CHICAGO – The growing demand for business deposit and lending services from credit union members became the draw here for NACUSO’s first ever Business Services Collaborative. More than 65 people attended the meeting Oct. 11-13, which attracted those interested in forming and/or expanding services provided by CUSOs and featured two full days of general, open-ended meeting sessions that covered a range of topics centered on opportunities in business services. Topics included everything from strategies for CUSO integration; ancillary services for the small business member; funding strategies; and SBA strategies. The sessions also featured presentations on opportunities and challenges to building business deposits and CUSO growth strategies. Each session opened with a presentation from a CUSO provider and expert who gave a `real world’ example of how that service was structured, what impact it had and what obstacles had to be overcome to make for a successful operation. “This is NACUSO `walking the talk,’” said Vic Pantea, NACUSO interim president, who is also president and chief operating officer of South Bend, Ind.-based Member Gateways, LLC, in welcoming attendees to Chicago. “This is NACUSO breathing life into the new model we created for ourselves, which came about as a direct result of adapting to the marketplace in which we all must compete.” The Business Services Collaborative was the second in a series of smaller, working-group collaborative meetings organized by NACUSO in response to member input at the organization’s annual meeting in Las Vegas last May. The first such meeting, the NACUSO CEO Collaborative, was held in Kansas City on Sept.19-21. Pantea said NACUSO’s Las Vegas meeting allowed the group to iron out the logistics. Attendees were asked for extensive input which included group meetings that could lead to “actionable ideas and projects;” smaller, working groups with interactivity and “to gather the best of breed and cutting edge ideas.” “We laid out (the) streamlined model and asked (attendees) what we could do to help (them) fulfill (their) contribution to the credit union industry. Then we listened,” Pantea said, adding the Business Services Collaborative “is all those things.” Mike Hales, president of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based Counter Intelligence Associates, facilitated the opening session by noting, “I’m humbled to be in this room with you today because in this room is the brain trust that will take the credit union industry forward. We need you to assure the continued health and success of the credit union movement. Now, let’s get down to that work, shall we?” Hales then introduced Dave Coggins, president of the Appleton, Wis.-based Business Lending Group. “Dave might be considered the grandfather of CUSO business services because he’s the president of BLG, which I believe is the first multi-owned business lending CUSO,” Hales said. Coggins then gave an overview of BLG’s modest beginnings in 1999 to its present successful operation and followed it with a question and answer period. Attendees also heard about the challenges and opportunities that exits with building business deposits from Stacie Leake, senior vice president/COO, Members Business Services, a San Bernardino, Calif.-based CUSO owned by $780 million Arrowhead CU; $369 SCE FCU; $587 million First Financial CU; and the California/Nevada CU League. Pantea had said the Collaborative was all about timing. “I wanted to get the right people together at the right time,” he said. “Opportunities like this aren’t readily available to credit unions, and NACUSO wants to provide a Collaborative to bring about innovation in the industry.” [email protected]

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