WASHINGTON-The CUNA Board gathered via teleconference last Tuesday afternoon and approved the Renaissance Commission report as amended by the Governmental Affairs Committee. An additional amendment, introduced by Board Member Gary Wolter, emphasizing the role of the credit union state leagues in pushing Renaissance issues at the state and local levels also passed. More than 100 stations called in to listen to the proceedings. The Renaissance Commission vision statements were approved unanimously by a voice vote, as was the Wolter amendment. CUNA GAC Chairman Barry Jolette emphasized that his committee “looked at it from the political standpoint of the possibilities, plausibilities, and reasonableness of the [vision] statements.” Combined with the CUNA Board meeting was the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was delayed from September 24 due to the September 11 attacks. During the AGM, CUNA Board members took time to thank outgoing Chairman Dave Maus, CEO of Public Service Employees Credit Union, for his work. Maus retired from the CUNA Board after serving for 11 years, the last two as chairman. In closed session held at Credit Union House and over the teleconference, the CUNA Board elected Jolette, CEO of San Mateo Credit Union, as its new chairman. The ballots were cast by fax to a third party auditing firm. In a press conference following the meetings, Chairman Jolette noted that CUNA members said political advocacy is what they wanted most from their trade association, according to an earlier CUNA survey. “It’s great to have a blueprint of sorts for advocacy,” he commented. Jolette admitted that he had been disappointed with past agendas. He added that the Renaissance Commission work “gives credit unions what they need, not to survive, but to thrive in the future.” “It gives us a very broad authority to take certain opportunities whenever we can,” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica indicated. Jolette and Mica both pointed out how the Renaissance Commission’s work has already aided the credit union movement. Jolette noted that CUNA stood ready with regulatory relief proposals when NCUA was asked to provide suggestions for legislation by House Financial Service Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio). Additionally, Mica pointed out that the regulators have already embraced some of the issues addressed in the vision statements. With all the activity on Capitol Hill surrounding national security, credit union issues are not on the top of the legislative list. Taking this into account, Jolette emphasized that far more could be achieved at the state level than the federal arena in the immediate future. “Every state has the opportunity to pass legislative or regulatory relief,” he stated. State efforts will also create a better environment at the federal level when the time is appropriate. Speaking to reporters following the board meeting and AGM, CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica announced that the credit union community’s largest trade organization expects to incur a heavy financial loss this year. Due to the September 11 terrorist attacks, CUNA was forced to cancel its annual Symposium, resulting in great revenue losses. According to CUNA projections, the lobby group expects to take a hit of $650,000 by the end of the year. The cancelled Symposium accounts for approximately $350,000 of the loss. Additionally, nine education sessions were cancelled following the attacks, and CUNA is experiencing a “steep drop off” in the number of attendees at the remaining conferences and sessions, according to Mica. “We’re in the association business,” Mica explained. “The bad news is we’re feeling the impact of September 11.” However, he emphasized that CUNA was still on solid financial ground and no dues increases are expected for next year. Jolette reiterated the CUNA CEO’s optimism. He stressed that if CUNA had not performed its dues review just a few years ago, the organization would not be nearly as financially strong as it stands today. He said that CUNA reassessed its membership fees in anticipation of another large battle like H.R. 1151, but it can also be applied for unexpected tragedies, like the terrorist attacks. Jolette characterized this year’s projected losses as a “bump not a disaster.” “These are member dues dollars. I’m concerned about every cent,” Mica said. During the meeting, the CUNA Board also took note of credit unions’ assistance in disaster relief since the terrorist attacks. [email protected]

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