Today I complete 10 weeks on the job here at NJCUL along with 10 weeks in New Jersey. As of this week, I am also officially a resident of The Garden State, having settled near Turnpike Exit 8 (which I believe is the proper geographic identifier here in New Jersey). It has been a whirlwind, but I’ve enjoyed the ride here in the early going. I’d like to update you on what these first weeks have entailed with this, the first post of my new blog “The Collaborative Connection.” I encourage you to use the comment section of this blog to share your thoughts and ideas on particular credit union issues or on new League initiatives you would like to see.
I’ve met many of you during these first couple of months, through chapter meetings, educational sessions at the League office and remotely (I sat in on a video roundtable at the Members 1st of New Jersey FCU, Vineland location), credit union visits, charitable events and, of course, various board meetings. I participated in the Financial Reality Fair hosted by Entertainment Industries FCU in partnership with the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation at the Academy of Finance in Elizabeth, joined members of the Credit Union Advisory Council as they met with government officials in Trenton, attended a couple of political events and hosted a planning session for the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education in the League training center.
From June 29 – July 3, I attended CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference in Manhattan. During the event I had the pleasure of spending time with CUNA CEO Bill Cheney, along with other members of the CUNA and CUNA Strategic Services executive and management teams. The event also afforded opportunities to network with fellow League presidents, executives from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, trade publications, business partners and other industry suppliers, as well as the New Jersey credit union leaders in attendance.
Internally, the League staff and I have been addressing key initiatives such as the energy loan program, topics and speakers for future education, including the great line-up we are assembling for the 2014 Credit Union Reality Check conference and, of course, working alongside you, CUNA and the rest of the credit union movement to defend credit unions’ tax status. We have had conversations with media outlets to continue to build the Banking You Can Trust brand and are excited about some of the opportunities we have identified to increase consumer awareness of credit unions and the value they bring to the marketplace.
I am also working with subject matter experts and business partners with regards to issues of importance, such as healthcare reform, back-office efficiencies in human resources and member business lending, while also monitoring other emerging trends and areas of need. The NJCUL Shared Compliance Program continues to grow and, as such, our team of specialists will also grow to match the demand. I see this program as a model as we work to assist those credit unions looking for back-office efficiencies and expertise.
Looking forward, I see opportunities to also provide new programing in the areas of innovation and career growth. I have laid some of the groundwork with the team here at the League in terms of creating an increasingly inclusive environment for the exchange of ideas through both our existing initiatives and those yet to be identified. I hope to present one of these new programs to you at the 79th Annual Meeting & Convention at the end of September. Which, by the way, if you haven’t yet registered, you can do so at www.njcuconvention.com.
It certainly has been a busy 10 weeks with all of this, along with moving a family of five from Wisconsin. But it has also been an encouraging start to my time with you here in New Jersey.