CUNA News Podcast

Credit Union National Association

Credit union people. Credit union ideas.

All Episodes

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than four million homeowners—credit union members among them—needed mortgage assistance. While many have recovered, there is still a need to support homeowners as they come out of forbearance. Helping homeowners depends on exceptional member care and communication. It also means considering what other support can be offered and what process changes can be made to deliver optimal outcomes.  This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Lori Pinto, senior vice president of business development at Cenlar, the mortgage subservicing partner to CU Servnet. CU Servnet shares the same goals as credit unions and regulators, according to Pinto. This includes helping homeowners stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. In this episode, Pinto also explores mortgage and homeownership trends to expect in 2022.

Nov 18

18 min 34 sec

Becoming a leader, working with people from different backgrounds, and growing up are among the top lessons veterans have taken away from their military service. During the month of November, CUNA News is sharing stories of people in the credit union movement who have served in the military and how those experiences have shaped their credit union careers in A Salute to Veterans, sponsored by FIS. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, seven veterans share the lessons they learned in the military that have been useful in their credit unions careers. After listening to the podcast, read more about these veterans’ stories at CUNA News’ A Salute to Veterans.

Nov 11

13 min 3 sec

Of all the tests credit unions have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued threat of phishing has proven to be an insidious and evolving challenge. Fraudsters have leveraged the pandemic environment in many ways in order to target credit union systems and staff. Unfortunately for those attackers, credit unions have a wealth of knowledge, training, and tools that they can use to deter phishing and stay ahead of fraud trends. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Mieng Lim, vice president of product management at Digital Defense. Lim outlines the latest phishing trends credit unions should know about, shares strategies for training employees to avoid threats, and explains how phishing attacks may evolve in the future.

Nov 4

19 min 51 sec

Culture will shape the future of financial services for credit unions. That’s according to leaders from Curinos, a leading provider of data, technologies, and insights in the financial industry. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features four guests from Curinos:Hank Israel, director of innovation and new markets.Chris Ward, director of digital and consulting.Rutger van Faassen, head of product and market strategy.Randy Rosen, vice president of benchmarking and applied analytics. They discuss what the credit union of the future will look like, how cultural digital transformation will affect credit unions, and what credit unions can do to prepare.

Oct 28

17 min 7 sec

Credit Union Rock Stars elevate their credit unions’ voices in many ways. For Tansley Stearns and Kara Yaquinta, the podcast format offered a new and effective channel to reach audiences with messages of community leadership and financial well-being. Stearns, chief people and strategy officer at Canvas Credit Union in Lone Tree, Colorado, collaborated with her team to create the credit union’s podcast, "In the Room with Todd Marksberry." Yaquinta, digital growth strategist at Tropical Financial Credit Union in Miramar, Florida, launched and co-hosts the credit union’s "Get Beyond Money" podcast. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Stearns and Yaquinta explain the steps they took to start their podcasts, the expertise needed to produce engaging episodes, and the feedback they’ve received from listeners. Stearns and Yaquinta are among 31 credit union leaders named as 2021 Credit Union Rock Stars by Credit Union Magazine. Sponsored by Fiserv, the Credit Union Rock Stars program recognizes outstanding credit union professionals and volunteers from a wide range of disciplines for their exceptional creativity, innovation, and passion.

Oct 28

21 min 22 sec

Credit Union Rock Stars are typically known for their selflessness and dedication to others. Sheri Szemplinski and Arnessa Belin are no exceptions.  Sheri Szemplinski, operations administrator for the business operations team in commercial banking at $2.3 billion asset CAP COM Federal Credit Union in Albany, N.Y., has committed her legacy to volunteer work, both at the credit union and in her personal life.  Arnessa Belin, call center supervisor at $28 billion asset BECU in Tukwila, Wash., has found that a career in cooperative financial services allows her to express herself while creating change within her workplace and community.  They’re among 31 credit union leaders named as 2021 Credit Union Rock Stars by Credit Union Magazine. Sponsored by Fiserv, the Credit Union Rock Stars program recognizes outstanding credit union professionals and volunteers from a wide range of disciplines for their exceptional creativity, innovation, and passion. 

