It was with great interest that I read Marc Schaefer’s letter to the editor printed in the August 10 issue of Credit Union Times. It was clear that you had carefully read both my July 13 letter and Herb Moltzan’s piece about his former credit union’s conversion experience. Although I can’t agree with your interpretation of events or impacts, your letter illustrated thoughtful consideration of the situation and added to the healthy discussion of the conversion issue. However, I must take specific exception to your comment in reference to Mr. Moltzan and me in which you state, “It’s difficult to imagine two contributors to Credit Union Times (other than the bank trades) that are less cognizant of credit union culture and values.” I found this disparaging remark to be unnecessary, inaccurate, and personally offensive. What exactly are the culture and values that you ascribe to credit unions and claim that I don’t understand? Have you joined the CU Philosophy Police and placed your opinion above all others? I expect that my understanding of credit union culture and values actually exceeds that of the typical credit union CEO. (If the shoe fits, wear it.) I have spent 30 years working with all types and sizes of credit unions in a variety of capacities. I have attended hundreds of credit union chapter meetings, trade shows, educational conferences, legislative forums and association board meetings. I have also participated in scores of individual credit union membership meetings. I continue to assist credit union management and volunteer leaders to address a broad range of strategic considerations. I regularly communicate with credit union executives that are considering charter conversion as well as those that prefer the credit union model. I assure you that I have a significant understanding of credit union culture and values and see absolutely no conflict between these values and the preservation of charter choice. I challenge you to a public discussion about credit union culture and values, the conversion issue, the movement vs. industry debate, the role of CU member ownership and control, and/or credit union leaders, and advocacy responsibilities. I notice that you currently serve as Board Chairman for the National Association of Community Credit Unions. Your association’s October 20-23 conference in Santa Fe, N.M. appears to totally ignore the conversion issue. Is this deliberate or inadvertent? The conversion issue should have particular relevance to leaders from community-chartered credit unions considering the special marketplace challenges they face. Why not exercise your prerogative as NACCU Chairman to add this hot topic to the agenda. I’d be happy to join you in Santa Fe to help NACCU to wrestle with this important subject. Also, the last time I looked at, the CEOs of Community Credit Union and OmniAmerican Credit Union were both members of NACCU. Why not simply ask these NACCU members to make an informative presentation? I hope that we can leverage our shared interest in this important subject, albeit from different perspectives, to ensure that our credit union industry colleagues achieve a full and accurate understanding of the value of both the credit union and mutual savings bank charters. Marvin C. Umholtz President & CEO Umholtz Strategic Planning & Consulting Services Castle Rock, Colo.

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