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BALTIMORE – The Maryland Credit Union League has developed a two-year strategic plan for enhanced services for credit unions, and CUs will have a chance to learn more about them and offer their suggestions at a series of town hall-style meetings MCUL plans to hold throughout the state. Three meetings are planned and are coordinated around the League’s chapters – on May 19 a meeting is scheduled in the western part of the state; on May 20 in Baltimore; and the following week a meeting will be held in suburban D.C. “When I started working with the League in January, I wanted to commit to doing as quickly as possible a top to bottom overview of the League’s entire operations,” said League President/CEO Mike Beall. He defined four areas – advocacy, education, services, credit union development – “because they refer to the range of things most leagues provide, and they gave us a framework to build a strategic plan around and look at what we as a league are currently doing, what we should add, and how do we do that in such a way so it fits,” Beall said. “We want to build a roadmap,” the MCUL president/CEO added. To begin the exercise, League staff developed action items in each of the four areas. Then a couple of weeks ago, Beall unveiled the plan to the League’s board of directors and held a day-long strategy session with them to garner the board’s feedback. The strategic plan was also mailed to affiliated CUs – 70% of all CUs in Maryland – as well as unaffiliated CUs and vendors “who have a stake in Maryland’s credit unions,” said Beall. Copies were sent in hardcopy and emails. They were also burned onto CDs. Among the suggestions included in the strategic plan under `Advocacy’ is to work more closely with John Hurson, the new chairman of the National Conference of State Legislators, who is also a delegate to the state General Assembly. “We want Hurson to know credit unions’ positions and to make sure credit unions are protected from banker attacks at the NCSL level,” said Beall. The Maryland League already held its first-ever Hike the Hill in Washington, D.C. on April 29. Under education, Beall said he wants to make sure the League is positioned to be the hub for information and education for credit unions. It is in the process of working with the League’s credit union chairmen’s forum to develop a volunteers Web page that will include information on education programs and other information relevant and of interest to volunteers. “We want to make sure our volunteers are well trained and have access to many resources, and be sure there’s a place on our Web site volunteers can go for information,” said Beall. Beall said the upcoming town hall meetings “are an opportunity to get a good discussion going about the plan.” He added that by holding the meetings, “we want to say to our members that we operate as a result of their confidence in us and they have a say in what we do. These meetings are a fantastic opportunity for us to talk with these folks.” According to Beall more than 100 people had signed up for the town hall meetings, but he said he expect more to show up. He added that he’d already heard from credit unions that the League’s initiative to reach out and ask for their feedback was being accepted positively. Beall said he hopes to hold these types of meetings on an annual basis, but separate from the League’s annual meeting. -

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