Since Edward Filene is remembered as the man who endorsed the idea of credit unions, then Mike Welch should be remembered as the one who pioneered the wild and crazy idea (in those days) that credit unions must develop a professional marketing approach to their members. It was a Welch crusade, and the future he predicted then became true a long time ago. Today, almost every successful credit union, large or small, can point to a well-conducted marketing effort and many even have marketing professionals in the executive suites. I was one of those marketing types and Welch’s good advice definitely helped me in my credit union career. I still recall the wisdom that came out of those marketing institutes in the Ozarks, which now seem too long ago. Welch’s agendas encouraged us to be professional in our work, as well as to become an all-round contributor to the credit union we served. Good advice then; good advice now. Welch talked straight. He knew when to motivate with his words, and when to offer constructive criticisms. Those of us who have been privileged to know him for a number of years realize he believes what he says, and that he seldom speaks without thinking first. What a privilege it has been to watch him work through the years. He leaves having made a huge impact on our industry. Gary Irvin President/CEO FORUM Credit Union Indianapolis

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