<p>In Mike Welch's column, "Volunteers need more education, not more politics," (CU Times, Nov. 14, 2001), he talked about the Credit Union Directors of America (CUDA). I thought your readers might wish to have some additional information about the group from a volunteer professional's perspective. CUDA does not seek to be another organization with a political agenda. Instead, I anticipate that it will evolve into whatever direction the organization of volunteer professionals believe to be necessary for events as the future unfolds. At present, I hope that it evolves into a good Web site with information on credit union vacancies at chapter, state, and national policy and governing levels. If it brings back the volunteer into the governing process, then it will have achieved my objective. At our exploratory meeting in California, one volunteer professional suggested that his goal was to get representation on committee's such as CUNA's Renaissance Commission. At that point, one of two CEO's at the meeting was overheard saying that would never happen. If such a negative attitude toward volunteer professionals is pervasive in the industry, then CUDA will likely evolve into a more active role. If we can get volunteers on policy boards of state organizations, maybe we can influence the educational/training programs they put on at various conferences. It would be helpful if there was more emphasis on volunteer issues and how the volunteer can play a more meaningful role in the credit union process. Also, there is a need to ensure that volunteer professionals have a good understanding of the philosophy of the credit union movement to ensure it is reflected in the board room when topics such as marketing, investments, finance, and new products are being discussed and voted on. No one wants unqualified people in leadership positions. CUDA should not evolve into a "good old boy" system or a political organization. These already exist. How CUDA develops must be decided by the volunteer professionals. All we can do at this point is to raise the relevant issues and work to establish a forum where volunteer professionals can gather and discuss their role in the credit union movement. Maybe we will not be able to reach a consensus and CUDA may not achieve its goals. But it is worth the effort to bring the issue forward and try. It is good to see volunteer professionals taking an interest and trying to make a difference. David Mackowiak Volunteer Sierra Central CU Yuba City, Calif.</p>

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