Nevada’s economic woes have dealt a sharp blow to the Las Vegas chapter of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
Meetings of the Southern Nevada Chapter are being cancelled and participation has dwindled to eight CUs. One of its largest benefactors, the long-ailing Silver State Schools Credit Union, the state’s largest at $725 million in assets, dropped its affiliation with the league earlier this year.
League officials acknowledged Monday the low turnout for meetings and the difficulty of rounding up participants for the regular monthly sessions or special vendor shows when so many CUs have endured red ink or are just now starting to show small profits.
“They used to hold big dinner gatherings in some of the nicer casino hotels but I haven’t been to one in a year,” said one executive and former participant who asked for anonymity.
Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the league, said that it’s not as though the chapter leadership lacks desire to hold the sessions but “if participation is low you just don’t want to have a meeting with seven people.”
League officials said a previously planned Vendor Night program was called off last September and though the board has discussed holding a Vendor Night this year nothing yet is planned.
Vendor Night had been a calendar regular in the past “but only a few credit unions had registered for last year’s event,” said a spokesman. “We don’t want to ask vendors to sponsor a table or booth unless participation by credit unions is sufficient to make it a valuable use of the vendor’s resources.”
The chapter has held one meeting this year, an educational program in March on “solution-based selling techniques.”
Reportedly one of the more active members of the chapter is a branch of the $5 billion America First FCU of Riverdale, Utah, which in 2009 took over the failed Community One FCU of Las Vegas. Tina Sanchez, a business development officer, has been serving as treasurer of the chapter.
Though Silver State is not currently a league member “but could re-affiliate” based on its own internal conditions, staffers from the Nevada CU serve in leadership slots on the chapter’s Governing Board, said the league official.
The Southern Nevada Chapter Board of Governors includes three Silver State employees: Janeen Hodgson, president; Crystal Lyon, secretary and Jacqueline Griffin, education chair.