Oct 21

16 min 57 sec

The credit union industry has seen extraordinary evolution in the last 18 months. In addition to shifts in technology and member service practices, the branch environment has also undergone significant changes. Credit unions must consider new points of vulnerability as they continue to drive more efficient operational processes. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Kevin Mullins, vice president of emerging markets at 3SI. Mullins outlines best practices for preventing crime, protecting front-line employees, and navigating other aspects of physical safety in credit union branches. He also explains how to continue serving member needs in a challenging labor market—and much more. 

Oct 21

25 min 31 sec

Jeff Moss divulges the secret to member and loan acquisition in three words: Make it easy. “You have to make those experiences incredibly simple and be readily available to help people through those processes,” says Moss, area vice president, financial institutions, for Podium. It all boils down to convenience, he says, no matter what part of the transaction the member is in. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, sponsored by Podium, Moss examines how to spur growth through member and loan acquisition, challenges in doing so, how to optimize the member journey, lessons from other industries, and more.

Oct 15

21 min 57 sec

If there’s no education like adversity, Steve Schmitz and Eric Bruen should receive advanced degrees. Schmitz, president/CEO of $1 billion asset First Community Credit Union in Jamestown, N.D., and Bruen, president/CEO at $60 million asset Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union in Ridgecrest, Calif., led their institutions through dire financial straits and learned many useful lessons along the way. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Schmitz and Bruen take us through how they tackled tough times and rejuvenated their credit unions. They’re among 31 credit union leaders named as 2021 Credit Union Rock Stars by Credit Union Magazine. Sponsored by Fiserv, the Credit Union Rock Stars program recognizes outstanding credit union professionals and volunteers from a wide range of disciplines for their exceptional creativity, innovation, and passion.

Oct 14

24 min 14 sec

When credit unions think about ways to drive growth, marketing may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But marketing shows enormous potential in this area. If marketing integrates well with the rest of the credit union, it ensures that goals and messages are clearly understood across departments and communicated to members. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features James Gilbert, head of marketing at CRMNext. Gilbert says that marketing needs to be the communication channel for every function of the credit union to break down siloes between departments and effectively reach members. He also emphasizes the importance of personalization and data, the roles of contact center representatives and tellers in engaging with members, and more.

Oct 8

16 min 16 sec

Financial institutions, businesses, and government agencies use the Federal Reserve’s Fedwire system to transfer vast sums of money. Currently, the Federal Reserve is modernizing its systems by embracing a new standard for message formats and expanding the settlement windows for wires. However, many current systems used by credit unions are incompatible with these changes. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Carl Robinson, senior vice president of payments at Alacriti. He breaks down the most significant changes the Federal Reserve is making, the actions credit unions should take to prepare, and the benefits to credit unions of updating their payment solutions.

Sep 29

19 min 58 sec

Credit unions across the country work to build better communities. Sharing stories of support is a critical component of Advancing Communities, an initiative launched by America’s Credit Unions. It’s also important to share these stories with lawmakers, to help them understand the vital roles credit unions fulfill in their communities. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Illinois State Senator David Koehler. As a credit union board member for more than 20 years, Koehler is uniquely positioned to understand the credit union difference. He says his board service provided him with a learning experience he has carried with him as a legislator. Koehler encourages credit unions to forge relationships with lawmakers. He also outlines key information and resources that credit unions should share with legislators in order to advocate effectively.

Sep 24

13 min 22 sec

Financial well-being is at the heart of the credit union philosophy. PSCU, a CUNA associate business member at the premier level, recently completed a study that assessed the financial health of credit union members and employees against a national benchmark.  The study, “How Credit Unions Can Become Financial Health Providers,” found that more than 60% of credit union members surveyed struggle financially, and at least one-third live paycheck –to paycheck. More than 60% of credit union employees struggle financially. PSCU has taken the opportunity to engage its employees in deeper discussions about personal finance and make financial wellness part of its strategic mission. In this episode, Merry Pateuk, senior vice president of industry engagement at PSCU, describes how the company shares this message with the rest of the credit union system and uses its products and services to integrate financial well-being into the payments process. 

