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There appears to be agreement that more volunteers on national boards would be a good thing. I too would like to see more volunteers representing credit unions on national boards. The volunteer does bring a different and valuable perspective to the table. I do have a thought on how to accomplish that goal. As a volunteer I served nine years on NAFCU’s Board and subsequently served on the NAFCU Services Corporation (NSC) Board. I served on NAFCU’s Executive Committee as Secretary and served as Chairman of NSC. I was elected as a Regional Director and subsequently as a National Director of NAFCU. Prior to running for the NAFCU Board I served on a series of NAFCU committees. During those years I got to know quite a few CEOs and they got to know me. I believe I earned their respect. The reason I say this as I would meet new CEOs and we would discuss various issues and often they would leave the discussion believing I was also a CEO. I was able to discuss issues from their perspective and with a good base of knowledge on the issues. I wasn’t playing up to them (that does not earn respect) but earnestly trying to explore CU issues. When I ran for regional director it was CEOs that campaigned for me. The same was true when I ran for a national director’s position. The “CEO network” was behind me because I had earned the respect of quite a few influential CEOs. To this day many of my close friends are CEOs. The voting for national boards is controlled (as it should be) by CEOs. Most directors have no idea who to vote for in regional and national elections. Volunteer credentials are important but will not impress CEOs who do not know the volunteer. However, CEOs will listen to their peers regarding elections. The volunteer image problem that Mike Welch referred to in a recent column goes away when CEOs vouch for a volunteer. Welch notes the problem of the volunteer’s time away from work to serve on national boards. For the first five years I took vacation time for NAFCU committee and board meetings. During the later years BMI FCU paid me for time away from my full-time job. The CU paying for the volunteer’s time away from work should enable quite a few volunteers to make the commitment. So my advice to passionate, enthusiastic volunteers is to get to know as many CEOs as possible. Show them you are committed to CUs and earn their respect. If you do CEOs will make sure you get elected. CEOs do not have nor do they want an exclusive club on national boards. However, CEOs will require you to rise to their level of understanding of CU issues. Denny Hockman Board Chairman BMI FCU Columbus, Ohio

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