In praise of credit union leagues.

In working with credit unions, part of what I do is give seminars.  This takes me across the country and I get to work with a lot of credit union leagues.  In fact, the majority of the seminars I do are sponsored by the various leagues throughout the country.  I have to say, without fail, that I have had a positive experience in working with credit union leagues.

Most recently, I worked with the Maryland/DC Credit Union Association  on two back-to-back all day presentations.  For me, these types of seminars are the hardest as they involve six hours of teaching.  My mom would probably laugh at that as she taught high school, so she did that every day, nine  months a year, for 30 years.  The people in MD and DC are very professional, well organized and friendly.  That helps a great deal. 

It also typifies my experience from California to Arizona to Utah to New Mexico to Illinois to Indiana to Michigan to Pennsylvania to New Jersey and of course Ohio and all of the leagues I’ve worked with.  The league system is definitely an expression of the credit union movement.  It’s a system of people who believe in the movement and who share the same honest, down to earth values that you find at credit unions themselves.  It’s not just seminars.  I’m sure if I needed a resource to find out what credit unions were doing on a particular issue in California, I could call someone at the league and find out. 

While I’m on the vendor side of things, I recognize the value that leagues give to credit unions.  From coordinating an extremely effective Political Action Committee to operational help and guidance, leagues are there for credit unions.  From state to state, the leagues offer   products and services  too varied to list.  Some leagues work with vendors directly, others offer CUSOs.  In all cases, the leagues offer value to their member credit unions.

At the same time, in an environment of credit union consolidation, leagues, too, are having to look at budgets and do business differently.  It’s still business after all.  However, I believe in the league system.  It has worked for credit unions for decades.  Sure, leagues will follow credit unions in evolving as markets change.  In terms of core value, however, leagues have never been more important.


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