Sep 22

13 min 16 sec

When news hits that a credit union has purchased the assets of a community bank, it’s often a win-win situation for the credit union, community bank, and community involved. “Bank owners have a lot of reasons for selling to a credit union,” says Caroline Willard, president/CEO of the Cornerstone League. “Sometimes that includes a better cultural fit, a likelihood of employee retention, and also preservation of a community legacy. Credit unions oftentimes will keep an institution running and preserve that in the marketplace.” Credit unions also gain benefits from these transactions, including expanding geographic footprint, diversification of products, and new potential members. There are also strategic benefits, such as economies of scale and preventing competition, Willard says. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Willard dispels myths and misperceptions about credit unions that bankers often mention. She also discusses the idea of credit unions purchasing bank assets, how often these purchases occur, and how credit unions benefit.

Sep 17

14 min 56 sec

With deadlines approaching and preparation to be done, CECL compliance needs to be top-of-mind for credit unions. However, credit unions might be concerned about the cost and complexity involved or have questions about how to get started. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Shawn O'Brien, president of QwickRate. O'Brien provides guidance for keeping CECL compliance simple. He also shares tips for putting a plan in place and highlights how credit unions can use practical tools to streamline the process.

Sep 15

12 min 6 sec

This episode continues to explore the findings of CUNA's "Women in Credit Union Leadership" issue brief through discussions with three female CEOs in the credit union movement:Karen Madry, CEO of $80 million asset Afena Federal Credit Union in Marion, Ind.Stephanie Teubner, CEO of 1.5 billion asset Blue Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, Wyo.Tracie Kenyon, CEO of Montana's Credit Unions in Helena.Madry, Teubner, and Kenyon share their thoughts on how the research findings reflect their experiences as female credit union leaders. As the CEO of a small credit union, Madry has a firsthand perspective on why the environment at a small credit union provides leadership opportunities for women. Teubner had experience in the banking industry before joining the credit union movement, allowing her to speak to the differences in leadership opportunities between the two. League CEO Kenyon has a big-picture view of female leadership in credit unions—and on credit union boards—in her state. Listen to a previous episode on the "Women in Credit Union Leadership" issue brief featuring Mike Schenk, chief economist and deputy chief advocacy officer for CUNA, and Samira Salem, vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion for CUNA.

Sep 10

27 min 12 sec

Ask for a definition of a fintech and you’ll get many different answers. Some believe they’re startup companies while others will say well-established companies with a focus on innovation fit the description. “In the truest sense of the term, it’s a provider of financial technology and we can all agree to that,” says Micheal Herman, president of AdvantEdge Digital, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider. “However, I think it goes beyond that. It’s really the mashup of words that signify the innovation culture.” Herman says fintech disruptors operate with the mindset of continuous improvement through technology innovation. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, sponsored by AdvantEdge Digital, Herman speaks about what qualifies a provider to be called a fintech, what the future of disruption may look like, and how credit unions can prepare today for the challenges of tomorrow.

Sep 2

15 min 9 sec

Earlier this year, CUNA released an industry report that found 51% of U.S. credit union CEOs—and 33% of board members—are women.  The “Women in Credit Union Leadership” issue brief examines the extent to which women are represented in leadership positions at credit unions compared to commercial banks. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features a conversation between Mike Schenk, chief economist and deputy chief advocacy officer for CUNA, and Samira Salem, vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion for CUNA, from May’s Economic Update video. A companion episode featuring discussions with three women in credit union leadership is coming soon.

Aug 26

10 min 16 sec

According to a study by Oxford Economics, Generation Z, or the generation of Americans born after about 1996, is projected to grow to a population of 51 million by 2030. Gen Z already has collective spending power of $143 billion, making this group an important focus for financial institutions. Credit unions, too, must effectively reach Gen Z to build membership and generate growth. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Bolun Li, founder and CEO of Zogo, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider. At age 19, Li launched Zogo from his dorm room at Duke University after witnessing the challenges financial institutions face in connecting with students like himself. Li describes the current relationship between Gen Z and credit unions, explains why it’s important for credit unions to prioritize this generation, and shares how credit unions can attract Gen Z members.

Aug 19

12 min 53 sec

COVID brought many changes, but Joseph Michelli hopes leaders will see the last year as an opportunity to hit the pause button and become more intentional about how they lead. “I hope they will use this as a purpose reset,” says Michelli, an author and organizational consultant. “That they’ll look back at this time and say, ‘That was the moment where we hit pause on the way things have always been and we became fare more intentional about how we can deliver against what people need.’” Michelli will address the CUNA CEO Council virtual event, “Through the Leadership Lens Virtual Series: Enhancing Member Experience & Increasing Loyalty,” on Aug. 18. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Michelli examines lessons leaders learned during the pandemic, the importance of self-care, and intentional pivots.

