Just a comment on Mike Welch’s column about the performance of credit unions over the last several years (CU Times, Aug. 7). I agree we should be very proud of the job CUs are doing for their members even though we may have a handful of individuals who perhaps have a higher regard for their own self worth than for their members. Like the majority of credit unions, we are very fortunate to have a board that understands their mission is to advise and provide counsel while letting staff handle daily operations. They stay involved with industry trends by going to seminars, actually attend the sessions and then come back and make an official report to their colleagues on what they learned. They understand if we don’t change to meet the needs of our members, someone else will. Another thing I have learned over the 25 years I have been in the credit union movement is that we must always remember we are merely stewards of our members’ money. If we put them first and do what is in the best overall interest of the credit union then everything else usually works out just fine. Like any other industry, the trouble starts when the most important person in the organization becomes someone other than those you are there to serve! And in our business, that’s when the members suffer. Thankfully the majority of our credit unions understand that philosophy and act accordingly. W. Blake Strickland President and CEO Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Chattanooga, Tenn.

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