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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Credit unions have held “their own and done damage control” against banker attacks in 2003, but CUNA’s incoming leadership will probably need to become more aggressive in countering the ongoing assault, according to CUNA’s outgoing chairman, Barry Jolette, CEO of San Mateo Credit Union. In a yearend review, Jolette, who steps down as CUNA head Oct. 1 at the annual meeting in Reno, said the industry will likely be examining ways to demonstrate to bankers-and the public -that such attacks in the legislatures and the courts “have negative consequences” certainly to the banks’ image and reputation. “There has to be a ricochet effect,” observed Jolette adding that like admonishing a child that misbehaves, the banking industry must be taught that “when you do something wrong, there are consequences.” Jolette, who will be succeeded as CUNA chairman at the Reno “Future Forum” meeting by Richard Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, said during the year CUNA’s membership has seemed satisfied with the vigorous advocacy role CUNA has performed before Congress and regulatory agencies. Political advocacy remains a No.1 role for CUNA as it faces down the banker challenge, added the 60-year-old Californian, who is also stepping down from the CUNA Board on Oct. 1. Traditionally, the CUNA chairman remains on the board for a year after his term, but Jolette said he is eager to devote his energies to the World Council of Credit Unions where he has been treasurer. Filling Jolette’s seat on the Board is Ron McDaniel, president of Point Mugu FCU, Oxnard, Calif. who was named to the post Aug. 28 in a special election. Jolette, who said he has no plans to retire from the San Mateo CU once his CUNA term ends, said he has found his WOCCU job particularly satisfying in helping developing countries get CU networks up and running. He pointed to work done in the Philippines and in Poland. “I’ve found that job particularly satisfying helping developing countries get their credit union networks up and running,” said Jolette pointing to work done in the Philippines and in Poland. He said it is “amazing” how much progress has been achieved by those two countries as well as others in Eastern Europe and Asia in putting together CU organizations where none existed or were in skeleton form. “I am continually impressed with the good work done by our own credit unions in helping others around the globe and the strides made in foreign countries,” said Jolette. In his foreign trips particularly to hotbeds of terrorism like the Philippines, Jolette said he is always cautious but has never shied from visiting with CU executives in those countries. “You simply can’t crawl in a hole awaiting for something to happen,” Jolette reflected adding “it’s more dangerous driving to work” than traveling to countries which have experienced terror outbreaks. [email protected]

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