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A year or two ago, Billy Crystal fulfilled a childhood dream when he signed a one-day contract to play for the New York Yankees. Imagine the excitement of coming to the plate, the awe of standing in the same batter’s box where some of the greatest figures in sports history stood and the absolute fear of facing a 90-mile-an-hour fastball. Pretty impressive stuff.So why do I feel like Billy you ask? Every few months Sarah Cooke asks me to write the Publisher’s Notebook. I’m not sure why. I’m the first to confess my lack of talent as a writer. My feeble attempts fall far short compared to the skill of the team that fills our masthead. A little like Billy in the same spot as Lou Gehrig and the Mick.I was given the opportunity to take the publisher’s title exactly one year ago, following in the footsteps of a team well known in credit union circles. Those that have moved on are still remembered for their insight and dedication to the movement. Credit Union Times was built on their ability to understand and communicate the good and the bad news on a weekly basis. The mission remains the same today with Sarah at the helm.When I came on board, my knowledge of the credit union movement was minimal other than my 35-year membership at my credit union. I have learned a great deal from many of you and continue to learn every day. And I have to thank those who have patiently defined the many acronyms in our business. Walter Laskos introduced me to the CUDE program from NCUF. This was the home run of the year! If you want your staff to see the big picture, this is the training they need. Tom Decker runs a tremendous program assisted by some of the icons in our movement.So back to the Billy Crystal analogy. I’m in the job I have worked toward my entire career in a business that is fascinating. I am a rookie among the seasoned professionals when it comes to writing, but I am a builder of business, which is why I am here. For me, 2008 was all about personal education and maintaining publication integrity and stability.This year will be about growth, new product development and dissemination of information in new and exciting formats. We are listening to you as much as you are reading us. Keep these lines open and tell us what you want and need.Thanks for your support and Happy New Year everyone!–Thomas R. Greve

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Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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