using business partners to help finance a no-cost education package offered to our members and covering a broad subject matter," said Tony Emerson, president/CEO of the league.
Speakers and workshop leaders will include nationally recognized professionals, said Emerson, noting that brochures and materials describing the program and sign-up sheets were posted on the league's website Aug. 1.
"This will give CEOs time to include the Professional Series in their 2011 planning," said Emerson.
The Connecticut League head said he is projecting a capacity of 150 per session attendance for the professional series. So far, a newly revamped compliance school during 2010 has drawn 100 attendees for the 12 sessions, which also covers a diverse menu of subjects, including truth in lending, risk assessment, incident response, check and debit fraud, and much more.
Under its small credit union support program launched two years ago, the 85 Connecticut CUs with assests of $20 million and under participate for free and larger CUs pay $499.
"All of the proceeds benefitted the small CU support program," said Emerson.
As a separate part of the league's value push, Emerson said the trade group has cut back on dues, expenses and annual meeting costs.
Replacing the traditional Foxwoods Resort site and a three-day schedule, the league held its 2010 conference at the more economical Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Conn., condensing the program and vendor exhibit into one day.
"We made the format of our annual meeting to be more convenient and affordable and that helped set an attendance record-350 plus," said Emerson. Included in the program was a breakfast, "a robust vendor show with 50 vendors, a formal sit down lunch, an international speaker and a lavish cocktail party, all at no cost to credit unions," said Emerson.
The key to operating in these tough times is simply to work smarter, Emerson concluded.