Digital Board Meeting Platform Helps Credit Unions Govern

In today’s security conscious environment credit union boards need to comprehend and focus quickly on current threats. Lafayette, Ind.-headquartered Passageways’ digital board meeting product, OnBoard, helps improve credit unions governance.

“A credit union has to balance interests of management, members, employees, government and the community it serves,” Passageways CEO, Paroon Chadha explained.

A cloud based solution OnBoard, began in the mid-2000s with seed investment from a CUSO of Lafayette, Ind.-based Purdue Fed Credit Union. It now has over 800 organization clients worldwide, with about 500 of them credit unions.

OnBoard is a secure communications and governance platform that helps credit unions maintain complete records for board meetings, future reference and regulatory audits. This includes board meeting packets and minutes, a record of board approvals and assessments, and a reference library of policies and bylaws. “OnBoard also allows for secure sharing of information with the boards in a purpose-built portal, accessible from every device at any time,” Chadha explained.

Chadha described corporate governance as the set of rules, practices and processes by which organizations run. “The governance and oversight function of the credit union board invariably involves compliance.” Also, the credit union needs to assure the adherence to transparency, independence, accountability, and most importantly fairness.

He added, the board is the both the inner sanctum for the CEO and also the final oversight stop. “I feel that providing this increasingly nuanced oversight, on a volunteer basis, is eventually going to change. There is far too much at stake and the boards have to go through very dense information and handle real risk. So, credit unions ought to do everything within their power to make the board meeting experience and the board’s composition as optimal as possible.”

According to Passageways, OnBoard helps credit unions with board, loan committee, planning and even executive management meetings. The solution works on any device.

OnBoard clients include Alliant CU, Vision FCU, Teachers FCU, Tower FCU, Filene, CUNA Councils, Members Development Company use.

One organization, the $10 billion Alliant Credit Union adopted the first edition of Passageways board technology about a decade ago. For the past three or four years the Chicago-based credit union has used it successor, OnBoard.

“For years we had produced these very large paper packets for our board meetings. There would be a tremendous amount of information gathering, editing, assembling, and then shipping to our board,” David Mooney, the President and CEO of Alliant, recalled. “We in management recognized that there was a more efficient way to go, and that was to go digital.” Alliant adopted Passageways’ next generation board portal, OnBoard, shortly after its release.

“We were dealing with a group of board members who were highly engaged and highly committed outside of Alliant, executives at their own companies, and we needed to get them information in real-time, quickly, that they could use anywhere, just not during our meetings, but before and after our meetings,” Lee Schafer, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer, added.

OnBoard allows committees to share their work with other board members “All of the work that’s done by the committees, the reports they are receiving, the consultant activity that’s going on that’s posted to OnBoard – all of that becomes visible to every board member,” Schafer explained. He added when required to act on recommendation from the committees, board members have real-time access to look at the relevant information, absorb it, and gain insight from the work the committee has done, in an effective way.

Passageways digital board platform also helped Alliant realize significant time savings because they no longer needed to convert everything to a PDF and made creating the board packet simpler.

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