The timing may have been coincidental but this week’s disclosure that the $1.6 billion Apple Federal Credit Union of Fairfax, Va., has resigned from the Virginia Credit Union League and CUNA comes amidst discussion of a major restructuring move by the state trade group including relocating its headquarters.
Official comment on the Apple departure linked to unhappiness over CUNA policy direction on the corporates was still forthcoming but in the meantime CU executives across the state were convening for a series of town hall sessions this month to review long-term plans for the trade group.
Among various proposals being considered are moving the league’s historic headquarters home from Lynchburg to Richmond -- the state capitol -- revamping advocacy activities and reorganizing the chapter network perhaps along professional lines following the lead of other leagues.
Regarding headquarters relocation, a spokesman noted Lynchburg in the center of the state has been the league home for 77 years but the need has become apparent that effective lobbying requires a capitol presence.
The league leadership also recognizes, he said, that “our legislative advocacy can be improved at the grassroots and this became evident in that we have only one Virginia representative signed on to the business lending bill in Congress.” He was referring to Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Fairfax Democrat.
On chapters, he said the league is looking at developing roundtable sessions, much like what's being tried in other states, which also have witnessed a waning of attendance and participation in chapter meetings. Some of the lower attendance has been traced to the merger phenomenon, the expansive growth of online vehicles like Twitter and Facebook as well as tighter expense budgets for travel and hotels.
Final decisions on the future course of the league, officials said, are expected after completion of the town hall meetings with the first held Wednesday in Virginia Beach.
The league said last month the regional meetings to conclude March 12 were being held to gain feedback on a three-year strategic plan.
“The Town Hall meetings are designed to inform credit unions about several new league initiatives, to review the league's strategic plan, to share the findings of our recent survey of CEOs, and to solicit your feedback and input,” said the league. Five more meetings will be held between now and March 12.