Can members help drive the innovation corporate credit unions will need to stay relevant in a new century of financial services?
That is the bold belief that is fueling Catalyst Corporate’s creation of its so-called Catalyst Councils, the new corporate’s vice president-corporate communications Amy Fuller said in an interview with Credit Union Times this week.
“We see the councils as a member feedback opportunity,” said Fuller, who added they will be like focus groups “except broader. We genuinely want to use them as a chance for members to talk about their own ideas and what they want to see from us.”
Fuller added that Catalyst plans to hold four council meetings in 2012, with the first occurring in February. She said some of the meetings would be in-person. Others may be teleconference, depending upon member readiness to travel.
Catalyst trialed the idea at a late October meeting of its Economic Forum, where some 25 credit unions gathered together to brainstorm new directions.
Diane Ward, CFO of Bossier FCU, a $97 million institution in Bossier, La., attended that event and, she said, “It was a great meeting, Catalyst is proving to be very open to hearing from members.”
She added that discussions took on large themes – “we talked about innovation, technology, and tapping into the Gen Y member base” – and underlined that “it was great to network with other credit union executives.”
Ward apparently was not alone in finding value in the meeting. ““The credit unions who were at our first session were very enthusiastic,” said Fuller. “That is why we look forward to holding more of these council meetings.”
Catalyst Corporate began operations with 882 member credit unions in September after a merger of Southwest Bridge and Georgia corporate credit unions.