I relocated to Southern California a little more than 10 years ago, saying so-long to the snow and frosty cold of the Northeast. Now, I make my home in what I consider one of the best regions to live in the country. Yet, despite my love affair for all that is California, from the cool ocean breezes to the glitter of Hollywood, I find it amusing that when recently given a choice to attend a baseball game, I immediately selected one featuring the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. I grew up with the Phils and to me they represent a part of my life that’s cherished as much as mom’s pierogi, scrapple and the American flag. They are part of my roots.

The subject of roots came up for me in a recent conversation I had with a wonderful credit union CEO from the San Diego area. This time, the focus was on a credit union’s roots. As leaders, our vision is often times set to look forward, to what we can offer members, to what we can become. While there still is, somewhere, maybe an occasional cigar box with money, a majority of today’s American credit unions are sophisticated financial centers catering to expanded fields of membership. This is all well and good if credit unions are to serve their members effectively in today’s marketplace. But what does this all say about our common roots among other cooperatives?

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