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I always enjoy reading Publisher Mike Welch’s column, even on occasions when we don’t agree, and I paid special attention to his May 26th comments on State CU League changes, which were perceptive and generally on-the-mark. Governance system changes that provide more effective and equitable representation for member credit unions in their leagues are sometimes difficult to achieve but necessary for continued organizational vitality. Those leagues that have met these challenges, including ours, are much the better for having addressed governance needs. Even then, regular review and adjustment are necessary to maintain governance equity. As Mike also suggests, creating alliances and partnerships among leagues is the key to leveraging our resources and maximizing value to our member credit unions over the long term. As our credit unions have found, regardless of size, none of us can do as well individually as more of us can do cooperatively. Our members rightly expect us to provide superior core trade association services, especially in advocacy, which is “Job One” – and would be even if we weren’t experiencing the current onslaught of vicious attacks on credit unions by bankers. Consolidation of support functions is one way to allow us to increase effectiveness while maintaining our focus on such critical association functions, and should be pursued. However, I believe that an effective league should exist in every state to address local needs, especially state governmental affairs matters. Grassroots political involvement must occur at the state level, and even in states with few or no state chartered credit unions, state law changes often affect the operations of both state and federally-chartered credit unions. While Mike suggests that reductions in staff and associated costs haven’t materialized from such consolidations, there are examples to the contrary, such as the partnership/management agreement between the Nevada and California leagues. During the eight-and-a-half years this agreement has been in effect, Nevada credit unions have seen the services they receive from their league increase dramatically, while their dues have been reduced twice due to staff and cost reductions. California credit unions have also benefited as their programs and services have been buttressed through broader participation and economies of scale – truly a win-win. As our credit unions seek to maximize their effectiveness through cooperative endeavors such as multiple-owner CUSOs, they expect us to do the same. And they should. David L Chatfield President/CEO California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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