Aug 12

13 min

While coaching and leadership complement each other, they serve different roles in a manager’s toolbox. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, our latest in a series focused on service culture, we’ll address how coaching drives execution of leadership’s strategic vision. While leading is about creating vision, coaching is about personalizing that vision through positive, meaningful relationships with employees. That’s according to Jayne Hitman, national program manager for Creating Member Loyalty (CML), a development strategy program from CUNA focused on increasing employee engagement and the member experience. Coaching is a learnable skill that virtually all managers in an organization can acquire, says Paul Robert, CEO of FI Strategies, a CML strategic partner. At the same time, leaders must be proactive and accountable to make it work.

Aug 5

21 min 24 sec

It’s an exciting time for the CUNA/league system and the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) with a number of new league leaders taking the helm at their organizations.Among the new group of leaders are:Patty Corkery, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League.Rich Schaffer, president/CEO of the West Virginia Credit Union League.Carrie Hunt, president/CEO of the Virginia Credit Union League.Juan Fernández, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico.This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Patty Corkery, Rich Schaffer, Carrie Hunt, and Juan Fernández AACUL.Corkery, Schaffer, Hunt, and Fernández take on their roles as the credit union movement faces new opportunities and challenges related to advocacy, operations, the pandemic, and more.In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Corkery, Schaffer, and Hunt discuss priorities they’re working toward in their respective states and the experiences that prepared them for league leadership.To hear from Juan Fernández, listen to his recent podcast interview.You can listen to the CUNA News Podcast in Apple’s iTunes Store, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher Radio.

Aug 2

25 min 52 sec

On July 30, the credit union movement will come together to inspire an authentic and high-energy conversation about why we love credit unions. Using the hashtag #ilovemycreditunion, credit unions and leagues across the country will use all social platforms to raise awareness of credit unions and share the amazing ways they serve their members and communities. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Tom Kane, president/CEO of the Illinois Credit Union System, shares how #ilovemycreditunion came about, the impact he hopes it will have, how to get involved, thoughts on spreading awareness of credit unions, and more.

Jul 22

18 min 49 sec

A popular book on simplifying one’s life is titled, in part, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” This might be sound advice for decluttering one’s mind, but, when it comes to member service, the genius is in the details. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, our latest in a series focused on service culture, we explore how attention to detail makes service experiences meaningful for consumers. Jayne Hitman, national program manager for Creating Member Loyalty (CML), a development strategy program from CUNA focused on increasing employee engagement and the member experience, explains how sweating the details can elevate service from a common, everyday occurrence to an enhancement to members’ lives.  Paul Robert, CEO of FI Strategies, a CML strategic partner, explains that better rates on loans and savings may help credit unions win the deal today, but attention to detail in your approach to service will win the deal tomorrow. 

Jul 15

31 min 33 sec

Good marketers don’t go it alone. Instead, they collaborate to gain multiple perspectives and achieve the best possible outcomes. That approach works well for Alana Kelly, marketing manager at $365 million asset On Tap Credit Union in Golden, Colo. She received the 2021 Rising Star Award from the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Kelly explains how her previous experience shapes her credit union marketing efforts, successful campaigns at OnTap, how marketing changed during the pandemic, and what the future holds for her discipline.

Jul 8

15 min 9 sec

As credit unions look ahead to post-pandemic operations, it’s clear that some of the solutions created or enhanced in 2020 are here to stay. Like other areas of credit unions, lending departments have experienced significant process changes. Many loan originators, underwriters, and other employees shifted to working in virtual environments and adapting loan processes to the digital space. At the same time, lending departments also stepped up to provide Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and options for members experiencing financial challenges due to the pandemic. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Robby Holditch, a director in the risk and accounting group at Moody’s Analytics. Drawing on his experience providing accounting expertise to credit unions, Holditch shares key takeaways from the digitization of lending processes. He also discusses the handling of PPP and credit quality concerns under loan forbearance or deferment, including the impact on Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) allowances. Despite the current challenges related to low loan growth, Holditch says there are opportunities for credit unions to improve their margins if they know where to look.

