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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In a governance departure possibly impacting other state leagues and reflecting regional CU growth, the Credit Union Association of Colorado is giving out-of-state CUs a stronger voice in guiding policy of the trade group. Meeting here for its annual meeting, CUAC delegates voted unanimously to allow out-of-state CUs with branches in the state to have full voting powers on trade group matters. “We already have several out-of-state credit unions with a major presence in Colorado, and over time this is going to be a growing trend as credit unions across the country merge and operate in a multi-state environment,” said John Dill, president and CEO of the association. Dill characterized the change as one that would prepare the organization for future growth, “not one that might result in some huge influx of new members. Removing barriers to membership in our association is the right message of unity to send to current and prospective members.” He added, “our advocacy, communications and member service programs provide real value to all the credit unions operating in Colorado, and we hope that out-of-state credit unions that have invested in Colorado will see the benefit of investing in our association, as well.” Previously, foreign CUs could use and pay for association services, but were denied a say regarding management and operations. CUNA officials said a number of state leagues have separate associate member categories for vendors or for foreign CUs but in known cases foreign CUs are denied voting rights. Dill said foreign dues would be calculated on the basis of member deposits and assets in Colorado and not on the basis of home state numbers. Just how many foreign CUs would start paying CUAC dues and which CUs they include was unclear. CUAC said it was taking a historic step in creating a new foreign category and it was doing so in conjunction with CUNA. In a prepared release, Dill said the membership change to Colorado’s bylaws had been under discussion the last six months both with other league CEOs and with the CUNA staff. The issue was aired with Colorado CUs “during town hall meetings and other forums prior to the vote,” said CUAC Susan Newton, CUNA senior vice president who spoke at the Colorado Springs meeting and conferred with Dill and others regarding the new member category, said CUAC was adopting a “new twist” in league governance. “The Colorado League goal looks to be a way of promoting unity and to be as inclusive as possible and this is one way to do it considering the trend toward consolidation with credit unions moving across state lines,” said Newton. The CUNA official who also is executive director of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues stressed that “it is up to each state to decide on its own what works best” adding that it will be interesting to see how the Colorado system fares. -

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