Michael WaylettAs a fledgling 30-somethingwith a fresh coat of wetness behind my ears – and, in a room fullof peers with shoes older than me – perhaps I shouldn't haveapproached arguably the credit union world's biggest icon with suchconviction and naivety.

Jim Blaine, the CEO of the nation's second largest creditunion, was no stranger to credit union newswires, regularly takingfirm and sometimes unpopular stances on credit union issues.Initially, many in the movement were left scratching their heads atsome of Mr. Blaine's decisions, only to find themselves, soonthereafter, spraining calf muscles to hop atop his bandwagon. Thosewho were able to leave their minds open long enough wouldinevitably find the method to Blaine's madness.

Suffice to say, with every bit of controversy and headline,Jimbo Blaine knew exactly what he was doing all along. We just hadto stick around long enough to witness his plan unfold. He wassmarter than all of us, even Debbie Matz.

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