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LAS VEGAS — With a reputation for operating a tight ship, Tom Smigielski, the retired president/CEO of Pacific Service Credit Union in California, felt safe in offering CU directors here a bit of advice last week: Encourage good ideas from top managers. But, in following up, make sure those ideas pass a three-pronged test: Do members want the product or service? Is the CU capable of providing the offering? And, will it make money?

“If it doesn’t pass any of those thresholds, the idea gets stopped at the front door,” suggested Smigielski, who retired last January from the $1.1 billion Walnut Creek CU after 17 years on the job and winning for his CU an array of top national honors from human resources groups as a best place to work.

Before he left the job, Smigielski maintained a 1.7% operating expense ratio at Pacific Service with its 110 employees and five branches.

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