Editor’s Column: Directors’ Frustrations Cloud Hawaiian Sky
Amid the sun, sand and waves on the Wailea Beach of Maui, something evil lurked last week at The Paragon Group’s Volunteer Leadership Conference. It wasn’t far below the serene and relaxed surface and without much effort it managed to swallow the ballroom whole. That beast was palpable in the air. That menace to credit unions is pure frustration.
Perhaps because volunteers are not always as attuned to industry politics as the professionals, unadulterated passion ruled the day. Attendees were spitting bullets and seemed ready to pummel various matters, and a few people, that got in the way of slaying the beast.
Improperly trained directors are the downfall of the industry. Yes, there was a time when all you needed to qualify as a director was to be a member. This cannot and should not be the case in the 21st century.
In the last decade, we’ve experienced heightened awareness against terrorist financing in the form of tighter Bank Secrecy Act oversight, the evolution of home banking and the birth of mobile banking. Because Gen X is so small relative to the boomers and Gen Y, demographics and expected financial behaviors of your membership are changing rapidly. Studying credit union financials through this broader lens is essential, and I don’t want a credit union board member who will not meet this standard. Should the NCUA require it? No, but the membership through its nominating committee should. That is your fiduciary duty.