The end of the year is a time for giving thanks for the many opportunities and lessons of the past. So while we’re (turkey) sandwiched in between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza, it’s time to take stock of all the things for which to be grateful.

We can all be grateful so many amazing credit union leaders exist to include in CU Times’ Final Four program. We started out with 64, and believe me, it was difficult for us to whittle down to only that many. We let the readers take it from there with online voting. Following who makes it to the next round has been fun, although everyone on that original list – and many others – are all winners. It’s been interesting to observe who lobbies for themselves or a colleague, who’s sharing on social media and who emails us privately about this pick or that. Participation in this program has far exceeded my expectations, which makes me grateful for our loyal audience. I’m also grateful to Executive Editor Heather Anderson for talking me into it, and particularly Social Media Director/Senior Reporter Myriam DiGiovanni for plowing through all the complications.

I’m grateful credit unions are being thoughtful about members’ money when it comes to credit union trade association dues spending. CU Times surveyed readers online, asking, “What do you think about CUNA’s decision to rewrite its membership bylaws?” Nearly half (48.5%) responded, “It sounds promising but if the board votes it down again, it could backfire.” Very, very true, but I am grateful CUNA is studying its structure again. Another 31.8% said, “It’s a good sign CUNA is listening to its members.” So is the second time the charm? Not necessarily for all: 17.7% responded, “It’s a mistake. CUNA should keep dual membership.” A few of the “other” responses asked whether projections were performed on the budget impact of discontinuing dual membership, while another said it’s “too little, too late.” Another asked, “Who cares what they do anymore?” Regardless of how you feel about CUNA’s handling of its structure and the membership task force report, everyone should care what happens. The ramifications could be immeasurable on the entire credit union community, CUNA member or not.

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