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<p>I just read an interesting article in the January 23rd issue of Credit Union Times regarding NAFCU Service Corporation’s aspirations for a Preferred Provider Program that will be beneficial to NAFCU members. As a NAFCU member, I would appreciate such a program; however, as a past board member of our state league and past chair of the products and services committee of the league, a word of caution – don’t let the issue get clouded. It’s difficult to get an organization to change its endorsement from a company whose product or service has been proven to be inferior to one whose product or service is substantially superior and will benefit the membership a great deal more, when the endorsement dollars get in the way! Many years ago I was chided by a league board chairman when as chair of the products and services committee I reported that the committee recommended that neither of two vendors be endorsed because we did not feel the service they were offering would be of benefit to the credit unions. Of course, the chairman was concerned about endorsement dollars while the committee’s position was based solely on our mission statement. Since retiring as a board member I have strongly encouraged our league to endorse a vendor who definitely supplies a superior product to the endorsed vendor and who supports credit unions through thousands of dollars in PAC money as well as lobbying. This vendor however has a policy against paying endorsement dollars, stating they believe their product and service will speak for itself. While it does in my shop, my recommendations fall on deaf ears at the league level because of endorsement dollars already being received from a vendor who in my opinion offers a much inferior product. While I know we’re always looking for income streams, I believe the best endorsement a company can receive is one based strictly on their product and service with no strings attached to the purse strings. Donna Haines President/CEO Sand Springs Community FCU Sand Springs, Okla.</p>

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