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MADISON, WIS. – Aiming to prepare CEOs for “unique challenges” relating to bank attacks and mergers as well as acquiring leadership skills, the Credit Union Executives Society is looking to set up its first education linkup with Harvard University in 2004. Under a new “Advanced Leadership Institute” program for top CU managers and directors starting in July, CUES said it is planning a concentrated five-day program at Harvard designed to help CUs “manage change” in the face of a declining number of CUs and the “continuing threat of taxation” from banks. “The choice of the Harvard Business School was based on a variety of factors, including HBS strength of faculty, exceptional experience in executive education and the enormous amount of prestige the school could offer to the credit union industry,” said Fred Johnson, CUES president and CEO. The Harvard tie, said Johnson, also signals “a coming of age for credit unions and the importance they play in the financial services industry.” The impetus for holding the Institute at Harvard, said Johnson, is to “create a `next step’ for graduates” of CUES’ CEO Institute and its Directors Leadership Institute. The dates for the Advanced Institute are July 25-30. Announcement of the Harvard program was made during CUES annual Directors Conference meeting in Las Vegas Dec. 8-11 at the Paris Hotel/Casino. Operating under its “Executive Education” program umbrella, CUES since 1995 has been conducting its three-week CEO Institute series for CEOs and other members of senior management over a three-year period with classes at three colleges. The first week is held at the Wharton School, part of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, focusing on “strategic thinking” with the second week at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. on organizational effectiveness. The third week is at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School in Charlottesville and focuses on individual leadership. Each year about 40 individuals attend each of the colleges. Separately, CUES holds a Directors Leadership Institute, a three and a half day intensive program for credit union directors “which aims to educate and inspire attendees on cutting edge issues and trends in the world of business.” The Directors Leadership Institute is held each year at the London Business School in England. Under the new Advanced Leadership Institute, the Harvard program “is a next step for graduates of both CEO Institute and the Leadership Institute,” according to George Hofheimer, CUES vice president of professional development. CUES said details of the Harvard curriculum are to be drawn up in January with two Harvard professors, Dwight B. Crane in business administration and Peter Tufano in financial management. Both professors are already signed up to lead the program. “The two have already made visits with credit union CEOs to work out the courses and the study program,” said Johnson, the CUES president. Additional faculty will be named during in January. Crane is the George Fisher Baker, Jr. Professor of Business Administration and currently chair of the Owner/President Management program teaching financial management. He is also faculty coordinator of the school’s European Research Initiative. He has been a long-time member of the finance faculty concentrating on financial institutions and markets. He was senior associate dean at the school for eight years, serving as director of faculty development and director of research. Crane has also taught finance and banking courses in the MBA program and is former director of the Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. Tufano is the Sylvan C. Coleman Professor of Financial Management whose primary research has been on financial innovation and financial engineering techniques by corporations. He is a senior associate dean of the school, and serves as the co-director of faculty development. Tufano shared the responsibility for redesign of required finance courses at HBS, and he currently teaches and oversees finance courses. His current research has looked into factors influencing the development of the mutual fund industry around the world and how corporations manage risk. He has been involved in the delivery of financial services to the poor, working to create a large-scale matched savings program for lower income families. Tufano is also the founder and chairman of D2D Fund, Inc., a nonprofit that is creating partnerships between government, large financial institutions and community-based organizations to encourage asset building. He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and is on the editorial boards of several finance journals. CUES said its Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard represents “the pinnacle of professional development for the credit union industry.” Harvard’s mission, said CUES, has been to educate leaders “who make a difference in the world” and, that CUES said, is “exactly what we will accomplish at the CUES Advanced Leadership Institute.” Hofheimer said the Harvard element of the Leadership Institute is aimed at veteran CEOS of large CUs who are eager to build their skills from “an intense one week program” available on the Boston campus but may not have time for the full three year commitment. In a summary paper describing the Harvard program, CUES noted that “credit unions stand at a crossroads” in their development and that “increased competition, changing consumer demands as well as technological innovation and regulatory forces” have created “a new world for credit unions.” CUs “are facing the types of generic pressures most other industries face: competitive, technological, regulatory and changing consumer demands. However, some of the unique challenges facing credit unions today include: “Decreasing number of credit unions serving a greater number of members leading to greater organizational complexity 2. Continuing threat of taxation from the banking lobby in the United States 3. “Growing importance of mergers and amalgamations within the industry as scale and growth are the means for survival 4. “Increasing use of strategic alliances and partnerships both within and outside the industry to obtain resources 5. “Shifting from mission driven organizations (`serving the underserved’) to simply purveyors of financial services.” All of the changes, concluded CUES, make it vital that CU executives and directors “navigate the future in a strategic and confident manner and understand the key drives of success in the 21st century.” CUES identified nine CU executives as helping to formalize the program for the Advanced Institute. They are: Grace Mayo, President/CEO, Telesis CU; John Zells, SVP/Chief Marketing Officer, IBM Southeast CU; Fred Townley McKay, President/CEO, Southwest Credit Union (CANADA); William Earner, COO, Navy FCU; Tom Ryan, SVP, Digital FCU; John Smolinsky, President/CEO, Saugus FCU; David Craigen, General Manager, Powell River CU (CANADA); Michael Clinton, Director Emeritus, Affinity FCU; and Doug Fecher, President/CEO, Wright-Patt CU. -

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