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ORLANDO, Fla.-NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz’s Partnering and Leadership Successes workshop last week in Orlando covered a wide variety of issues concerning service to entire fields of membership. “Credit unions have a greater potential than ever to reach new members. However, despite record increases in potential membership, actual membership growth has been stagnant,” Matz pointed out. PALS is not only about presentations on individual experiences but also networking, she emphasized. “How to Serve Everyone in Your Field of Membership” featured CEOs from credit unions of every shape and size from across the country discussing service to members beyond the workplace, targeting demographics, expanding into new markets, and partnership building. Andrews Federal Credit Union CEO Michael Hale told PALS attendees, “Regardless of your asset size, you can’t do it all by yourself. Even as a decent-size credit union, we can’t do it all by ourselves. We developed a relationship with Balance Financial Services to augment the financial literacy training we provide our members. Whether it’s basic checking, on-line bill-paying, or any service you can mention, you’ve got to leverage your relationships to serve your members better.” Andrews works from the inside out to discover what the underserved community in Washington, D.C. needs. “The people who are doing the work are from that community. Residents understand we are committed to the community because we are providing jobs. The employees we bring in are teaching us about the community needs. The key is not to assume the community needs. So we set up an advisory council to advise us on each branch we open in a community. Each branch will be a little different, because each community may be a little different.” During his presentation, Bruce Brumfield, CEO of Founders FCU in Lancaster, S.C., advised, “Search for multiple niches. We have the same philosophy as the Hard Rock Caf. We love all, and we serve all.” And risk-based pricing is allowing Founders to do just that. “When we changed to risk-based pricing, not only did it help our profitability, it allowed us to serve more of our members,” he explained. “We make 45% of our loans to C, D, & E borrowers, and offset the risks by making 55% of our loans to A & B borrowers.” The Florida Credit Union League, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, Alabama Credit Union League, Mississippi Credit Union System, NAFCU, and National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions co-hosted the Feb. 8 workshop. [email protected]

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