Volunteer of the Year Chizmadia Joins Other Industry Veterans on CU Times On Air

Posted by Marissa Anema Wednesday, November 10, 2010 1:37:41 PM

This week's CU Times On Air radio show addressed several issues facing credit union volunteers, including director education, to paying volunteers, to volunteer recruitment.

The showed featured many industry veterans to speak on the subject, former NCUA and FHFB Member Geoff Bacino of Bacino & Associates, former Lafayette FCU CEO Bill Brooks of CU Prosper, George Hofheimer of the Filene Research Institute, State Department FCU ALCO Committee Member John Zimmerman, and Credit Union of New Jersey (CUNJ) board member and NJCUL Volunteer of Year Gary Chizmadia.

The hot topic of the show was NCUA's proposed regulations on board education and their potential impact on credit unions and their volunteers. A concern discussed by the speakers was the one-size-fits-all nature of the NCUA regulation. "Education should be based on the complexity of individual boards and individual credit unions," said Brooks.

How the regulation will affect credit unions remains to be seen, but credit unions have already begun to strengthen their volunteer education programs. Chizmadia cited his experience serving on the CUNJ board, explaining, "What we've done is increased our education and put out more [educational] opportunities for our board members to go to. I'm looking at where we're heading to and where this whole operation is going to go."

With NCUA's proposed regs, board member liability has become a much more paramount issue than in the past. The potential for this to have a negative effect on board recruitment is a concern. With this surge in liability, people might be less inclined to volunteer. However, active recruitment is key, said Hofheimer.

As for the revolving door topic of paying volunteers as both an incentive for volunteers and a way of weeding out low-performing volunteers, the panelists were in almost unanimous agreement that compensation will not improve decision-making; "just look at the banking crisis," pointed out Brooks. Having unpaid boards is part of the historical perspective of credit unions, the panelists pointed out, it is one of the distinguishing factors of the industry and can be very helpful politically.

The Radio Show is archived and can be listened to at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sarah-cooke.


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