Jul 2

22 min 16 sec

For Juan Fernández, Pride Month is about celebrating what makes each of us unique. “That’s something I’ve struggled with throughout my life,” says Fernandez, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico. “I’ve come to a place in my career and in my life where I have finally been able to accept myself and bring my whole self to the credit union movement. It makes a huge difference.” Pride Month also allows credit unions to send a message to the LGBTQ community that they’re an ally, embrace them, and welcome them into the credit union movement. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Fernández explains what Pride Month means to him, why it’s important for credit unions to reach out to the LGBTQ community, how diversity strengthens credit unions, and more.

Jun 24

19 min 56 sec

With the rising availability of vaccinations and the country reopening, people are beginning to spend at or above pre-pandemic levels. And they’re turning to digital channels to complete their financial transactions, a move that was accelerated by the pandemic. “Payments is the path to growth,” says Todd Clark, CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, a CUNA associate business member at the elite level. “Meet members where they’re doing their everyday business. I’m not saying abandon life-stage lending, but add these two things together.” In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services, Clark discusses new solutions CO-OP is developing to assist with the payment pathway, recent payments research CO-OP conducted in partnership with EY, advice for combating fraud, and more.

Jun 23

14 min 14 sec

This episode of the CUNA News Podcast continues the discussion about Advancing Communities, an initiative launched by America’s Credit Unions. Advancing Communities encourages credit unions to share stories of economic prosperity, community support, and financial well-being. Credit unions around the country have drawn inspiration from the initiative to make real differences for their members and communities. This episode features Cheryl Deborde, president and CEO of Members Choice Credit Union in Ashland, Kentucky. She explains the importance of Advancing Communities and shares some of the ways Member Choice has supported members, small businesses, and the community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and other challenging times. As the 2021 Credit Union Hero of the Year, Deborde also connects the philosophy behind Advancing Communities to the qualities that set Credit Union Heroes apart.

Jun 18

16 min 45 sec

To fully unlock their digital potential, credit unions must develop or adapt strategies to address several emerging market realities. Lending trends in particular have changed dramatically, and credit unions must navigate consumer expectations and market competition while continuing to advance their members’ financial well-being. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Kevin Polinsky, senior director of sales at AdvantEdge Digital. Polinsky identifies four formidable forces shaping the digital landscape for credit unions. He says credit unions must consider factors like nontraditional financial institution competitors, digital-first experiences, human-centered design, and member engagement. Polinsky also explains how credit unions can evolve for digital while staying true to their roots of people helping people.

Jun 17

18 min 50 sec

As a graphic designer, Kassandra Martin brought creative skills to her job at Direct Federal Credit Union in Needham, Mass. She took it upon herself to learn the data analytical skills that increased her value to the credit union and gave her a more strategic role within the organization.  In this podcast, Martin, digital strategy manager at Direct Federal, explains how she applied the same patience and diligence required to learn graphic design programs to gain mastery of data analytics platforms. “You have to practice, try things out, and not beat yourself up if things don’t work out the first time,” she says.  Martin provides a road map for young professionals seeking a pathway to success, especially at a time when digital skills are so in demand.  “This is a transformative time,” she says. “Now is the time to share your ideas. Any good manager should be receptive to continuously improving new processes and developing new ways of doing things. After you see your ideas realized, it provides you with an even great sense of passion and fulfillment.”

Jun 11

14 min 57 sec

n more ordinary times, mergers and acquisitions are huge undertakings for credit unions. They’re both challenging and exciting. Those characteristics haven’t changed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) but the pandemic-driven digital transformation that has occurred adds a new layer of complexity and consideration to the process. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Carrie Stapp, senior vice president of financial institution product management at Harland Clarke. In her role, Stapp works with financial institutions to plan, manage, and execute engagement strategies. This is particularly important during mergers and acquisitions, when existing and acquired members need to know they are valued and how they will benefit from the changes.  Stapp points out that mergers and acquisitions in the financial services industry have picked up during the pandemic, and convenient, scalable digital tools are essential for shepherding members through the M&A process. She explains how mergers and acquisitions can affect the member experience as well as employee morale, and provides guidance for effective communication with members and staff at various stages of the M&A road map. Stapp also shares crucial advice for making the most of the membership base acquired during an M&A and honing the member service experience so contact centers are well-prepared to support requests and answer questions from beginning to end of the process.

