Developing Tomorrow's CU Leaders

'I like teaching and developing people.'

December 26, 2013
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Look at Bill Vogeney’s career and three themes emerge—service, education, and financial performance.

Vogeney has served as an officer of the CUNA Lending Council since 2010 and is currently council chair.

In 2011, as part of the executive committee, Vogeney assisted members of the Crashers group—now known as The Cooperative Trust—in their bid to attend the council’s annual meeting. “Getting young people who are passionate about credit unions and lending involved in this experience is very satisfying,” he says.

What initially attracted Vogeney to the council’s conferences was the opportunity to exchange information. “I met great lending professionals, and I love sharing ideas with other credit unions,” he adds.

“Bill is always willing to help credit unions of any size, especially smaller credit unions with fewer resources,” says Aaron Bresko, senior vice president/ chief lending offcer for GTE Financial, Tampa, Fla.

“He shares documents, best practices, and his extensive knowledge when consulting with them on any lending topic,” adds Bresko, previous council chair.

Networking with young professionals reminds Vogeney of his good fortune when he was hired at age 27 as vice president of lending at a $200 million asset credit union nearly 25 years ago.

“It was a great learning experience, although one I wouldn’t recommend for everyone,” he adds.

Currently executive vice president/chief lending offier for $3.7 billion asset Ent Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs, Vogeney says his lending philosophy and practices helped during the recent recession.

“Looking back, I think we benefitted from making decisions about lending products, underwriting, and strategies that were reasonably sustainable regardless of the economic environment,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of companies and products perform really well for several years, until some series of events causes turmoil.

“I try to make incremental changes and measure the results,” he says. “Our credit union might not be among the fastest growing in an economic expansion, but we won’t have to stop lending or make drastic adjustments to tighten credit in a downturn, either.”

Vogeney says good leaders should be good educators. “I like teaching and developing people. Developing tomorrow’s credit union leaders should be every executive’s most important job.”

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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