It may have been short-lived, but the 10-minute mega-screen plug for defense credit unions in Times Square at NASDAQ’s opening lived up to all the expectations.
That was the assessment of the leadership of the Defense Credit Union Council, which recently managed to broadcast a positive CU message “to millions around the world” who saw the ceremony–with DCUC executives delivering the message–beamed on TV sets worldwide and on New York streets from a NASDAQ studio.
“The fact is corporate members of NASDAQ normally get to give their promotion message at the opening ceremony, but we were lucky enough to get advance permission, which our CEO, Arty Arteaga arranged,” explained Frank Padak, chairman of DCUC and president/CEO of the $760 million Scott CU in Collinsville, Ill.
In delivering his brief remarks focusing on CU support for the military, Padak confessed he “was very nervous and felt like a rock star” making the video as “the NASDAQ staff could not have been more supportive and helpful.”
The occasion for the NASDAQ appearance by DCUC officials coincided with the trade group’s annual conference last month at the Marriott Marquis Hotel just down the street from NASDAQ’s Broadway headquarters.
“I decided it was worth it to see we could get on the NASDAQ list for the ceremony opening up the trading day and sure enough it worked,” said Arteaga, who arranged to have the hundreds of DCUC delegates walk across the street on the closing day of the conference to witness the event.
Echoing Padak as a participant in the DCUC assemblage before NASDAQ cameras was Gordon Simmons, president/CEO of the $1.8 billion Service CU, Portsmouth, N.H. who said “it was truly exhilarating and a high honor for credit unions” to get this kind of public visibility.
“Look, it is terrific where we could get that kind of exposure in a place where 9 million can learn something about credit unions and what they do for our soldiers and their families here and overseas,” said Simmons.
Not only Times Square pedestrians heard the speech-making on the jumbo screens but the remarks were telecast on cable stations and to trading rooms across the U.S. and around the globe, officials said.
In his remarks, Padak, who admitted having a case of the jitters “since I did not want to make a mistake and flub my speech” cited the “honor and a privilege” of a CU leader “to stand before you and open today’s NASDAQ on behalf of the Defense Credit Union Council and its member credit unions, whose daily support of the greatest Americans of all, our troops and their families–is genuinely without equal.”
Padak said military CUs “are proud to be an integral part of the Department of Defense family and equally committed to promoting the morale, welfare, and financial readiness of our armed forces.”
Many of the record 450 conference delegates and their spouses attending the Manhattan conference were invited to tour the NASDAQ facility. with many hearing the speech in the studio near the trading floor.
DCUC officials said the event had been planned four or five months ahead “and there was always the possibility we might get bumped if a NASDAQ member wanted that day to do the pre-opening ceremony,” said Simmons.
For Padak, the whole event “was truly awesome but I was a bit of a nervous wreck.” For one thing, his twin daughters got to see their father in the broadcast shown that day on TV monitors in their Collinsville school.