Jun 10

26 min 37 sec

Stronger credit unions make stronger communities. As the country recovers from the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there has perhaps been no better time to remind consumers and lawmakers of this fact. The most effective way to convey the message is through stories of economic prosperity, community support, and financial well-being. To facilitate meaningful storytelling, America’s Credit Unions launched the Advancing Communities initiative. Advancing Communities gathers member testimonials, state-by-state statistics that demonstrate the credit union difference, and resources for understanding the benefits credit unions provide in their communities. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Brad Green, CUNA board chair and president/CEO of Listerhill Credit Union in Muscle Shoals, Ala.  Green explains how the Advancing Communities initiative has enabled positive outcomes for Listerhill’s members and community. He also shares how Advancing Communities can reframe credit union goals for member financial well-being and enable more impactful conversations with lawmakers.

Jun 4

19 min 59 sec

From member service to digital solutions, credit unions have spent the last year adapting to the new reality of living through a pandemic. And now, almost halfway through 2021, it’s becoming clearer which pandemic-related changes are probably here to stay. Consumer payment trends fall into that category. The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) prompted significant behavioral changes to how, when, and where consumers pay for goods. Credit unions must understand those changes and respond to them with adaptability and flexibility to compete with other financial institutions in the market. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Myron Schwarcz, executive vice president and payments consultant at Strategic Resource Management. Schwarcz identifies major 2021 payment trends and provides a thorough overview of the factors that drive them, including currencies, large issuers, and the regulatory landscape. He also shares detailed guidance for navigating these new payment trends and previews nascent trends to expect for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Jun 3

21 min 32 sec

By day, Nick Etscheid’s job with Amazon Network Services focuses on international businesses. But he wanted to get involved with his local community, make an impact, and gain strategic skills. The 28-year-old found the opportunity to do that on the board of directors at $690 million asset Verity Credit Union in Seattle. He was an associate board member for a year before he was elected to the board of directors in 2020. “There’s no expectation of sitting quietly for any period of time,” says Etscheid, who has been a credit union member since he was a teenager. “They encourage you to ask questions and voice opinions early on as part of the onboarding process. Those were early indicators that I was in the right place.” In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Etscheid speaks about his involvement with the board, why young professionals should consider board service, the best advice he received when he began his board service, and more.

May 27

16 min 29 sec

More than a year into the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, credit unions have learned a great deal from the accelerated adoption of digital channels that occurred. Members are interacting digitally with their credit unions in higher numbers than ever before, and credit unions must practice control and confidence in their risk assessments and abilities to fight financial crime. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Andrew Corbett, presales consultant with NICE Actimize. He discusses lessons learned from the pandemic and ways credit unions can adapt to the ongoing digital transformation. As a member of the Premier Solutions Consultant team at NICE Actimize, Corbett works to provide cloud compliance solutions to credit unions. He shares specific areas of elevated risk that credit unions should know about and outlines steps credit unions should follow to monitor and assess risk related to digital platforms.

May 13

24 min 26 sec

Successful marketing and business development increasingly require a strong focus on community service and relationship-building. That’s according to two industry leaders honored during the 2021 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Virtual Conference. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features John Kenjar, the 2021 Marketing Professional of the Year, and Kristin Lleweyln, the 2021 Business Development Professional of the Year. As vice president of marketing & community outreach at $1.3 billion asset US Eagle Federal Credit Union in Albuquerque, N.M., Kenjar led the organization’s recent rebranding efforts, which contributed to 21% asset growth in a single year. His approach to marketing extends beyond products and services to financial well-being and community service. Llewelyn, affinity partnership manager at $27 billion asset BECU in Tukwila, Wash., credits networking and relationship-building for her success. She explains how engaging with select employee groups and understanding their needs creates effective partnerships.

