Last week the LSCU & LEVERAGE board of directors held its annual strategic planning retreat on Amelia Island, Florida. In addition to our planning process, we also held our third quarter board meetings. I wanted to share highlights from the planning session.

Our retreat was facilitated by Mollie Bell, CUNA’s Chief Engagement & Transformation Officer. Mike Schenk, CUNA’s Vice President, Research & Policy Analysis provided an economic update to the group. Mike’s presentations had a couple of interesting facts I wanted to pass along. Since the Great Recession, we are now approaching double the average economic recovery period, which is 60 months. We’re currently at nine years of economic growth. However, the new normal for growth does not match the pre-recession number, and we may never see that again. According to Mike, we probably have a couple more years of economic growth ahead of us before a downturn in the economy.

The other interesting numbers we looked at were specific to Alabama and Florida credit unions. According to June 2017 data, AL/FL credit unions have combined assets of $84B. The average size credit union between the two states is $330M. The total number of credit unions in AL/FL stands at 253, a 26 percent decrease from a decade ago. If we forecast to 2022, we can expect to have about 208 CUs with combined assets of $111B. The average asset size of our credit unions is expected to be around $533M. Looking even further out to 2027, we can expect to have around 177 CUs with combined assets of $141B, with the average size CU being around $795M.

This was good data as we moved into our discussions around strategic priorities for the next three years. As I wrote in my President’s Point a couple of weeks ago, LSCU & Affiliates management has been working on a new three-year strategic plan framework that is being presented in the form of “Pillars for Success.” I believe our culture and core values are the foundation of what we are trying to achieve as an organization. The pillars should support and carry the weight for our Alabama and Florida credit unions as you go about running your daily operations.

The pillars are the activities we need to win at in order to serve our member/client credit unions well and provide for sustainability of the organization. Management presented this model to the board at Amelia Island, and they voiced support for the planned framework.  You can find a copy of this plan design here.  These “Pillars of Success” will be the centerpoint for the LSCU & Affiliates over the next three years. We will now begin working on building out specific goals and benchmarks for each strategy for final approval by the board, along with our three-year rolling budget, at our December board meetings.