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Mike Welch has been involved in the credit union movement for many years. So I was quite surprised by his apparent lack of understanding and appreciation for the job done by league chairmen when Welch concludes in his Oct. 15th column, “51 League Chairmen Like Heinz 57 Varieties” that most “will have come and gone without much really changing, or having done anything but go through the motions.” I feel compelled to respond not only as chairman of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) but also as a league president who has been the recipient of leadership provided by many league chairs over the years. Recently, leagues have faced governance issues, financial/funding challenges, maintaining unity of credit unions, and increasingly diverse membership needs, to name just a few. In addition, league chairmen have been at the forefront of key system initiatives such as the most recent state banker attacks and our on-going focus on political action. All of the issues faced by leagues were initiated, championed, addressed or overseen by league chairmen. At times, this has meant sitting in the “hot seat” in order to deal with such issues as downsizing league boards to a more appropriate level due to the changing credit union marketplace. Or maybe leading a task force to oversee the increase of dues on credit unions to ensure a strong state level support organization would be capable of leading credit unions into the future. Not exactly the types of issues that put league chairmen at the top of many holiday card lists! Yet league chairmen tackle these issues and more through a combination of personal and professional dedication and sacrifice. They do so with the credit union philosophy and the power of cooperation firmly in mind. They lead vital boards. They provide guidance to management. They answer to diverse memberships. They deal with financial challenges. They spark change and innovation. They represent their leagues before all constituencies, leading well when times are good and when times are tough. They have much to do with abundant league accomplishments The credit union system is built on volunteerism, and the league structure is a beneficiary of this same practice. On behalf of the league staffs and their credit union peers, I would like to thank all of those individuals who have put themselves forth to lead their state leagues, not only the chairs, but all who have the courage to expose themselves to potential risks – all in the interest of making a difference for their entire state by volunteering their time on their league board. And make a difference they do! Scott Earl Chairman, American Assoc. of Credit Union Leagues President/CEO Utah League of Credit Unions

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