May 6

26 min 22 sec

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic demonstrated why it’s critical to bring the human element into human resources (HR). This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features two award-winning HR leaders:  Karen Maxfield, chief HR officer at Commonwealth Credit Union in Frankfort, Ky., and Josh Harden, director of training and resources, at Colorado Credit Union in Littleton, Colo. They discuss the role of HR during the pandemic and offer advice for other HR professionals. The CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council named Maxfield the 2021 Professional of the Year and Harden the 2021 Rising Star during the CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Virtual Conference in April.

Apr 29

21 min 25 sec

Achieving a high-performance culture, especially during challenging times, requires employees to be engaged, enabled, and energized. That’s the word from Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, co-founders of The Culture Works and co-authors of more than a dozen books on leadership, including the best-selling “All In,” “The Carrot Principle,” and “The Best Team Wins.”  In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Gostick and Elton explain why communication must increase exponentially during a crisis.  If communication is lacking, they say, employees fill the void with rumor, innuendo, and fear.  Gostick and Elton also share highlights from their research on workplace culture and engagement and address unique challenges for financial institutions, what makes employees excited to come to work, signs your corporate culture is lacking, and more.  They addressed a 2020 CUNA CEO Council virtual roundtable on culture during the age of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Apr 22

23 min 42 sec

The challenges of social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have launched the contact center to the forefront of credit union member support. The contact center serves as the ideal channel to provide crucial services and personalized assistance to members and businesses dealing with hardships.This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Terri Panhans, vice president, contact center solutions, for Harland Clarke. Panhans shares essential strategies for delivering empathy throughout the service experience to deepen member connections and strengthen credit union brands.She manages all aspects of Harland Clarke’s contact center solutions, including development and deployment of solutions that help clients acquire, grow, and retain their customer bases.

Apr 16

23 min 5 sec

The onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed the value of a more personalized consumer experience. Sometimes that experience is created through technology, while at other times, the human touch or empathy makes that point of contact valuable for the consumer. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast, the latest in a series focused on service culture, explores how creating personalized experiences has become table stakes for credit unions in today’s marketplace. Jayne Hitman, national program manager for Creating Member Loyalty (CML), a development strategy program from CUNA focused on increasing employee engagement and the member experience, describes how credit unions can create these experiences through team building, soft-skill training, and attention to detail. Building on that approach, Paul Robert, CEO of FI Strategies, a strategic partner of CML, says one of the keys is viewing your employees not as assets, but as partners in serving members. When employees are valued, they value the credit union and share that goodwill with members, Robert says. This benevolent cycle forms the basis of personalized member experiences, leading to higher levels of member satisfaction and serving the credit union philosophy. 

Apr 8

21 min 2 sec

Financial institutions covered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) with deposit insurance are subject to comply with Affirmative Action Program obligations under Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistant Act (VEVRAA), and Section 503. With credit unions prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s interest in enforcing measures related to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), credit unions should remain proactive and ensure they are in full compliance. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Chris Lindholm, vice president of compliance at OutSolve. He outlines steps to take to ensure compliance, shares commonly overlooked details to take note of, and explains the consequences of noncompliance. Lindholm has been involved in affirmative action planning for more than 20 years, assisting clients with OFCCP audit support, training, and Equal Employment Opportunity compliance, including implementation of Federal Affirmative Action Plans for thousands of federal contractors. This episode was recorded on March 2, 2021.

Mar 25

21 min 32 sec

The nature of leadership is changing as cultural and demographic forces transform the workplace. To maximize the potential of their teams, leaders must create more inclusive environments that encourage the expression of different cultures, contexts, and perspectives. In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, global workforce expert Dr. Shirley Davis explores how leaders can foster inclusive work environments and create productive and rewarding team dynamics that reward top performers. Today’s workplace calls for leaders to be not only culturally intelligent but culturally humble, says Davis. This requires an ability to listen and to begin to understand other perspectives. With that understanding, employees will engage more deeply and are more likely to align their values to the organization’s meaning and purpose. Culture is everyone’s responsibility, but it starts with an organization’s leaders. Davis suggests leaders start with “The Platinum Rule”: Don't treat everybody the way you want to be treated. Treat them the way they want to be treated. 

