CUSOs Use CUNA GAC Stage to Educate
Just as he did last year, Kirk Drake is using the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference as a means to make attendees aware of what CUSOs are really all about.
Drake, the founder and CEO of the Hagerstown, Md.-based Ongoing Operations LLC, a business continuity and technology solutions CUSO, continues to see the annual gathering in Washington as the ideal venue to talk up CUSOs.
“CUNA’s GAC for the most part focuses on political action within the credit union movement. Nonetheless, because so many credit union executives come to Washington, a lot of vendors and CUSOs come too,” Drake said.
He added, “Even though CUSOs are owned by credit unions, it has been my experience that they are largely overlooked, not asked to participate in most of the political advocacy and are lumped into the general ‘vendor’ category.”
Drake is hoping to change that perception.
“In reality, I think CUSOs are one of the most important, if not the most important way for innovation, adaptability and differentiation credit unions have and are crucial to the long term viability of the industry,” he said.
Drake said he put together a CUSO guide that highlights how the entities are different from vendors and how they enable collaboration.
“My experience has been that in order to create sustained collaborative efforts that transcend management teams and CEO relationships a CUSO is necessary,” Drake said. “CUSOs create an independent neutral zone that enables all parties to work for the common good – occasionally at an individual or organizations detriment.”
At least 20 CUSOs will have exhibits at the GAC this week, according to Drake.