‘Our Mission is to Protect CUs’

Our nation’s policy makers must understand and appreciate our cooperative business model.

February 13, 2014
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Each year, it is vitally important that credit unions gather together in the nation’s capital to ensure our voices are heard by the nation’s policy makers. And it is especially important that they understand and appreciate our unique structure and the value of our cooperative business model.

But this year holds even greater importance. Our mission is to protect credit unions—by ensuring the continuation of our tax exemption—and to urge Congress and regulators to ease the regulatory burden on our institutions, and support the enhancement of the credit union charter for even better service to our members.

By your presence here, we can convince policy makers to move forward on both, noting that doing so will go a long way in continuing credit unions’ role in returning to consumers billions each year in financial benefits—from lower rates on loans, higher returns on savings, and fewer and lower fees.

It’s up to us to set our own agenda and establish our priorities on Capitol Hill and in Washington. The education process with policy makers begins right here in Washington at the GAC.

Thank you for your attendance this week, and for your ongoing commitment to political involvement in support of the credit union movement.

Have a great conference!

PAT WESENBERG is CUNA’s chairman and president/CEO of Central City Credit Union in Marshfield, Wis.

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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 ( 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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