Mar 18

17 min 40 sec

When Angie Bastian studied the snack aisle in the grocery store, she noticed an important omission: No representation of women except for foods geared toward weight loss. That led to a revelation: The decision to be loud and proud about celebrating the feminine. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features two keynote speakers from the 2021 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference, which takes place virtually March 23-25. Bastian, the namesake of Angie’s Boomchickapop, transformed a garage popcorn business into one of the nation’s fastest-growing brands of natural popcorn. She shares lessons in effective branding and how she cut through marketplace clutter with an emphasis on female leadership and empowerment. Public speaker and motivator Gian Paul Gonzalez discusses his philosophy of being “all in” and the power of commitment.

Mar 11

25 min 47 sec

Cheryl Deborde has served as the Members Choice CEO for five years following a 29-year banking career. From the start, she eschewed advertising for hands-on community involvement. “I don’t want to spend money on a billboard,’” she says. “We want to make a difference. We support the local sport teams and the area schools with scholarships—that’s our advertising. “We want to be known for taking care of people in our community,” Deborde continues. “When I look at people helping people, it's not just writing a check, it's about rolling up your sleeves and making a difference in people's lives.”

Mar 5

18 min 2 sec

“He gave me a chance.” It’s what Nick Kessenich hopes members will say when asked about the impact he had on their financial lives. It’s also what $28 million asset Members First Credit Union in Madison, Wis., would say if credit unions could talk. For nearly 40 years, Kessenich led the credit union as it grew from an organization run out of a basement and a briefcase into a community-based credit union that serves more than 3,000 members. “The credit union was my life. What I’m proud of the most is when somebody thanks me because no one else would give them a chance,” Kessenich says. “I gave them a chance, they took it, and they succeeded.”

Mar 5

20 min 32 sec

Bill Lawton’s path to credit unions was almost a birthright. His grandfather served as a credit union board member in the 1950s; his mother worked for the Michigan Credit Union League; and his father, George Lawton, served as manager of Community Financial Credit Union when Bill was growing up.  “It was only as I got a little older that I appreciated the background of those stories,” recalls Lawton. He serves as president/CEO of the same credit union his father ran in Plymouth, Mich. Bill started at the credit union in 1974 at the age of 14, filing ledger cards. Eventually, he took on a more substantial role, leading the credit union’s transition into the computer age in the early 1980s and building the organization’s information technology infrastructure. Through the years, his role expanded. He took over as CEO in 2004. Today, the credit union holds $1.1 billion in assets and serves 79,500 members. One of Lawton’s employees, marketing coordinator Kristen Todd, offers her own take on Lawton’s role at the credit union: “He’s not only just the backbone of Community Financial Credit Union—he’s the heart of it, too.” 

Mar 5

15 min 2 sec

In her first credit union job, Val Mindak worked in almost every area of the organization. This paved the way for a career in the movement and sparked Mindak’s passion for community involvement. Today, the president/CEO of $275 million asset Park City Credit Union in Merrill, Wis., says her extensive credit union experience shaped her leadership style. Since Mindak became CEO in 2009, Park City has seen overall growth of more than $200 million in assets.“Effective leadership means moving people toward a common vision,” she says. “We can contribute so much more when we work together.”

Mar 5

21 min 39 sec

The events of 2020 have affected consumer behavior in many ways, and the payments landscape is no exception. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has driven significant changes in consumer payment preferences. Through its 2020 Eye on Payments study, PSCU set out to gauge those payment preferences among credit union members and customers of other financial institutions and explore how they have shifted over the past year.  This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Tom Pierce, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PSCU, and Norm Patrick, vice president of Advisors Plus Consulting at PSCU.  Pierce and Patrick discuss key findings from the study and share takeaways that credit unions can use to better serve their members and optimize their product and service offerings. 

Mar 4

17 min 34 sec

The past year of living with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented many challenges for credit unions. But in the face of difficult times, numerous credit unions have used the modification of in-person operations to reimagine business strategy, product and service delivery, and the member experience. This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Derek Everett, general manager of credit union solutions at Fiserv. Everett explains that credit unions now have a unique opportunity to rethink operations and strategy. That includes technology optimization, process improvements, creation of new products and services, and other priorities that can lead to a better member experience and accelerated growth. Everett shares specific solutions credit unions should explore, from digital banking to in-branch technologies, and outlines potential next steps for credit unions that have already started putting enhancements in place. He also previews Fiserv’s sessions and other exciting plans for the 2021 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. 

Feb 26

14 min 22 sec