This past week the LSCU, LEVERAGE, and Southeast Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) boards of directors all held their fourth quarter board meetings in the Tallahassee office.

The SECUF had another successful year despite many challenges.  Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean and Florida back in September, and the SECUF working with CUAid responded, assisting credit union professionals who were impacted by the storm.  To date, we have distributed $128,303 to more than 275 people, in both Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Community Development also remains a priority with the Foundation, assisting credit unions with CDFI certification and applying for Federal grants.  The SECUF has also taken the lead in overseeing our Young Professionals program with the goals of providing networking and professional development opportunities for our industry’s next generation of leaders.  At the SECUF Board meeting last week, the Foundation’s 2018 strategic plan and budget was approved.  In addition to Juli Lewis being 100 percent dedicated to Foundation work moving forward, the following strategic priorities were adopted:

  • Focus on raising funds through existing and new programs including programs aimed at vendors and key system partners.
  • Partner with the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) on existing and new program offerings.
  • Work with credit unions, chapters, and external groups, expand financial education and literacy awareness and efforts.
  • Increase awareness of SECUF and its initiatives throughout the credit union community.
  • Enhance disaster preparedness and relief programs in order to assist credit unions in times of need.
  • Strengthen the collaborative spirit of the Young Professional program through improved industry awareness, increased knowledge exchange, and professional development.
  • Grow and strengthen the Community Development Across Alabama & Florida program by building resources and working with credit unions to obtain Low Income Designation, CDFI Certification, and to apply for grants.

At the LSCU and LEVERAGE meetings, the Board approved our 2017 lawmaker of the year awards, as well as our new 2018-20 strategic plan and budgets.  At the joint board planning retreat back in October, management presented the framework for a new three-year strategic plan.  After strategic dialogue with the board, we were tasked with going back and developing specific goals to support the plan’s strategy objectives.  You can find a copy of the plan’s framework pillars here.  The LSCU & Affiliates’ new three-year plan is designed to provide a navigable map to our continued growth and sustainability as an organization.  All leagues/league service corporations are experiencing revenue compression as well as new challenges associated with competition brought on by membership choice.  However, we feel well-positioned to continue to be a recognized leader among leagues and have the plan, resources, and talent to grow our league and league service corporation to meet the changing needs of our member/client credit unions.

Directors also got an opportunity to have breakfast with our staff, which provided them an opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the best team members that I’ve had the pleasure to work with in my career.  Directors also received an update on our Reinventing our Culture project.  For the last 18 months, the LSCU & Affiliates has been working tirelessly to transform the culture of the organization to ensure we can attract and retain the best and brightest to serve our credit unions. In Jim Collin’s book Good to Great, he uses the analogy of a flywheel to illustrate the importance of consistency and momentum.   This is what we are trying to achieve, both from an organizational and cultural standpoint. As our transformation continues to accumulate tangible results – as the flywheel builds momentum – we will inevitably hit our stride.  This project has been long overdue, but we have picked up great momentum over the last couple of months.  The energy and support among our current staff is an intoxicating motivator to stay the course and not get distracted.

Where’s Patrick:  This week, I will be in the Tallahassee office Monday and Tuesday and then be traveling to Jacksonville on Wednesday to meet with the new CEO of Vystar, Brian Wolfburg.  To see my tentative schedule for the next two weeks, visit the LSCU Information for Credit Unions’ webpage.